Prenatal care is essential to assess the baby’s development during pregnancy. Through the exam, it is also possible to have control over the mother’s health, in the prevention, detection and early monitoring of some diseases, including vertically transmissible diseases.
“Care for the health of the mother and the baby must begin before delivery, at the beginning of pregnancy. This will considerably reduce the risks for the pregnant woman, avoid or even reduce the consequences of pathologies in the mother and baby, and allow for a healthy development of the child”, explains the obstetrician of Pró-Saúde, Waléria Plácido.
According to the obstetrician, who works at the Maternal-Infant Hospital of Barcarena Dr. Anna Turan (HMIB), in Pará, the main causes of maternal death are health complications due to pre-existing diseases, which may have arisen before pregnancy, such as like heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes.
In addition to these, there are also diseases that women can develop during pregnancy, such as urinary tract infections, anemia, gestational diabetes, and pregnancy hypertension. According to the doctor, with proper monitoring, the mother, with the support of the family and the professional, will be able to face these diseases early.
“After the first consultation, the ideal is this process of discovering some diseases to be diagnosed from a battery of tests that are part of the prenatal schedule, in order to draw the profile of the pregnant woman and the baby”, explains the obstetrician.
The professional points out that there are also other diseases that can be contracted, such as toxoplasmosis, cytomegalovirus, gonorrhea, herpes, coronavirus, rubella, among others. “It is necessary to track these diseases in the first trimester. The sooner the pregnant woman starts prenatal care, the better. The treatment is immediate”, emphasizes Waléria.
Diseases transmitted from mother to child
Some diseases can be transmitted from mother to baby during pregnancy, placentally, and this possibility can be detected by prenatal care and treated in time, such as syphilis, AIDS and hepatitis B and C.
Others can be transmitted in normal delivery. “This can happen, during the passage of the baby through the vaginal canal. The baby can be contaminated by HPV, hepatitis and herpes viruses”, says gynecologist Jorge Lúcio Oliveira, who works at the HMIB.
“The presence of these infections during pregnancy can affect the child and cause various complications, such as abortion, premature birth, congenital diseases or the death of the newborn”, points out the professional.
To diagnose the vertical transmission of sexually transmitted infections, pregnant women must be tested. “Thus, early diagnoses, with the use of rapid tests and adequate prenatal care, can reduce vertical transmission”, complements the gynecologist.
Main exams and care
Jorge also explains that there are several tests that are requested during prenatal care, which can bring these diagnoses. Among them, urine tests, blood typing, hemogram, determination of the Rh factor, fasting blood glucose, culture of vaginal secretions, ultrasounds, serology and venereal diseases, in addition to tests for HIV, rubella and toxoplasmosis.
“Even if the diagnosis for HIV, syphilis and hepatitis is negative during prenatal care or childbirth, the use of condoms during sexual intercourse is essential, including during pregnancy and during the breastfeeding period”, highlights the professional.
“In relation to viruses, it is important for pregnant women to avoid crowding, keep using a mask, to avoid the new coronavirus, rubella and cytomegalovirus, hygiene and food care, as well as keeping animal vaccinations up to date to avoid toxoplasmosis”, complements.
Anti-tetanus vaccines, against the H1N1 virus and against hepatitis B are also part of the prenatal schedule. And more complex exams can also be done according to each case.
Prenatal consultations must be carried out monthly until the 32nd week of pregnancy. From that moment on, the consultations become fortnightly and, after 36 weeks, with a weekly frequency.
During consultations, the height of the fundus of the uterus, blood pressure, weight and other data of the pregnant woman are also recorded. All information about the patient is recorded on a prenatal monitoring card, which remains with the mother.
Inaugurated in 2018, the Maternal-Infant in Barcarena provides 100% care through the SUS (Unified Health System). The unit is part of the public health network of the Government of Pará, being managed by the philanthropic entity Pró-Saúde, through a management contract with the State Department of Public Health (Sespa).
In almost three years of operation, the unit has already performed 4,000 deliveries and about 165 thousand consultations, including consultations, hospitalizations, exams and surgeries. In the month that symbolizes the fight to encourage breastfeeding, with the Golden August campaign, the Maternal and Child Hospital of Barcarena becomes the first hospital in the Lower Tocantins Region to receive the title of the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (IHAC).
The certification is granted by the Ministry of Health to institutions that comply with the “Ten Steps” for Successful Breastfeeding, established by UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund) and the World Health Organization (WHO), and the criteria of qualification established by Ordinance No. 1.153/2014.