assess the health and well-being of the mother and the foetus and make
appropriate arrangement for care during pregnancy and labour. 2. To
early detect and prevent maternal and foetal complications that may
develop during pregnancy and treat them. 3. To help
prepare the mother and her partner for the experience of childbirth and
for the responsibilities of bringing up the child. 4. To
provide appropriate health screening and health education.
This is usually arranged when a woman has missed
her period for two months. Her personal history is obtained.
general examination, including breasts examination will be performed. 2. An
ultrasound scan is done to confirm date and assess the growing baby. 3. Baseline
laboratory blood and urine tests are carried out to establish her baseline
indices. 4. At the
end of first visit, it would be easy for doctor to know if the pregnancy
is of low or high risk and plan care accordingly.
SUBSEQUENT VISITS 1. The
frequency of the woman subsequent visits will be individualized based on
the assessment from her first visit.
routine visits, the procedure is similar to that of the first visit, but the
history and examination are restricted to the pregnancy itself.
care is taken to accurately record blood pressure and general well-being
of the mother.
disorders are discussed and therapy given as indicated.
of urine, weight and ultrasound scan for foetal growth and well-being are
performed when necessary.
MINOR DISORDERS IN PREGNANCY These include nausea and vomiting, abdominal
cramps, heartburn, constipation, frequent urination, vaginal discharge,
varicose veins, haemorrhoids, pelvic joints pains and para aesthesia in the
NAUSEA AND VOMITING IN PREGNANCY
Majority of pregnant women experience nausea and
vomiting in the first 12weeks. The condition is usually worse in the morning
and it is aggravated by the act of cooking or smell of food. Frequent small
meals are advised. Fatty, greasy or highly spiced foods are best avoided.
Psychological support is useful. Admission to hospital is considered when the
patient is unable to tolerate food or significant weight loss occurs.
HEARTBURN IN PREGNANCY
This condition, when it occurs is worse when the
patient lies down. Meals, which include milk, should be light and more frequent
to prevent over distention of the stomach. Her bed should be raised at the head
with extra pillows. Smoking should be totally avoided; antacid would be given
by your doctor.
BLEEDING IN PREGNANCY
Bleeding in early pregnancy occurs in about one in
every five pregnant women. This is a common problem which usually settles with
no long term effect. Always inform your doctor of any bleeding experienced
during your pregnancy.
CONSTIPATION IN PREGNANCY
This is common and is usually due to the pressure
of the growing uterus. Increase your dietary fibre and water intake, do more
exercise and avoid laxatives.
OEDEMA IN PREGNANCY
Oedema (swelling of legs, fingers etc) is very
common in pregnancy. It is aggravated by prolonged standing. If your blood
pressure and urine checks are normal, you have no cause to worry as this will
subside after rest. Increasing your rest period with legs elevated will improve
VAGINAL DISCHARGE IN PREGNANCY
There is usually an increased vaginal discharge
during pregnancy. Any discharge that is offensive or associated with itching
should be reported to your doctor.
Many pregnant women complain of backache especially
as pregnancy advances. Adequate rest is important, but if this does not help,
your doctor may recommend exercises. Do not take analgesic without your
disorders include headaches, varicose veins, haemorrhoid, muscle cramps,
frequent urination. All these will be explained to you by your obstetrician.
DIET IN PREGNANCY For women in good health and of normal weight-for-height, a good well balanced, mixed diet should provide all that is required. Fruits and vegetables serve as roughage and ensure free bowel motions.
DRUGS IN PREGNANCY Routine – Haematinics, Daraprim/Intermittent Prophylactic Therapy (IPT), Tetanus Toxoid. Drugs should also be prescribed for pregnant women when the benefits outweigh the risk.
EXERCISE IN PREGNANCY Pregnant women should not participate in vigorous exercises. Walking or other non-strenuous exercises should however be encouraged.
REST IN PREGNANCY It is of high importance for pregnant women to have plenty of rest, especially during the second half of pregnancy. A minimum of two hours rest in the afternoon and eight at night is recommended.
CLOTHING IN PREGNANCY All pregnant women should be encouraged to wear loose-fitting clothing popularly known as maternity dress. A well fitting brassiere to support the breasts is recommended. Wearing flat-heeled foot wears is advisable during pregnancy.
ALCOHOL IN PREGNANCY Alcohol should be avoided as there is evidence that even a moderate intake may be harmful to the foetus.
SMOKING IN PREGNANCY It has been evidently proven that babies of mothers who smoke are smaller than those of non-smoking mothers.
COITUS DURING PREGNANCY Gentle sexual intercourse during pregnancy is not harmful except when there is a threat of miscarriage or bleeding, in late pregnancy.
NOTE: The material contained herein is by no means exhaustive. For details and further enquiries, please contact a Consultant Obstetrician.