Prenatal counseling, also known as antantinal care, is a type of preventive health care. Its major goal is to provide regular timely check-ups which allow doctors or midwives to treat and prevent potential and mental health problems during pregnancy and to promote a healthy lifestyle, which benefits both mother and child. During the check-up, pregnant women get medical information about maternal physical changes in pregnancy, biological changes and natal vitamins, including nutrition. Recommendations for changes in management and a healthy lifestyle are also done during regular checkups. Availability of regular postnatal care including prenatal screening, prenatal diagnosis, and diagnosis has played a role in reducing the frequency of maternal mortality, miscarriage, birth defects, low birth weight, neonatal infection, and other preventable health problems.
The World Health Organization (WHO) said that about 830 women died every day in 2015 due to problems in pregnancy and childbirth. Only 5 lived in high-income countries. The rest lived in low-income countries. One study examined the difference between early and underweight delivery between local and immigrant women and noticed the difference due to the care received. Between 1997 and 2008, 21,708 women, who gave birth in a field in Spain, were seen in the study. The results indicated that the very first birth (VPBB) and very low birth weight (VLBW) were much more common for immigrants compared to the locals (Castello et al., 2012). The study apparently showed the importance of early pregnancy care and how universal prenatal care will help people of all origin to obtain proper care before pregnancy/birth (Castello et al., 2012).
WHO recommends that pregnant women should get all four antenatal visits so that they can treat the problems and vaccinate. Although prenatal care is important to improve the health of both mother and child, many women do not get four visits.
There are several ways to change health systems to help women like prenatal care, such as educating new health policies, educating health workers and rehabilitating health services. Community intervention can also play a role to help people change their behavior. Examples of interventions are media campaigns that are reaching out to many people, making communities capable of controlling their own health, informative-education-communication interventions, and financial incentives. A review of these interventions found that intervention helps improve the number of women receiving prenatal care. However, interventions used simultaneously can reduce infant mortality in pregnancy and early life, improve the number of low birth weight babies and the number of women after birth.