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The A-Z of a healthy pregnancy in one week Print E-mail
10 February 2017
Pregnancy

All things antenatal and postnatal are in the spotlight as the City of Johannesburg celebrates Pregnancy Awareness Week, an integral part of the Reproductive Health Awareness Month that is observed nationally in February every year.

Pregnancy Awareness Week is officially celebrated during the first week of the month but the City has planned activities that stretch up to Saturday February 18.

The City’s Health Department has since the beginning of the month been hosting health talks and discussions, rolling out screening and testing drives and educating women and the general public about healthy pregnancies and healthy babies.

“There are too many women, young and old, who often find themselves alone, frustrated and even scared during pregnancy. As the City we feel it is important to create and support awareness around pregnancy and the importance of antenatal care to promote a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby,” says Member of the Mayoral Committee for Health Dr Mpho Louisa Phalatse.

The week’s activities include talks on maternal health with particular focus on the importance of ensuring an early antenatal care booking, correct nutrition and how best to ensure the optimal health of both mother and baby.

Region A sessions will be held at Kanana Hall in Ward 80 on Tuesday February 14 and at the Catholic Church in Ward 79 on Friday February 17.

Region E will host a health education drive focusing on the advantages of early ante-natal care, and blood pressure and HGT cervical cancer screening at Alex Plaza in Ward 91 on Saturday February 18.

All drives will include the activation of Momconnect for women found to be pregnant during the campaign. Momconnect is a mobile support platform with free advice and updates on your baby’s growth and reminders about clinic dates, tests and medication your child will need during pregnancy and until he or she child turns a year old.

The national Department of Health advises that early antenatal care bookings are advantageous for a number of reasons and provide screenings for problems that may affect a healthy pregnancy outcome, such as hypertension and heart disease and counsel and advise interventions accordingly.

Other benefits include:

  • The opportunity to assess pregnancy risks such as previous caesarean sections and foetal abnormalities;
  • Providing advice and administering medications that may improve pregnancy outcomes such vitamins;
  • Iron preparations and antiretroviral therapy if HIV positive; and
  • Enhancing physical and psychological preparation for childbirth and parenthood.

Each year the City’s health centres assist thousands of women and children with a wide variety of antenatal and postnatal health offerings.

Statistics show that more than 50 000 women visited City health facilities for their first antenatal care in the 2015-2016 financial year.

Antenatal care services, including prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV, and post-natal services are provided at 81 of the 82 fixed facilities across the City.

 

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Last Updated on 10 February 2017