The importance of prenatal care and education

  • As pre-term labour is often spontaneous in nature, it is important to educate expectant mothers on the need to adhere to a program of pre-natal care and to develop sufficient awareness to recognize the signs and symptoms of pre-term labour and to seek immediate medical assistance.
  • The signs of preterm labour are not always obvious and it is therefore recommended that expectant mothers seek medical attention early for any signs or symptoms that are new or different.
  • Important signs and symptoms include:
    • persisting strong cramps or stomach pain
    • vaginal bleeding or fluid discharge
    • lower back pain or pressure
    • a feeling that the baby is 'pushing down'
    • contractions or change in the strength or number of contractions
  • Other signs requiring immediate medical attention include:
    • fever, chills, dizziness, vomiting, or bad headache
    • blurry vision or 'seeing spots'
    • sudden or severe swelling of the feet, hands or face
    • a significant change in the frequency and intensity of fetal movements
iDevice icon Reflection
  • What groups of expectant mothers would be most in need of an out-reach pre-natal education program that could be provided by a physiotherapists? Why?