Birth

Antenatal (Pre-Birth) Health Services

(Service)
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.

Birth/Labour Services

(Service)
Mothers can deliver at fixed clinics or Midwife Obstetric Units (MOUs), which are run by midwives in the community for primary healthcare patients. If complications arise during birth then they will be transferred to a hospital up the line. Mothers who are HIV positive can join the Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission service.

Exclusive Breastfeeding

(Public Information)
This brochure provides information to mothers on the benefits of breastfeeding exclusively for the first six months of their babies' lives. The pamphlet also answers some of the tricky questions about breastfeeding.

Give Your Baby the Best Start in Life – Don't Drink During Pregnancy

(Service)
Foetal Alcohol Syndrome or FAS is a common, preventable form of intellectual disability and a serious public health problem in the Western Cape. FAS affects children by slowing their physical growth and results in central nervous system abnormalities. Children are born with FAS when their mothers drink alcohol while they are pregnant. Alcohol can cause irreversible damage to the developing foetus.

Human Genetic Services (Birth Defects)

(Service)
It is estimated that 150 000 children born annually in South Africa are affected by a significant birth defect or genetic disorder by the age of five years. The National Department of Health focuses on 10 conditions, with the most common conditions being: Albinism Downs Syndrome Foetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) Neural tube defects (spina bifida) The Western Cape also focuses on these conditions (except for albinism, which has a low incidence), with FAS having the highest priority.

Post-Natal (After Birth) Health Care

(Service)
Post natal services become available after the mother and her newborn have been discharged from the MOU or Clinic. This usually happens six hours after the birth if both mother and baby are in good health.After The Birth

Pregnancy Testing

(Service)
Women and girls whose menstrual periods are one or more weeks late are advised to have a pregnancy test. These tests are free at primary health clinics and other health facilities. However, they are not always available. Pregnancy testing kits can be bought at a pharmacy. The nurse will ask for a urine sample, which will be tested.

Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT)

(Service)
Mother-to-child transmission of HIV is the most common way young children contract the virus and happens when HIV is passed from a mother to her unborn baby during pregnancy, birth or breastfeeding.  An effective Prevention of Mother to Child Transmissions (PMTCT) programme requires mothers and their babies to:

Registering the birth of your child

(Service)
You need to register your child within 30 days at your nearest Department of Home Affairs (DHA) office if you're in South Africa, or the nearest South African embassy, mission or consulate if you're overseas.  When you register your child, you will receive an unabridged/complete birth certificate free of charge.