Antenatal refers to something occurring before, during, or associated with childbirth. Antenatal care is the assistance you get from your medical professionals. It is also known as pregnancy care or maternity care.
Antenatal classes will help you feel more confident and knowledgeable about your pregnancy journey while preparing you for the delivery of your child. In most cases, they are enjoyable and educational.
You may be curious about when to begin your antenatal classes. When a pregnancy has been officially confirmed, you can register for antenatal anywhere between the confirmation date and 12 weeks. However, some pregnant women wait until the last minute to consult their doctor. Register for antenatal classes to watch your baby's growth and development as soon as possible.
What are the benefits of antenatal classes?
For the safety of you and your child’s health.
To prepare you and your spouse for pregnancy, labour, giving birth, nursing, and caring for a newborn.
To reduce maternal and infant deaths.
To evaluate your health before delivery.
To avoid unexpected pregnancy problems.
How many visits do you need to attend?
You require roughly 8-10 antenatal appointments if this is your first child and 7-9 visits if you have had a baby before. For average pregnancies, the Focused Antenatal Care recommendation of the World Health Organization suggests a minimum of four visits. The fact that this is the bare minimum of visits permitted in healthy pregnancies doesn't stop the possibility of more visits.
The Focused Antenatal Care Program requires specific tests to be performed at each visit, including the following:
The initial appointment, which should occur between 1 and 16 weeks after conception, is when the healthcare professional will screen and treat anaemia, start malaria prevention, and plan the patient's unique antenatal care and delivery.
The second appointment, between 24 and 28 weeks, involves checking for anaemia, listening to your complaints, an ultrasound to examine the foetus' health, checking for multiple pregnancies, and ruling out any anomalies.
The healthcare professional will discuss delivery plans and check for pre-eclampsia, multiple pregnancies, and anaemia at the third appointment, which occurs at 32 weeks.
The fourth and final appointment, which occurs at 36 weeks, includes checking for anaemia, determining the foetal position and presentation, determining whether the pelvis is adequate, and revising the unique delivery plans.
What to expect in your first hospital antenatal appointment
The first pregnancy visit may cause many women to appear highly anxious. But there is no cause for concern here. You'll find other first-timers at the hospital like you and women expecting another baby. Please take note that you should register first. You may be requested to perform tests and check-ups.
You will be asked if this is your first pregnancy or you have previously given birth. They’ll question you about your age and medical background.
To forecast the delivery date, you will be asked for the precise date of your last period.
You would be questioned about your symptoms and any complaints you may have.
They will check your blood pressure, urine, weight, and blood sugar.
A pelvic scan (ultrasound) may be requested to check your baby's health.
Additionally, there will be general talks about what you should and shouldn't do as a pregnant woman to safeguard the health of your unborn child. For example, what to eat and what to avoid.
How much are antenatal classes?
Depending on the healthcare provider and area, antenatal class in Nigeria can range in price from a few thousand naira to hundreds of thousands.
In government-run hospitals and maternity homes, where the government subsidises costs, antenatal class is typically more economical in Nigeria. In government facilities, it is roughly N30000– N35000, while in private and specialised hospitals, it is roughly between #N100000– N1,000,000.
Private or government hospitals: which is better for antenatal classes?
You can get antenatal care in Nigeria at several places, including maternity clinics, governmental hospitals, and private hospitals. Accessibility, affordability, and care quality are just a few conditions that may affect the healthcare institution of choice.
Selecting a healthcare centre with skilled healthcare professionals and sufficient resources to offer thorough prenatal care is recommended. Although antenatal classes are optional, they are crucial and necessary to monitor the mother and child's health and ensure no information is missed. You shouldn't, for any reason, skip this class.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Why is antenatal class important?
Because they help to monitor the health of mother and child.
- Must I attend every antenatal class?
You shouldn't skip antenatal classes for any reason; if you need to, report to your doctor.
- What happens if I don't attend antenatal classes?
You may miss crucial information about your baby's growth and development.
Join over 200,000 Nigerian preggos in Nigeria's largest online antenatal class, PreggClass. Not all your antenatal concerns and questions will be answered in the hospital. With only N10,000, you gain 24/7 access to medical professionals, practical classes, live sessions, labour, delivery and motherhood classes. For more information, contact us on WhatsApp.