In an age where health care costs are sky-rocketing, health insurance is considered a luxury for some families, and money is tighter than ever before, prenatal care is often lacking. But at what expense? Or rather, whose?
An expectant mother can be overwhelmed just dealing with nausea, fatigue, and swollen breasts before she even starts worrying about the lack of prenatal care she may receive. Once she wraps her head around early symptoms of pregnancy, she realizes how important it really is to receive medical care! But not everyone has the luxury of affording it.
What is it? Who needs it?
Prenatal care is an integral part of a pregnancy, since it consists of monitoring the overall health, such as blood pressure, weight, and diet. Not to mention, it also monitors how likely a mother is to getting gestational diabetes or having RH-negative factor. Thinking about all of this can be taxing to a pregnant woman’s heart, health, and the development of her unborn child. Though the term ‘prenatal’ may seem short and simple, it is an essential part of any pregnancy. But, is everyone in Singapore receiving something as vital as proper prenatal care?
Related: Can I afford to get pregnant?
The absence of prenatal for the underprivileged
As we understand the importance of prenatal care in one’s life, it is imperative to consider how many of the expecting mums are not receiving it in Singapore. There is a serious lack of prenatal care among the poor, those who are uninsured, teens, single mothers, and the mothers who are substance abusers and addicts. A poor person may not have the financial means to get access to prenatal care, which can often result in pre-mature births. Babies born prematurely usually are plagued with respiratory problems, underdeveloped digestive systems, low birth weights, or have drug and alcohol withdrawals, since the mother may have been an addict during pregnancy. The babies with inadequate prenatal care, who are carried to term, are usually born with the same issues as pre-mature babies. The lack of proper care and nutrition can also affect the mother’s ability to produce milk for her baby, which can greatly affect the labour and delivery process.
The needs of an unborn child
Mothers aren’t the only ones who have several needs during a pregnancy; their unborn child does too. By carefully monitoring the health of both, the chances of him/her coming into this world as a happy and healthy baby are significantly increased. An integral part of monitoring health is to have the ultrasound technology during any pregnancy, so that doctors can detect health problems that the baby may have in advance. By knowing if there is a problem ahead of time, it helps doctors to focus on how to assess the situation and the cure for it. Often times having everything set in place can make all the difference between life and death for a newborn baby.
All of this begs the simple question, what about the poor and underprivileged people? If prenatal care is so important, then why are so many people being neglected?
While even the best prenatal care cannot guarantee a carefree pregnancy and a strong, healthy baby, it greatly increases the chances for both. Tell us what your thoughts are on this matter, and if you have any ideas to better the system?
Watch how prenatal care is not only a necessity for mums, but also a child's foundation: