Teens will be the focus during Pregnancy Awareness Week, which will be observed from February 12 to 16.
The City will be shining a spotlight on its services at clinics and highlighting basic antenatal care (BANC).
Mayco member for community services and health, Patricia van der Ross, said: “The aim of this week is to reduce pregnancy-related complications and the number of negative outcomes during pregnancy for both mother and baby. Pregnant women should begin visiting antenatal care as soon as they know they’re pregnant, within the first three months of their pregnancy or as soon as 12 weeks.”
The Health Department aims to ensure that 47% of all expectant women register for BANC before they reach the 14-week mark and 72% of all expectant women register before they reach 20 weeks.
“Another concern our health staff will focus on is teenage pregnancies. Not only do adolescent pregnancies have a detrimental impact on our nation's economic growth and productivity, communities and families, but it can disrupt the young mother’s education, which puts her future at risk,” said Van der Ross.
Some of the events at City clinics this week include campaigns to raise awareness of pregnancy-related danger signs and symptoms, BANC, birth preparedness, complication readiness and early recognition of danger signs in pregnancy and post-delivery, and management of existing medical conditions which can be aggravated by the pregnancy, such as hypertension, diabetes, infections and anaemia.
Health-care workers will also check blood pressure, test urine and the weight of the moms-to-be.
Expectant mothers are reminded that a healthy diet and exercise, personal hygiene and breast care are paramount.
If you suspect you may be pregnant, visit your nearest clinic for a pregnancy test. Early pregnancy care, before 14 weeks of pregnancy, will ensure that you and your baby are safe and healthy.
City health also provides reproductive health services for women who want to prevent pregnancy and includes oral and injectable contraception methods, intra-uterine and other hormonal devices, male and female condoms, as well as counselling and testing for sexually transmitted infections. Sexual education sessions and reproductive health services are offered to young people from Monday to Friday from 2pm to 4.30pm at all City clinics.