Self-Care during Pregnancy

Improved self-care during pregnancy can enhance positive pregnancy outcomes. The following community-based behavior change strategies and interventions should focus on key behaviors that can improve health and reduce pregnancy risks:

  • Decrease workload and increase rest periods
  • Increase consumption of diverse, nutrient dense foods  (See Nutrition TRM)
  • Take iron, folate supplements regularly
  • Prevent infectious diseases (e.g., appropriate hand washing, safe water use, condom use)
  • Access ANC services regularly (i.e., at least four times)
  • Sleep under an ITN in malaria-endemic areas (See Malaria TRM)
  • Learn to recognize danger signs and complications (e.g., bleeding, convulsions, pallor, labored breathing, headache, swollen hands or face, fever) and know what to do if they arise
  • Develop an appropriate birth plan:
    • Set aside resources for normal birth and for emergencies
    • Select an appropriate place for delivery
    • Identify a skilled birth attendant (SBA) to be present at delivery
    • Identify potential blood donors in case of emergency
    • Identify the family decision-maker, if it is not the woman herself