The rationale of any national screening programme is to recognise the benefits for public health, to assess a predominantly healthy population including pregnant women and to detect risk factors for morbidity in order to provide timely care interventions. The focus of antenatal care screening is to identify wider determinants of health that may have an impact on a pregnant woman’s well-being that includes the physical, psychological, social and religious factors. Psychosocial risks, among others, include poor socioeconomic conditions such as poverty, lack of social support, general health inequalities, domestic violence and a history of either personal or familial mental illness, all of which have the capacity to influence a pregnant woman’s decision to utilise health care services. This chapter highlights the antenatal care process, the importance of psychosocial care during pregnancy, maternal risks during pregnancy, the impact of pregnancy on maternal well-being, the possible psychosocial risk factors during pregnancy, psychosocial assessment, psychosocial care as a missing piece of the antenatal care puzzle, the presentation of the results of a study on psychosocial risk assessment and support and further outlining various antenatal care approaches that could be adopted to offer pregnant women holistic care.
Part of the book: Selected Topics in Midwifery Care