Prenatal Care in India

Details of choosing and using prenatal care in India, including how to find a midwife…

As pregnancy is dealt with mainly by gynaecologists or obstetricians, prenatal appointments will be at a hospital.

On the first hospital visit, the mother usually undergoes blood tests for syphilis, hepatitis B and, only with her consent, HIV. Iron levels, sugar levels (for diabetes) immunity to rubella, and rhesus status will also be tested. Mothers are usually weighed on each hospital visit.

Women should expect to have monthly hospital check-ups throughout their pregnancy.

Ultrasound scans are taken at 12 weeks and 20 weeks. However, most Indian obstetricians prefer more frequent scans of the baby. It is illegal to find out the sex of the baby in India, even for expats.

Birth Centres, Prenatal Classes and Midwives

There is a slow-growing movement towards more natural, midwife-led maternity care (births in India have traditionally been medically driven, with a high level of caesareans and medical intervention). This has led to birth centres opening in major cities and an increase in the availability of prenatal classes. Previously, prenatal information would have been spread by word of mouth.

  • Classes in the Lamaze technique teach mothers how to cope with the pain of childbirth without medical intervention. For a directory of Lamaze instructors in India: Click here
  • Healthy Mother operates birth centres in Hyderabad, New Delhi and Bangalore. For more information: Click here
  • CAPPA India also offers prenatal programmes. For more information: Click here

There is a growing movement among expats to hire a foreign midwife or doula (“labour coach”) who lives in India. The doula or midwife would usually assist at the birth, and help push for a more natural delivery.

  • Birth India is a resource to find midwives and doulas in major cities. For more information: Click here