Becoming a mom is without any doubt one of life’s greatest blessings. Unfortunately, not all pregnancies are smooth sailing as many are marred by complications and problematic births. In fact, birth injuries are very common in South Africa with the infant mortality rate sitting at a staggering 32.99 deaths per 100,000 live births. While not all pregnancy complications and birth injuries can be prevented or predicted, making your prenatal health a priority will increase your chances of a healthy pregnancy and delivery considerably.
Do Some Research
Chances are you already have a GP that you are very happy with and who is able to manage your natural birth or perform a C-section. If not, remember that it is always a good idea to do some research before choosing an obstetrician. Make sure they have the credentials required to give you and your unborn baby the level of care you are entitled to and deserve. There is plenty of information and reviews available online that can help make your decision easier. Any reputable birth injury lawyer will reiterate that a medical professional, whether it is a doctor or a nurse, has a duty to perform within acceptable medical standards. Although the South African healthcare system has many flaws there are also many superb public health care services available to expectant moms.
Go for Your Check-ups
Going for regular check-ups during your pregnancy is extremely important for both you and your baby. It allows for the early detection of any possible complications and also enables your medical team to prepare for the delivery of your baby better, thus reducing the risk of a birth injury. A check-up also provides the expectant mom to ask questions about things she does not understand or concerns she may have. In order for your doctor or clinic to provide you with the best possible prenatal care, you need to provide them with as much accurate and relevant information as possible. If you withhold any details it might compromise your own or your baby’s well-being.
Steer Clear of Dangerous Substances
South Africa has the highest prevalence of fetal alcohol syndrome in the world with rates going up to 28% in some communities. When you consume alcohol while pregnant, it enters your bloodstream and is carried through the placental tissue, delivering it straight to the developing fetus where it does severe damage to the brain. It is therefore in both your and your baby’s best interest if you avoid drugs and alcohol at all costs while you are pregnant. Even the use of some prescription and over-the-counter medications can be very detrimental while pregnant. Always check with your healthcare provider before taking any medication.
When you are pregnant it is extremely important to do everything in your power to ensure that both you and your unborn baby are safe and healthy. Not only will it help ensure you carry your baby to term but it will also make it easier to identify possible complications while also reducing the risk of birth injury considerably.