The Importance of having a medical aid before and during pregnancy: Protecting yourself and your baby

The week of February 13 through 16 is designated as Pregnancy Awareness Week. Reducing the number of pregnancy-related deaths or complications, for the mother and child, is the main goal of Pregnancy Awareness Week. The day accomplishes this by enhancing prenatal education and emphasising crucial concerns that support a healthy pregnancy and safe parenthood. One key point is highlighting the fact that having a medical aid during pregnancy is important for protecting both the mother and the baby. Let’s find out more.

Having medical aid during pregnancy

Medical care during pregnancy can help ensure that any potential health issues are identified and treated early, which can help prevent complications and ensure a healthy pregnancy and birth. Medical care during pregnancy includes regular pre-natal check-ups, which can help detect any potential issues such as high blood pressure or gestational diabetes. Prenatal check-ups also provide an opportunity for the mother to receive vaccinations and for the baby’s growth and development to be monitored.

Additionally, medical aid also provides benefits for maternal and new-born care after delivery, which can cover expenses such as hospitalisation, medical tests, and the cost of delivery. This can help reduce the financial burden that pregnancy and birth can place on a family.

When should you purchase a medical aid product if you’re planning for pregnancy?

You should join a medical aid at least 12 months before falling pregnant because pregnancy is categorised as a pre-existing condition. You are insured if you were a member of a medical aid for 12 months before becoming pregnant, otherwise, scans, OBGYN visits, and childbirth-related expenses are not entirely covered. Unfortunately, many new mothers who didn’t purchase a medical aid product quickly enough either didn’t anticipate becoming pregnant so quickly or were unaware of the exclusion.

According to the Medical Schemes Act, medical aid programs may impose general waiting periods of three months and/or condition-specific waiting periods of 12 months for any pre-existing medical conditions. The Act specifically allows for the introduction of waiting periods to safeguard the current medical scheme from “selective abuse”. Selective abuse is characterised by a desire to purchase a medical aid product only after learning that you require medical assistance for a particular condition, such as a disease or, in this case, pregnancy.

The bottom line

Overall, having a medical aid during pregnancy is essential in ensuring a healthy pregnancy and birth for both the mother and the baby. If you are planning on growing your family, you should use to find the perfect medical aid product for you. is the country’s best medical aid scheme comparison tool to help you find the medical aid scheme that suits your needs, wants, and budget.