Pregnancy Testing and Prenatal Care: Understanding Your Options

Pregnancy Testing & Prenatal Care

Bringing life into the world is a big step. It comes with a range of emotions, such as excitement, stress, joy, fear, and perhaps even confusion. Not only does a mother need to prepare for big changes after her little one arrives, but she will be dealing with physical and emotional changes during the pregnancy as well. Having the right support and medical guidance to help facilitate this process is essential. We at The Local Choice understand the demanding journey before, during, and after pregnancy, which is why we assist with family planning, testing, and prenatal care. If you are thinking of starting a family or having another baby, then you may find the following information helpful.

What Is Family Planning?

Voluntary family planning is a vital human right and plays a key role in women’s empowerment today. It is the ability of parents to plan for and anticipate the number of children they wish to have, when they want to have them. It ensures that couples have access to contraceptives, understand fertility and reproductive health, and can plan properly for a child. Family planning has several benefits, such as:

  • Complications in pregnant women are minimised. Conditions such as high blood pressure, gestational diabetes, or even miscarriages can be reduced in women who are aware of the risks of falling pregnant.
  • Unplanned pregnancies, especially in young girls, are reduced. Females between 10 to 19 years of age are at a higher risk of having a preterm birth, and these babies also have an increased chance of neonatal mortality.
  • Improved health and well-being of the mother, which greatly improves the baby’s health and chance of survival.
  • Awareness of prenatal care, which is important for the future health of the baby.
  • Sexually transmitted infections are minimised due to couples practising protected sex.

When is Pregnancy Testing Needed?

Even women who practise safe sex and use birth control have a chance of falling pregnant because there is room for error. Pregnancy testing, fortunately, makes it easy to find out whether you are pregnant. Over-the-counter tests use urine to determine whether a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) is in your system, which is present in pregnant women. Some at-home testing kits are quite different from each other, but usually involve urinating on a testing stick or dipping it in collected urine. After the waiting period, a marker on the stick (such as a line, colour, or symbol) will indicate if you are pregnant or not. When instructions are followed correctly, these tests are generally quite accurate. It is important, however, that you do not take the test too early in your cycle as it may display a false positive. It is always best to wait until the week after your first missed period (or at least one to two weeks after you had sexual intercourse).

Why Prenatal Care is Essential

Prenatal care, with the help of medical professionals, is vital to the health of both baby and mother during and after pregnancy. It entails regular appointments with healthcare providers that prioritise health screenings and various tests to ensure all is well. Lifestyle factors also form part of prenatal care. Proper nutrition, exercise, and sleep are more important than ever. Pregnant women are encouraged to eat a balanced diet, take prenatal supplements, and ensure they are getting enough calcium, iron, folate, and fluids.

Let Us Assist You with Essential Reproductive Health Services

A healthy pregnancy begins long before you fall pregnant. It starts with careful planning and consideration, education, and the right support. Our clinics (at selected locations) will assist you with family planning, reproductive health advice, pregnancy testing, prenatal care support, and links to healthcare practitioners near you. Our compassionate team and holistic approach to health will ensure that you are in the best hands.

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