Pregnancy and the role of the midwife

 

Pregnancy is the period when

Pregnancy is the period when

Pregnancy is the period when

Pregnancy is the period when

Pregnancy is the period when one or more fetuses grow in a woman’s womb. The period
takes approximately 40 weeks grouped into three (3) developmental phases called
trimesters thus first, second and third trimesters. During pregnancy, the woman
undergoes several physical, emotional as well as physiological changes in order to
accommodate for the growing fetus. To the woman and her family, it is a period of great
expectancy often leading to several social adjustments and the need for support.

Although many pregnancies are uneventful, complications can occur to any woman at any
phase of the pregnancy and this underpins the need for skilled care during pregnancy
referred to as antenatal care (ANC).

A midwife, being a skilled birth attendant plays a critical role in ensuring that every
pregnancy results into a healthy outcome. Indeed, the role of the midwife starts way
before the woman conceives during the provision of pre-conception care, to ensure that
the woman and her partner are in optimal health before conception.

It is important to note that a woman’s overall health status and that of her partner in
the pre-pregnancy period affects the outcome of the pregnancy.

During pregnancy, the care that a midwife provides comprises a set of interventions
aimed at promoting health, preventing diseases and complications, detecting any ill
health and preparing the woman for birth.

The professional midwife works in collaboration with other heath team members and is
well networked to provide referral services when needed. Women should therefore seek ANC
services as soon as they realize they are pregnant. It is recommended that a woman
receives a minimum of four (4) antenatal care visits spread across the pregnancy period.

Access to antenatal care from a skilled birth attendant greatly improves pregnancy
outcomes often preventing unnecessary maternal and neonatal deaths and morbidities.