Antepartum means "before birth." The antepartum period is also called the prenatal period. The antepartum period begins when a woman's pregnancy is diagnosed and ends once the baby is born.
Nursing Crib asserts that during the antepartum period, the health needs of the mother and unborn baby are evaluated. Patient education and communication with a doctor is also encouraged for a woman during the prenatal period. The gestational age is also calculated at this time, so the mother has an idea of when the baby will be born. A woman may need special care during the antepartum period. For instance, WebMD asserts that an antepartum doula is trained to care for pregnant women on bedrest. The doulas perform household duties and take care of other children in the home. This helps to limit the pregnant woman's physical activity and can prevent premature labor.