Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Antenatal care and conditions affecting pregnancy

Antenatal care: Antenatal care is the care that you receive from healthcare professionals during your pregnancy. You will be offered a series of appointments with a midwife, or sometimes with a doctor (an obstetrician). They will check that you and your baby are well, give you useful advices about being pregnant and what to expect as well as answering any questions you may have.
As soon as you know you are pregnant, you should get in touch with a midwife or your GP to organize your antenatal care. It’s best to see them as early as possible. Let your midwife know if you have a disability that means you have special requirements for your antenatal appointments or labor. If you don’t speak English, let your midwife know and arrangements will be made for an interpreter.
It is important to tell your midwife or doctor if:
There were any complications or infections in a previous pregnancy or delivery, such as pre-eclampsia or premature birth
You are being treated for a chronic disease such as diabetes or high blood pressure
You or anyone in your family has previously had a baby with an abnormality, for example spina bifida   
There is a family history of an inherited disease, for example sickle cell or cystic fibrosis.   
If you are working, you have the right to paid time off for your antenatal care.
Antenatal care advices   
An important part of antenatal care is getting advices that will help you to make informed choices about your pregnancy. Your midwife or doctor should give you advices in writing or some other form that you can easily use and understand. Your midwife or doctor should provide you with advices in an appropriate format if you:
have a physical, learning or sensory disability
do not speak or read English. You may have lots of things you want to ask the midwife. It’s a good idea to write your questions down, so you don’t forget.
If you have any questions or worries, talk to your midwife or doctor. Talking is as much a part of antenatal care as tests and examinations.

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