DR NOMAFRENCH Mbombo has advised women to visit a health facility immediately if they miss their period.
The Western Cape Health MEC was speaking at an awareness campaign in Lotus Park in Gugulethu, Cape Town, recently.
The campaign was aimed at combatting the increasing number of children who die during childbirth ekasi.
“Don’t wait until pregnancy shows. Once you’ve noticed some changes and you’ve missed your period, visit a health facility. You’re not only doing it for yourself but also for your unborn child,” she said.
Mbombo said if there’s violence at home, the unborn child feels it.
“Visiting a health facility as soon as you miss your period will help us identify it and prevent damage, but you can’t know if you stay at home and only visit the facility when you’re three months pregnant,” she said.
The MEC urged pregnant women not to smoke or drink. “You might not experience anything when doing these things but the child will pay in the end. Smoking and drinking while pregnant is wrong,” she said.
Health officials were also at the event to help residents with family planning, give HIV tests and perform immunisations.
Ntembeko Naphakade, a health promoter at KTC Day Clinic, said if pregnant women visited the clinic, they could pick up health problems early.
He said a lot of women thought there was no need for them to visit health facilities when they were only one or two months pregnant.
“We’re doing this campaign because we care about them and their kids. Let’s work together to take care of their unborn babies,” he said.
He said there’s a problem with women not realising they’re pregnant until they’re four months in.
“If you know you have not been using condoms and are not on contraceptives and you miss your period, visit the nearest health facility to do tests,” he said.