Antenatal care involves consults, examinations and ultrasound scan during pregnancy, whereas postnatal care happens from the time you have delivered your baby to 6 weeks after.
What happens in each
Antenatal care typically involves monthly visits where you consult with your obstetrician about your medical history, the pregnancy’s progress, and any problems you may have. You are then examined, and the baby is checked clinically and sometimes with an ultrasound. Blood testing and urine are also checked.
You typically have 6-8 antenatal visits if there is no complication. If any issues are found, you may have to see the doctor more frequently, get treatment or be admitted to the hospital for closer observation and care.
The postnatal period is from the day the baby is born to 6 weeks after. It is an important but often ignored time because most of the focus is on the baby. It is the time where the body goes back to a variation of its pre-pregnancy appearance and function.
Examples of changes include weight loss, a flatter stomach, the womb shrinks to a smaller size, change in hormone levels, dark marks and lines on your skin fade away. Its also a time when new things start to function, such as breast milk production. Many mental adjustments occur after having a baby due to lack of sleep, hormone changes and societal expectations. This is also a critical time where postnatal depression can appear, so get lots of support.
What is the role of an ObGyn in antenatal and postnatal care
We detect problems and refer, if needed, to educate and support a woman during this time.