Antenatal care is essential for protecting the health of women and their unborn children. Through this form of preventive health care, women can learn from skilled health personnel about healthy behaviours during pregnancy, better understand warning signs during pregnancy and childbirth, and receive social, emotional and psychological support at this critical time in their lives. Through antenatal care, pregnant women can also access micronutrient supplementation, treatment for hypertension to prevent eclampsia, as well as immunization against tetanus. Antenatal care can also provide HIV testing and medications to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV. In areas where malaria is endemic, health personnel can provide pregnant women with medications and insecticide-treated mosquito nets to help prevent this debilitating and sometimes deadly disease.

If you’re still unsure of how pre-natal assistance can benefit you and your child, here are a few reasons to help you decide:


Good antenatal care includes regular screening which can detect and prevent early complications such as hypertension and pregnancy diabetes; both of which can dramatically affect the foetus. Early detection means regular monitoring and treatment. St John Medical provides screening services that measure heart rate and monitor the baby. The clinic includes an obstetrician and midwife, who both assist with mum and foetus wellbeing.

Best nutrition

There are certain foods that should be avoided during pregnancy. Foods such as raw fish, undercooked eggs, and unpasteurised/soft cheese, contain enzymes and proteins that are dangerous to a developing foetus. Your immune system is also working for two, making it more susceptible to bacterial attacks. Chat to your antenatal provider about what foods to stay away from.

Important vitamins

Prenatal vitamins play a big part in the health of your child. Even with a healthy diet, you will need supplements due to the additional hard work your body is doing. Additional key nutrients are typically found in folic acid and pregnancy multivitamins, both of which help support neural tube defects, baby’s development, and the prevention of anaemia.


Getting antenatal care is good for you and your baby. Women who attend regular antenatal care usually:

  • Have healthier babies
  • Don’t tend to have premature babies
  • Get treatment for health problems early so they are less likely to cause serious complications for them or their babies

It is good to see a doctor, nurse or midwife as soon as you think you’re pregnant. It’s best to start your antenatal care in the first few months of pregnancy; the earlier the better.

Your first visit is to enable you book in the antenatal clinic. It provides your midwife with valuable background information about you, and the midwife will book you in for maternity care provided by your health centre or hospital. If you decide later in pregnancy that you want to give birth at a different hospital, you can discuss with your health provider.