The World Health Organization is supporting a program designed to test whether women can safely have as little as four prenatal check-ups during a pregnancy. The program is testing 20,000 pregnant women in Argentina, Cuba, Saudi Arabia and Thailand.
Many poor women cannot afford the accepted 8 to 12 recommended check-ups. Doctor Guillermo Carroli, head of the survey in Argentina, said the study will compare the cost, safety, and effectiveness of the new system of four visits to the old one.
The study will include healthy women between the ages of 16 and 40. They will receive exams, supplements of iron and folic acid, and will have their weight and blood pressure monitored.