Women planning to become pregnant must have access to a consultation within a maximum of 90 days and pregnant women must have their first pregnancy consultation by 10 weeks of gestation, determined the Directorate-General for Health.
These deadlines are contained in a rule published this Friday, January 27, by the Directorate-General for Health (DGS) and which reinforces the importance of monitoring women, both in planning and in accessing the first pregnancy consultation.
“All women planning to become pregnant must have access to a preconception consultation within a maximum period of 90 days of their request, and all pregnant women must have access to a first pregnancy consultation between six weeks and 0 days and 9 weeks and 6 days of pregnancy», says the DGS document.
These consultations will preferably be carried out in primary health care, but in certain situations they can be carried out in hospitals with obstetric care, also refers to the norm on the organization of health care in preconception, pregnancy and puerperium and which had the scientific coordination of the doctor Diogo Ayres de Campos.
According to the document, the units where the pre-conception consultation or the first pregnancy consultation take place must provide written information materials on various topics, such as nutrition during pregnancy, recommended screenings and exams, healthy habits and lifestyles, the birth planning and warning signs and symptoms that should prompt an unscheduled observation in health care.
"Surveillance of pregnancy simultaneously by more than one health team should be avoided, so that there is no duplication of clinical acts, and there is accountability and consistency in the advice provided", also stresses the DGS.
The document also states that hospitals with obstetric care must ensure the operation of an open consultation for the first quarter on all working days, as well as provide information about the times and places of this consultation on their websites.
In terms of scheduled health care, the DGS adds that the criteria for assessing situations of gestational risk to be measured in all consultations and definition of the most suitable places for the follow-up of women during pregnancy are standardized, both in cases of low risk and in situations of heightened vigilance.
According to the directorate-general, these rules make it possible to "widen access, ensure proximity and increase comfort in the provision of care at all times of pregnancy and puerperium".
The elaboration of this norm had the participation of the specialty colleges of Gynecology and Obstetrics and of General and Family Medicine of the Portuguese Medical Association and of a «vast panel of professionals in the field of obstetric care», said the DGS.