Antenatal (Pre-Birth) Health Services | Western Cape Government

Antenatal (Pre-Birth) Health Services

Pregnant girls and women are referred to maternity services or Midwife Obstetric Units (MOUs) in urban areas and satellite or fixed clinics in the rural areas. MOUs are birthing units run by midwives in the community for primary healthcare patients. It's advisable for expectant mothers to book their first visit to the clinic before 20 weeks or as soon as possible thereafter.

The mother is given a full initial assessment and counselling when she comes for her first antenatal visit, also known as the booking visit. The pregnancy is monitored through regular follow-up visits.
The mother's health is also closely monitored. She will be weighed, her blood pressure taken and urine tested. If there are no complications, she should return for her first follow-up visit after two weeks for the results of the tests taken during the booking visit. After this, she must return to the clinic every six weeks up to 28 weeks, then at 34 weeks, thereafter as indicated by the clinic/MOU staff (frequency of visits may differ from area to area).

Pregnant mothers are screened for possible risks to their health and the health of the foetus. Both teenage girls and women over 35 years old who are pregnant are regarded as high-risk cases. This means that they are more likely to have complications during pregnancy and birth. Pregnant women may also be seen to be high risk if they have raised blood pressure, a history of genetic disorders, a multiple pregnancy and if they have had previous surgery such as a caesarean section. Mothers who are diagnosed as high risk are referred up the line to outpatient antenatal clinics at the secondary or tertiary level hospitals, where further investigations and screening tests are carried out. Mothers with high-risk pregnancies are advised to attend outpatient antenatal clinics as often as necessary.

If you are a first time visitor to a health facility, you will be asked to
  • Fill out a form and a folder will be opened.
  • Your identity document (ID).
  • Any medication you are taking.
  • Clinic or hospital card if previously registered at the facility.

Low-risk pregnancies are managed at MOUs (birthing units run by midwives in the community for primary healthcare patients) in urban areas, and satellite and fixed clinics in the rural areas. High-risk pregnancies are managed at outpatient clinics at urban and rural regional hospitals and tertiary hospitals.

Provided At: These facility categories:
Provided by:
Government Body: (Western Cape Government)
Services are free of charge.
The content on this page was last updated on 5 September 2013