A team from the Ministry of Health visited the Family Health Unit (USF) Estação Saúde, in the Ernesto Gesell neighborhood, this Wednesday (18), to follow the development of the “prenatal father” consultation in the municipality’s primary care services. Joao Pessoa. In the past 12 months, 29 thousand antenatal consultations were carried out in the capital’s public network, and it is estimated that the partners of pregnant women account for 8% of this total.
“Antenatal paternal care” has been promoted in the municipality’s family health units for about three years and is aimed at partners of pregnant women. As with prenatal care for women, men can also get follow-up by a multidisciplinary health team, in addition to checkups.
One service that has stood out in this health policy, in João Pessoa, is USF Estação Saúde. “Since the first consultation, we encouraged the pregnant woman to invite her partner to attend antenatal care, and little by little, the partner’s attendance at the consultations increased,” explained Nelhenderson Lopez, Geisel II team nurse at USF Estação Said.
According to the professional, parental monitoring is very important in the development of pregnancy and in building the family environment. “For various reasons, including cultural ones, men usually attend less health services than women, but we seek to encourage the partner to continue during pregnancy, answering questions and giving advice on sexual intercourse during pregnancy, how to act when a woman’s pouch bursts, the day of delivery and breastfeeding and other issues,” the nurse explained.
“So, in this process, the father is stepping in, clarifying himself and understanding his role during pregnancy and also after the baby is born. Many of them feel emotional when they hear the baby’s heartbeat during the consultation and this allows connections to be formed,” added Nielhenderson.
Mechanic Jesualdo Alves is waiting for his second child with his wife Zain Souza, and for the first time is participating in prenatal consultations. “It was very interesting to be by her side to follow everything. I have already done some tests and we are getting the full attention of the nurse and the team. It is a humanitarian service,” he said.
For the technical advisor at the Ministry of Health, Juliana Takarabe, the ‘Prenatal Consultation of the Father’ was a successful experience in Joao Pessoa. She evaluated the visit positively and argued that the model is multiplicative in all family health units.
“Dad before birth” – It targets the male audience and begins with complete blood tests to check for potential chronic diseases, such as diabetes or sickle cell disease, as well as control of cholesterol. The prospective father’s Rh factor is also analyzed and compared with the mother’s to see if there is any risk to the fetus. In addition to all these examinations, body mass index, weight, blood pressure are checked, and rapid tests are conducted to detect viral hepatitis, sexually transmitted diseases, HIV and syphilis, which can be transmitted to the mother and have serious consequences for the fetus.
Health guidelines in prenatal care also address other care, such as indicating adequate food and physical activity, and applying vaccinations, if necessary. At this stage, men are also advised to monitor and participate in the entire pregnancy process, as a way of contributing to a better quality of life for all family members.
primer – Last year, the Municipal Health Department (SMS) launched a handbook on prenatal care for men to promote city council actions in integrated health care for the male population of João Pessoa. “It is an informative and strategic material to publicize the work developed by the Municipal Health Network, as we recognize the focus of active fatherhood as a potential to extend care, break paradigms such as virility and advance towards more integrated health, with healthy family relationships,” stressed Kesio Prieto, Coordinator of the Men’s Health District Technical in SMS.