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Lesson 4.4 Pre- natal Care

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Lesson 4.4 Pre- natal Care

  1. 1. The importance of pre – natal care
  2. 2. The importance of pre – natal care •During the pre natal period , the foetus relies upon its mother for all functions. The healthier the mother, the stronger and healthier the baby will be. •Diet a. In pregnancy, the mother has to provide the necessary nutrients for the growth of her foetus as well as her own needs. b. Extra protein is required during pregnancy to allow for the growth of the foetus and extra tissues in the mother such as the placenta, uterus, blood and breasts.
  3. 3. c. The mother’s diet should also contain sufficient vitamin D, calcium, phosphorus iron, folic acid and vitamin C. d. Vitamin D aids in the absorption of calcium and phosphorus are essential for the formation of foetal bones. If the mother’s diet is deficient in these two elements, they will be absorbed from her own bones. e. Iron and folic acid are needed for the formation of foetal blood. f. Deficiency of folic acid is linked to central nervous system defects. g. Vitamin C is concerned with the formation of healthy skin.
  4. 4. •Cigarette smoke a. Cigarette smoke contains carbon monoxide, nicotine and tar. b. Cigarette smoking reduces the amount of oxygen available to the foetus because carbon monoxide reduces the oxygen carrying capacity of haemoglobin. c. Nicotine causes the blood vessels to constrict. This reduces blood flow through the placenta. d. Mothers who smoke deliver babies with lower – than – average birth weights. e. Premature birth and late miscarriage are common in smokers.
  5. 5. Alcohol a. Alcohol can pass through the placenta easily. b. When a woman drinks heavily during pregnancy, the baby maybe born with foetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) c. FAS babies have mental retardation, small brains, poor muscles bone, low birth weight and behavioral problems such as hyperactive and poor concentration.
  6. 6. •Drugs a. The foetus is very sensitive to drugs such as cocaine and heroin. b. If a mother is addicted to one of these drugs, her foetus is also likely to become addicted and will show withdrawal symptoms after birth. c. Permanent brain damage of the foetus results in mental retardation or behavioral problems in later life. d. The babies have low birth weights and heart defects in severe cases.