10 - 16 February
The Department of Health uses Pregnancy Awareness Week to strengthen pregnancy education and stress important issues that promote healthy pregnancy and safe motherhood.
Pregnant women should start attending antenatal care as soon as they suspect that they are pregnant and certainly within their first trimester.
Early antenatal care attendance provides:
- the opportunity to exclude and manage existing medical conditions which can be aggravated by the pregnancy, such as hypertension, diabetes, infections and anaemia
- free HIV testing and voluntary counselling (VCT)
- early recognition of danger signs in pregnancy and post delivery
- birth preparedness and complication readiness
- self care including nutrition and high standard of hygiene
- information on the role of the father, the male partner and the family.
Pregnant women need to know their rights, including:
- The right of a woman to choose her companion who will provide her with support during pregnancy and childbirth, and who will accompany her to the antenatal care clinic as well as she goes into labour.
- The right of the woman to be treated with respect, dignity and confidentiality
- The right of the woman to ask questions and also to get explanation about her condition.
Government services during pregnancy