Pregnancy is an exciting moment to cherish, but there are things to keep in mind for situations that are less than favorable. To prepare you for the range of possibilities, we’ll cover Antenatal Care and Prenatal Visits in this article.
Need an Emergency Check-Up Guide?
We’ll cover when to have an emergency checkup because as you know, a healthy pregnancy is essential for keeping mom and baby safe. It’s a journey that will require inevitable changes in a woman’s life, and as we go through it, we have to endure hardships and assume risks.
Pregnancy is an exciting moment to cherish, but there are things to keep in mind for situations that are less than favorable. To prepare you for the range of possibilities, we’ll cover Antenatal Care and Prenatal Visits in this article, and in part two, we’ll cover Check-Ups for Special Conditions and Necessary Check-up for Emergency Cases. Let’s begin.
Antenatal care must start before conception. Women who can plan must visit an OB-Gynecologist in preparation. During this time, your physical condition and lifestyle will show if you are ready to trudge the journey to motherhood.
Your doctor may ask you to take medical supplements to strengthen your body and improve your overall health. Ordinarily, doctors will recommend folic acid, calcium, and iron supplements. These different health boosters are generally safe for you and your baby.
Your next visit will be to determine if you are pregnant or not. Once you’ve experienced pregnancy symptoms like a missed period, heightened sensitivity, nausea, and food cravings, you will have to visit your OB-GYN for confirmation.
- You may need to undergo a urine test to see if you have UTI or urinary tract infection.
- You may have to undergo blood testing to determine your blood and the possibility of HIV, hepatitis B, syphilis, rubella immunity, or anemia.
- There will be cervical screening for early diagnosis of human papillomavirus (HPV). This virus is responsible for cervical cancer.
- A routine check of your blood pressure now and then to know if you are hypertensive or not.
- Ascertain if you are suffering from vitamin D deficiency.
Aside from all these, your doctor will keep a record of your age, weight, height, and family medical history. For this visit, it will mostly be about you and how physically fit you are. Be honest and disclose essential matters to your doctor, including your current medications, vices, and health conditions.
You may also opt to undergo an ultrasound to determine the estimated age of your baby and an estimate of your due date.
Follow a pregnancy check-up schedule, which will be regular although at different intervals. These visits will aim to nourish you and your baby, detect possible complications in your pregnancy, and provide the necessary treatments.
To carefully monitor you and your baby’s health, you will most likely have to visit your doctor in the following schedules:
- Within the first 28 weeks, you will have to meet with your doctor once a month.
- From 29th to your 36th week, your check-ups will be once every two weeks.
- Then from the 37th week until your week of delivery, you will have to visit once a week. A regular ultra-scan of your baby’s growth will also be allowed during each visit.
You may also need to take the following scans as well.
- GBS – Vaginal swab to determine Group B Streptococcus: It is an important test wherein mothers undergo Strep B Culture. Streptococcus bacteria can cause fatality in babies since it can lead to infections like pneumonia or meningitis.
- CVS – Chronic Villus Sampling: Usually done during the first trimester of pregnancy, this test requires sampling from the baby’s placenta for early determination of any abnormality or possibility of Down Syndrome. In this test, a genetic analysis of the fetus will help detect possible health issues and birth deformities in children.
- Amniocentesis: The fluid around your little one will be collected and tested by inserting a thin needle into the amniotic sac through your stomach. By studying the cells, your doctors can tell if there are ONTDs or Open Neural Tube Defects that can affect the brain and spine of the growing fetus while in the womb. Through Amniocentesis, it will be easier to discover chromosome abnormality that can cause miscarriages.
- Nuchal Translucency Scan: Still, within the first trimester, a Nuchal Translucency Scan on the neck is done to determine the risk that your baby might have Down Syndrome.
- Genetic Screening: To rule out potential disorders using genetic testing traces back to family medical history. Trisomy 21 or Down Syndrome shows that there is an extra copy of chromosome 21, and the screening test and blood testing can help evaluate the health condition of the fetus in the womb. Information about the chromosome condition of the fetus can be determined using maternal blood samples taken during the second trimester of pregnancy.
- Test of Glucose Tolerance: Glucose sugar levels should not build up in your blood to prevent gestational diabetes. It is a condition that can lead to your fetus becoming bigger than its supposed size, or it may have low blood sugar at birth.
- Ultrasound Scan to Monitor Fetal Health: Two kinds of Ultrasound scans can produce imaging results on how your baby is inside your womb. The first is done by directly inserting the instrument into the vagina, and it is called a transvaginal ultrasound. It can produce better images since it is closer to the actual fetus. The Abdominal ultrasound on a woman’s abdomen is proper after the first trimester. It is when the fetus is above the pelvic organ. Through ultrasounds, doctors can determine the size, gender, age, and the number of the fetus in the womb.
We covered a few things to do prevent an emergency checkup, such as making sure you take all the necessary tests. Doing these before anything gets out of hand will give you the best chance of responding rather than reacting, and to prepare as best as possible in case anything is out of sorts.
In part two, we’ll dive into Check-Ups for Special Conditions and Necessary Check-up for Emergency Cases.
Meet Our KeaMommy Contributor: Nadia Rumbolt
Nadia Rumbolt is a mom of many trades, including creative writing, blogging, van life, minimalism, veganism, the beach, nature, and the occult.