The union between a man and a woman in marriage has been described by many as a miracle, whereby a man and his wife becomes one. However, a bigger miracle ensues when the union of these two individuals soon bring the number of the family to three (or more) through pregnancy. Pregnancy is a thing of joy and a sign of fruitfulness. Pregnant women should count themselves fortunate for being a vessel that would birth a new life. But, how will a woman tell or detect that she is pregnant in good time? What necessary preparations should a pregnant woman make in ensuring perfect health condition for herself and her baby? The answers are not far to seek.
The most common sign of pregnancy for most women is absence of the monthly menstrual flow, although some women pass through some other initial experiences signalling that a little ‘addition’ is on the way. Such signs include dizziness, morning sickness, fainting, vomiting, cramping, etc. Once a woman misses her period, she should consult with her doctor who will prescribe some tests. If the tests confirms pregnancy, she should start making preparations towards delivery as soon as possible.
After confirmation of pregnancy, a woman should make it a point of duty to visit the hospital regularly so that proper care can be assured for her and the expected baby/babies. Ante-natal care (before delivery care) is important for the following reasons:
1. It gives the mother-to-be the privilege of being given optimal healthcare, which puts her in a position of giving birth to a healthy child.
2. It helps to detect abnormalities or possible complications as early as possible. This could help in averting further mishaps by way of preserving the lives of the pregnant woman and her baby.
3. Ante-natal instill in the mother-to-be such expectations and duties of her anticipated position. Awareness is created and all forms of ignorance and fears about labor is erased.
Cautions And Precautions To Consider
It is expected that when a pregnant woman makes her first visit to the hospital, her vital sciences would be taken; which will include basic history of her past and current pregnancy. This is to enable the medical practitioner record any condition or abnormality that may negatively affect the present pregnancy. Record would also be taken about the social, surgical and menstrual histories of the pregnant woman. At this point, she must open up to the doctor if there are medications she has been taking, in order to avoid wrong medications that may affect the health or life of the baby. The caution here is that, pregnant women ought to abstain from all medications excluding those prescribed to her by the doctor.
Guidelines will likely be given about her diet and lifestyles, if she visits the right hospital. After some months into the pregnancy, the doctor may regulate her diet or prescribe vitamins and nutritional supplements. Good ante-natal care is very paramount and it is a very good tool in cutting down unnecessary deaths of pregnant women during pregnancy and at child birth. Needless to emphasize the helpful role it plays in salvaging the lives of babies that would have been lost to lack of ante-natal care and medical neglect.
Pregnancy lasts for 280 days, when you count from the first day of the last menstrual period which accounts for 40 weeks estimated for the pregnancy. There could also be 14 days before or after the estimated 40 weeks or 280 days. This difference is however considered normal according to the 1959 congress of the International Federation of Gynaecology and Obstetrics in Geneva.
Apart from registering in a good hospital, a pregnant woman ought to prepare herself mentally and begin a relationship with her baby by speaking positive words to her child even before he/she is born. This stance has been confirmed by findings in science that babies can hear and respond to these overtures of the mother right there in the womb. Educationists also believe that the education of an individual starts from the womb.
Therefore, it is important for all pregnant women to instruct their babies (in the form of foetus) to stay healthy, to stay alive and to be delivered effortlessly at the appointed time. By so doing, the pregnant woman would be mentally prepared for delivery because she believes that her baby will cooperate with her at the set time.