Published on: 08 February 2024 Category: Media Statement

Pregnancy Awareness Week, which takes place from 06 - 10 February 2024, aims to increase pregnancy education and highlight crucial topics that foster a healthy pregnancy and secure motherhood.

Early antenatal care is vital, as this allows your medical caregivers to monitor and manage existing medical conditions that can be aggravated by pregnancy, such as hypertension, diabetes and anaemia. Mothers can also recognise early danger signs during their pregnancy and prepare for the birth and complications which may arise.

Benefits of early antenatal care: • Free HIV testing and counselling is available. • Early identification of pregnancy and post-delivery danger indicators, as well as preparation for birth and potential complications. • Self-care which includes diet and cleanliness, as well as education about the roles of fathers, partners, and families. Additionally, pregnant women should know their rights, which include: • A woman's right to choose a birthing partner who will support her during her pregnancy and childbirth, as well as accompany her to the antenatal care clinic when she goes into labour. • Women have the right to be treated with respect, dignity, and confidentiality. • The right of the woman to ask questions and receive explanations regarding her condition.

While postnatal depression is well known, depression during pregnancy is nearly as frequent and carries concerns of increased difficulties throughout the pregnancy and labour. There is effective medication available to lessen the dangers. Psychotherapy, group therapy, and even antenatal support groups are all extremely beneficial. Antidepressants are effective and when used in consultation with the mother's healthcare provider, are generally safe during pregnancy.

“As we are observing pregnancy awareness week, I encourage all women who suspect that they may be pregnant to visit their nearest clinics to ensure that their babies are safe and healthy and immediately enrol with an ante-natal class provided at their local primary healthcare facility. For teenagers who are first-time mothers-to-be, we have mentor mothers who can assist them throughout their pregnancy journey and ensure a safe delivery” said MEC Madoda Sambatha. -ENDS-

Enquiries: Tebogo Lekgethwane Departmental Spokesperson 0674227763


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