According to UNICEF, Nigeria is the world’s second-leading contributor to maternal mortality with an average daily loss of 145 women of reproductive age. Pregnant women in Nigeria represent more than a third of the population who do not get antenatal care (ANC). In Nigeria, the research found that non-users of antenatal test services were more likely to identify impediments to their usage.
When you’re pregnant, it’s even more important to consume a healthy diet since your food is the primary source of nutrition for your unborn child. The problem is that many women aren’t getting enough of the nutrients they need. So while you are pregnant, it is crucial for you to boost the number of foods you consume containing these nutrients.
With a well-balanced diet that includes lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and protein, most women can fulfill their increased dietary requirements. Eat a range of meals from these core dietary categories, advises the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). For a healthy pregnancy, you should eat a diet rich in vitamins and minerals.
Tests prescribed during your antenatal test
During your antenatal test appointments, your doctor may ask for the following tests:
A pregnancy test
A test for HIV infection
The World Health Organization’s recommendation that all pregnant women be thoroughly examined for HIV was not unexpected, given that Nigeria has the second-highest HIV prevalence after South Africa. In order to avoid HIV transmission from mother to child, all HIV-positive women are put on the highly effective antiretroviral therapy (HAART).
The Rhesus Group
A blood test is required to confirm your identity. In most cases, blood group and rhesus are performed at the same time. Pregnancy complications such as rhesus incompatibility, a potentially fatal condition that may result in the death of the unborn child, will be investigated by your doctor using this test.
Depending on the results of this blood test, your doctor may decide to put you on a medicine called Rhogam while you are pregnant or shortly after you give birth in order to avoid any harm to your child or future child, as well. This is a critical test that will reveal whether you are Rhesus negative or positive.
Blood Count, or Packed Cell Volume (FBC)
Your doctor will order a baseline blood test known as a packed cell volume or complete blood count on the first day of your prenatal checkup. The packed cell volume or complete blood count is utilized to determine your baseline blood level since most Nigerian women are anemic before becoming pregnant.
Hepatitis B test
A blood test is vital. Because it is considerably more contagious than HIV, hepatitis B screening is critical. There will be no transmission of the virus to the kid if the mother has been determined to be hepatitis B positive, and hence the infant will be administered hepatitis B immunoglobulin.
Your physicians and midwives can better prepare for your birth if they know whether or not you have hepatitis B.
Hepatitis C test
This is yet another crucial examination. Hepatitis C testing is required for pregnant women who want to know whether they are infected with the virus and how to best prepare themselves for childbirth.
In pregnancy, knowing your blood type is critical. Knowing your blood type makes it much easier to get blood for you if you need it during delivery. It also reduces the burden of finding a blood donor who is a good match for you.
In certain Nigerian hospitals, blood is prepared for all pregnant women throughout the antenatal en route delivery, and knowing your blood type is essential. In the meanwhile, a blood group test is not necessary if you already know your blood type and are confident in it.
But note that a blood transfusion is not necessary for every birth or event of delivery, but you will never know whether you fall into that group. It’s better to be on the safe side than to be sorry.
The genetic make-up of a person (Genotype)
When it comes to sickle cell anemia, Nigeria is the epicenter of the disease. However, if you know your genotype before becoming pregnant and are certain, there is no need to repeat this test.
Analyses of Urine (Urine test)
The doctor may use a urine test to see whether the urine contains proteins or glucose. Pregnancy hypertension, pregnancy diabetes, or a urinary tract infection may all be detected with this test. Now you realize why it’s so critical.
VDRL or syphilis testing
Tests for syphilis are performed at a facility known as a VDRL (venereal disease research laboratory). Having syphilis while pregnant is very dangerous for both mother and child. Syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease that your doctor will test you for. A miscarriage and a blind newborn are both possible outcomes of syphilis infection during pregnancy. Why is the VDRL test so critical?
An ultrasound scan
The only way to know for sure whether you are pregnant or not is to get a pregnancy scan. As a result of an ultrasound, your doctor will be able to get an accurate idea of your baby’s actual age as well as his or her weight, height, and general health.
The antenatal test isn’t asked every time it’s requested. Nevertheless, if you’re having signs of malaria, your doctor could ask you to have it done. Pregnancy may be impacted by malaria.
Systolic and diastole
This isn’t an exam, but rather a check-up. Pregnancy-induced hypertension (pre-eclampsia) may be diagnosed and treated early if your blood pressure is regularly examined.
Heart rate of the fetus
This is of paramount importance. In order to determine the health of your baby, your doctor or nurse will need to listen to its heartbeat
A mother and her unborn child may both benefit from a comprehensive antenatal test.
In addition to having you and your baby examined by a doctor, you’ll get tetanus prophylactic vaccine and other necessary antenatal drugs and blood pressure checks, as well as advice on everything from labor to food to nursing to immunization.
Antenatal test in Nigeria or any other country requires regular blood and urine tests, as well as an ultrasound scan to determine the health of the fetus (pregnancy scan).