Before I got pregnant, I was wondering what prenatal care is? Is it really necessary? Yea! Prenatal care is the safest way to ensure that the pregnancy is surrounded by care , that all necessary tests are being done to avoid unforeseen circumstances during pregnancy. It is paramount for mom and baby.
As soon as I suspected the pregnancy, I was warned by several friends to start prenatal care as soon as I got the positive that confirmed the pregnancy. Even before the 6th week I scheduled the appointment with the obstetrician gynecologist (GO).
What is prenatal care
There at the doctor’s office, I got better informed about the initial pregnancy procedures and learned that prenatal care involves both monthly consultations (weekly at the end of pregnancy) as well as routine tests such as blood, urine, Pope Nicholas (oncotic cytology) and others.
A prenatal should start with the choice of the doctor after all, he will accompany you throughout the pregnancy. Having confidence in the professional who will surround your pregnancy is essential. After making an appointment, you should write down the date of your last period, even with irregular cycles, the doctor will have a sense of how many weeks you are pregnant. If you haven’t already done the beta, do it.
Taking the test to confirm that it is really positive and a safe hormone value for that gestational age can advance the prenatal process. Throughout prenatal care, the doctor will monitor the pregnant woman and from the first weeks.
Prenatal care also serves to know the number of fetuses that are being gestated, ultrasound is used to visualize whether the pregnancy is multiple or single. Multiple pregnancies are considered a high-risk pregnancy, so a high-risk prenatal doctor will monitor the pregnant woman.
What Are The Prenatal Tests To Do
At the first appointment the doctor will measure the pressure, weigh the future mom and maybe measure the belly. If all is well with the pressure, he will prescribe folic acid (if mom is not already taking it) and prescribe the following prenatal tests to be done:
Complete blood count
Checks the situation of white, red blood cells and other components. If the platelets are at ok levels (above 200). Exam done monthly.
Tells the doctor if the expectant mother has a urinary tract infection or something elevated in the body. Ketones, proteins and other enzymes are counted, so the doctor can tell if everything is fine. Exam done every two months.
Checks the amount of sugar in your blood. Through this exam, it is possible to know if the woman is prone to gestational diabetes. Exams done in each trimester of pregnancy.
HIV (virus da Aids)
Checks for the disease virus. If the serum is positive, the mother must take medication during pregnancy and the baby must have as little contact as possible with the mother’s blood at the time of delivery to avoid contamination and cannot be breastfed.
Exam that investigates the existence of syphilis. The disease can cause malformation in the fetus if an efficient and early treatment is not done.
Rubella: Also preventive against malformations. Rubella examination is done in two stages, aiming to identify IgG (antibodies) and IgM (active disease) in the body of the pregnant woman.
The same purpose of the Rubella and VDRL exam is to prevent malformations in the baby. Your IgG should be reagent, if not, contact with feces of animals such as cats should be avoided.
It belongs to the herpes family and can bring problems to the expectant mother. This virus brings a sudden drop in the immunity of the pregnant woman. Verifying if the woman already has immunity to disease is the purpose of this test.
Hepatitis C and B
The forms of hepatitis can be transmitted to the baby at delivery, so it is important to know if the mother is the host of the virus. It is also necessary to know if the mother has the disease in order to monitor the doctor more closely, he must check for signs of premature birth or even acute infections still during pregnancy.
In addition to blood tests, stool tests and ultrasound are also requested by doctors. It is important to know if the pregnant woman has any parasites (in the feces) and ultrasound is to find out if the baby is housed in the right place and also how many weeks the pregnancy is.
The younger the pregnancy, the less chance of a date error. During pregnancy some other ultrasounds are requested, the morphological or nuchal translucency at 12 weeks, at 20 weeks and at 34 weeks . Some doctors may ask for more ultrasound, it will depend on the mother’s health and if she suspects that something may be wrong in the pregnancy.
The morphology checks the health of all the baby’s organs. Some doctors may also order a baby’s heart exam. It is a specific ultrasound to see the channels of the heart and check if it is properly formed. In all ultrasounds the doctor will check the degree of maturity of the placenta and if the baby is growing correctly and of course, the sex of the fetus.
The measurement of the belly is an exam that starts to be done in all consultations from the 12th week. During this period the doctor can already see the uterine height and know if the baby is developing according to the gestational age. In the office there is also a doppler exam, a device that allows the doctor to hear the baby’s heartbeat via sound waves.
This test is done from the 16th week of gestation and it may not always work, so don’t be distressed if the doctor has not yet been able to hear the baby’s heartbeat. Depending on the power and condition of the device in the doctor’s office, only after the 22nd week had he been able to hear the fetus’ heartbeat.
The touch exam is done only if necessary , touch is not applied in all consultations. Weight gain is also a controlled factor in prenatal consultations, such as blood pressure to prevent problems with hypertension.
I learned that doing a good prenatal is to be sure that the baby is well and that the delivery will be made at the right time. Keeping a close watch on the evolution of pregnancy is essential for the mother’s peace of mind and ensuring a worry-free pregnancy.
Make your obstetrician your best friend.
See also: Prenatal Tests – How Important Are They?
My name is Dr. Alexis Hart I am 38 years old, I am the mother of 3 beautiful children! Different ages, different phases 16 years, 12 years and 7 years. In love with motherhood since always, I found it difficult to make my dreams come true, and also some more after I was already a mother.
Since I imagined myself as a mother, in my thoughts everything seemed to be much easier and simpler than it really was, I expected to get pregnant as soon as I wished, but it wasn’t that simple. The first pregnancy was smooth, but my daughter’s birth was very troubled. Joana was born in 2002 with a weight of 2930kg and 45cm, from a very peaceful cesarean delivery but she had already been born with congenital pneumonia due to a broken bag not treated with antibiotics even before delivery.