Early Detection and Regular Clinic Visits are Key to a Healthy Pregnancy
Western Cape Government Health in the Cape Winelands wishes to congratulate the 13 152 moms who entrusted their pregnancy to us during the last year and encourage all our current and prospective moms-to-be to visit their clinic as per appointment. During this exciting time, the department wants to remind our patients that all our clinics and hospitals have highly trained professional nurses, midwives, doctors and specialists that will assist you with advice and education throughout your pregnancy.
Early detection of pregnancy remains the key to a healthy pregnancy and safe delivery of your baby. All patients who suspect they are pregnant or who have missed more than two menstrual cycles should visit the clinic or health facility closest to them as soon as possible. If you, like many of our rural patients, are working on a farm or live far from a clinic, find out from the farm manager on which day the mobile clinic or community care worker visits your area so that you can confirm your pregnancy.
When you visit the antenatal clinic as a newly pregnant patient, you will be closely monitored by the specially trained professional nurse/midwife. At the first visit, the pregnancy will be confirmed, blood tests will be performed and an appointment for you to have a sonar will be made. The sonar is a painless, safe method for the healthcare worker to see that your baby is healthy and normal and that the pregnancy is progressing as it should. All women with pregnancies under 20 weeks (four months) will have sonar and receive the first photograph of their babies. You will have the opportunity to meet other moms-to-be and make new friends when you visit the clinic.
The results of the blood tests will be discussed with the mother at her next visit. If the mother needs any medication these will be prescribed. It is very important for HIV-positive mothers to start anti-retroviral (ARV) treatment early in their pregnancy to avoid transmission of HIV to their babies.
Should a mother be diagnosed as a high-risk patient, she will be referred to a high-risk antenatal clinic at the nearest hospital.
Factors that indicate a high-risk patient include, but are not exclusive to:
- A mother under 16 or older than 35 years will be regarded as a high-risk pregnancy due to the higher chance of complications.
- High blood pressure, diabetes and other chronic illnesses.
- History of genetic disorders.
- A multiple pregnancy (twins or triplets).
- Previous caesarean section.
The patient will be given regular dates for appointments. At these visits, the mother will be weighed, her blood pressure taken and her urine tested.
Western Cape Minister of Health, Theuns Botha, encourages pregnant women to use the health services on offer to ensure a happy pregnancy. "Our clinics offer excellent antenatal support and it is to every new mother's benefit to ensure that she visit her clinic on time every time. In the long-term, this will be to your benefit and the health of your baby."
Our staff will advise you on all facets of your pregnancy, and equip you with knowledge about nutrition during and after pregnancy, what to expect during labour, feeding options and advice on baby care.
Our children are our future; visit your clinic so that you can do all that you can to have a healthy, happy pregnancy.