What is Antenatal Care and why is it required?

Antenatal care is the health care given to both the mother and the baby from the time of conception till the time of delivery. Systematic and comprehensive care, keeping in mind well being of both the mother and the fetus, given throughout the pregnancy reduces the chance of problems during pregnancy and delivery.

The aim of such care is to have a healthy mother and baby at the end of pregnancy.


  1. Protection and maintenance of would-be-mother’s health.
  2. Detect high-risk pregnancies and deal with them appropriately.
  3. Anticipate likely complications and avoid them
  4. Preparation of the mother both physically and mentally to:
    • Carry her pregnancy well
    • Go through the process of labor and delivery smoothly
    • Help her in adapting and adjusting to her status of motherhood
    • Educate her about breast-feeding, care of baby, personal hygiene


Ideally a pregnant woman must visit her doctor once every month till seven months of pregnancy, twice a month for the next 2 months and then weekly till she delivers. First 4-5 months she can even follow-up with her family physician, provided there are NO complications.

If this is not possible, a minimum of 4 visits must be made at the following intervals:

  • 1st visit before completion of 3 months
  • 2nd visit during the 6th month
  • 3rd visit during the 8th month
  • 4th visit during the 9th month