A Complete Guide - When to start antenatal in Nigeria?

Antenatal Care in Nigeria

Antenatal care is the care you get during pregnancy from midwives, doctors and if required specialist doctors. It is important to attend these appointments as they keep an eye on your health, well being and that of your growing baby.

What are antenatal classes?

Antenatal classes help you to prepare physically and emotionally for the birth of your baby. At the classes, you can ask questions and explore the different ways in which you can give birth.

If you are a working mother you are entitled to paid time off to attend antenatal classes. Antenatal care is the key to healthy mothers and babies and it’s very important you attend your appointments.

when is the best time to start antenatal classes?

After confirmation of your pregnancy, your doctor will make arrangements for your antenatal care. Most women have their first and longest antenatal check-up between weeks 8 and 12 of pregnancy. The earlier you start attending antenatal check-ups the better. You should then attend antenatal check-ups once a month until 28 weeks, then twice a month until you are 36 weeks pregnant. During the last 4 weeks of your pregnancy, you should go every week. Where you receive antenatal care may depend on your personal situation, they are usually carried out at your doctor's surgery but can also be at your local hospital, health centre, young person centre or even from home.

Cost of antenatal care in Nigeria?

At Isolo General Hospital, the delivery fee is said to be N10,500, antenatal care costN20,000, including fees or drugs. In a situation where a woman delivers through a caesarian section, it costs N45, 000 or more, depending on the condition of the patient.

For Private hospitals, it could range from #100,000 - #1,500,000

 

Importance of antenatal care during pregnancy

About antenatal visits. For most women, pregnancy is a straightforward, happy and healthy time. Having regular antenatal check-ups is an important part of staying healthy and making sure your baby is healthy. Regular checks during your pregnancy can assist in identifying and reducing risks to either you or your baby.

Aims of antenatal care in Nigeria

The main aim of antenatal care is to ensure a healthy mother and infant at the end of the pregnancy. It reduces maternal and child mortality rates. To attain this objective, antenatal care should be seen as a major preventive health measure which guarantees that the mother remains healthy throughout pregnancy. Antenatal care should have well-defined measures aimed at preventing the development of any pregnancy disorders or complications. Antenatal care should address the psychosocial and medical needs of the woman within the context of the health care delivery system and the culture in which she lives.

Some doctors like to see you first to confirm for themselves that you're pregnant. They will then organise your first midwife meeting, which is sometimes called a booking appointment or your first antenatal appointment. Other doctors will be happy to send you directly to a midwife and will give you a number to call.

 

What happens at the first antenatal appointment?

Some doctors like to see you first to confirm for themselves that you're pregnant. They will then organise your first midwife meeting, which is sometimes called a booking appointment or your first antenatal appointment. Other doctors will be happy to send you directly to a midwife and will give you a number to call.

For Pregnancy, Antenatal And Delivery, Is Gov’t Hospital Better Than Private?

Government hospitals are great for antenatal and delivery. For standard Government Teaching or /general hospitals, You are sure of genuinely qualified Doctors and nurses, You are sure of seeing different Doctors and consultants on various areas, there is always a follow-up and in case of any issue, it can be traced without being swept under the carpet.

Although, mothers complain about poor negligence and non-existence of empathy in most public or government-owned hospitals. If you can afford a private hospital, they are very sophisticated hospitals with great care practice for mothers also saves time attending antenatal at private hospitals

For first time mothers, Government hospitals have great antenatal classes and there is so much to learn that you'll miss if you depend only on private hospitals

Summary of focused antenatal care in Nigeria

1. First Visit (between 14-16 weeks)

Screen and treat anaemia

Screen for risk factors and medical conditions that can be addressed early in pregnancy

Initiate prophylaxis for malaria and place on hemanitics (blood boosters)

Plan individualized antenatal care and delivery.

2. Second visit (between 24-28 weeks)

Screen for anaemia

Listen to woman’s complaints if any

The woman will be requested to do an ultrasound scan to check foetal well being, multiple pregnancies, and to rule out any foetal abnormalities

3.Third visit (around 32 weeks)

Screen for pre-eclampsia, multiple pregnancy, and anaemia

Review birth plans

4. Fourth visit (at 36 weeks)

Screen for anaemia

Identify fetal lie and presentation

Assess if the pelvis is adequate

Update the individualized birth plans.

Above is a summary of the care most teaching hospitals and federal medical centres in Nigeria give to a pregnant woman- Focused Antenatal Care in Nigeria.

Traditional antenatal care in Nigeria

Still practised by most private hospitals and primary health care centres in Nigeria. In this method of pre care, visits to the antenatal clinics in normal pregnancy are regimental depending on the gestational age, so that women attend antenatal clinic every 4 weeks until 28 weeks then every two weeks until 36 weeks, then every week until delivery. Unlike in focused antenatal care which is 4 visits, the total number of visits in traditional antenatal care is 13. This is excellent when there are adequate numbers of health care providers to attend to these pregnant women. In situations where there are few health care providers to attend to a large number of pregnant women, this method may overload the service provided.

 

Sources

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/antenatal-classes-pregnant/

https://homehealth-uk.com/antenatalcare/

https://nimedhealth.com.ng/2017/12/01/antenatal-care-in-nigeria-focused-antenatal-care-in-nigeria-2/

 

 

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