Prenatal vs Antenatal

The experience of starting a new family is filled with excitement and happiness; however, at times it can be quite intimidating at times. What’s important is to get in touch with a doctor as soon as you find out that you are pregnant to have a prenatal and antenatal care in order to have proper maternity health needs and preferences that are taken in account on a timely basis. With that, it is equally imperative to know the differences between prenatal and antenatal.

General health advice for future dads and mothers are included in prenatal care that ensures a healthy pregnancy for the woman with things she should be doing and things she should be avoiding. Couples that wish for a family and find it hard, are given fertility advice by specialists.

This phase (meaning before birth) starts 3 months before you try to conceive. It requires regular visits to the doctor to identify any problems and for decreasing the risk of pregnancy with a healthy delivery in future. There is a triple chance of the baby being born with low birth are five times more likely to die weight if there is no prenatal care received by the mother.  The objectives of prenatal care are to check for complications and look for ways to prevent them, maintain mother’s health and detect high-risk cases. Some healthy habits that a doctor recommends are dietary supplements, quitting smoking and alcohol, avoiding contact with toxic substances at work even the chemicals at home and talking about prescription drugs or over-the-counter drugs that you take.

On the other hand, antenatal care is basically the care where baby and mother are monitored regularly by healthcare professionals as the pregnancy progresses (it is the care in pregnancy phase). It includes a team of a doctor, a specialized doctor in this field and a midwife. Healthy eating advice, exercise advice during the pregnancy phase and other useful information is given by the midwife or doctor. There are also breastfeeding education classes and antenatal classes.

You can start your antenatal care as soon as you find out your pregnancy by taking an appointment and discussing things about your future visits, planning to give birth at a public hospital, a birth center or a private hospital. You will then be under monitoring for the next nine months and on the first visit, you will be given information on antenatal screening tests, folic acid, vitamin D supplements, nutrition, diet and lifestyle factors that might affect your health like alcohol and smoking. If you have special health needs or had complications previously, you might be required to have more antenatal visits. The objectives of antenatal care are to keep a check if everything is stable. Your visits will include measuring of weight gain, monitoring of blood pressure, monitoring the baby’s growth and heart rate, a blood test for your blood type, anaemia and HIV along with a special diet and exercise.

With that said, each of them has their own roles and it is imperative that a future couple keeps both of them in mind when planning for a child to ensure safety by all means.