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The Changing face of Antenatal Care

Pregnancy is a natural phenomenon, not always requiring intervention.

However, regular Antenatal checkup allow deviations to be detected for timely management and help in optimising fetomaternal outcome.

With the advent of technological developments and emerging guidelines, remote antenatal tele-consultations can be provided to Low Risk pregnancies. This reduces travel time and expense, taking time off from work and also reducing possible exposure to Covid 19 in current pandemic times.

This also enables providing antenatal care to higher number of expecting mothers, even in remote areas inaccessible to proper healthcare facilities, which is specially useful in third world countries like India.

Misinformation on internet and amongst friends and family, can be vast and scary. Talking to your Gynaecologist through Internet connection is not same as Internet is your Gynaecologist! Having the flexibility to consult from home or office in times of anxiety during pregnancy, without having to physically visit the Clinic, is very reassuring for an expecting mother. It allays lots of her fears which is helpful for her mental wellbeing.

With the easy availability of BP instrument, Digital weighing scale in most homes, providing remote antenatal care, specially for Low Risk patients, will go a long way in reducing the in person clinic visits without compromising on the care.

It can also be an additional means for providing care for High Risk pregnancies who maybe on bedrest at home for various reasons like threatened abortion or preterm labour or ante partum haemorrhage.

In the west, such programs have been existing for a while now, like the OB Nest program in Mayo Clinic and TeleOb program in University of Washington.

Tele-consultation could change the face of Antenatal care in the post pandemic era. It will be a relief specially for anxious expecting mothers who could be juggling between work, caring for an older child, family, home or who may simply be on a vacation !

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