13.2 Important elements of FANC
FANC has the following three stages:
- Thorough evaluation (history taking, physical examination and basic investigations)
- Intervention (prevention/prophylaxis and treatment)
- Promotion (health education/counselling and health service dissemination).
Box 13.3 summarises the steps in this process.
Box 13.3 Basic steps in the FANC service
- Gather information (take history) by talking with the mother, check the mother’s body and check the fetus (physical examination and tests), as you learned in Study Sessions 8 to 11 of this Module.
- Interpret the gathered information (make a diagnosis) and evaluate any risk factors.
- Make an individualised care plan. If no abnormalities are identified, the care plan will focus on counselling, birth preparedness and complication readiness. If the mother needs specialised care, the plan will be to refer her to a higher health facility.
- Follow the care plan — in subsequent visits, you may be able to take care of the woman yourself by providing treatments and counselling, or you may need to refer her.
In provision of the FANC service, important elements to be considered are:
- Keeping privacy and confidentiality; effective communication builds trust and fosters confidence, so you should talk with women and their husbands in a manner that encourages communication about birth preparedness, complication readiness, HIV prevention, care and treatment.
- Continuous care is provided by the same provider for pregnant women in the community; in the context of this curriculum, you are the skilled health care provider for the pregnant women without identified complications in your community.
- Promotion of involvement of the woman’s partner or support person in the process of antenatal care and in preparations for the delivery.
- Provision of routine antenatal care services according to the national protocols, which will be described later in this study session).
- Linking of antenatal and postnatal care with prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) and provision of family planning services.