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Antenatal Screening

Pregnancy is a special and crucial period for any woman. We at Apollo hospitals ensure that you will receive every possible care so that your health and the health of your baby are perfect and that you will be able to have a smooth and comfortable delivery. Antenatal care forms an important part of pregnancy care. It is the systemic medical care of the pregnant woman and foetus to ensure overall health and to rule out the possibility of any probable complication. You may need to visit your doctor at least 8-9 times during the course of your pregnancy.

Your first appointment during pregnancy will probably be your longest appointment. Here your doctor will ask you for your complete health and pregnancy history. This information is important because it will give your doctor a good idea of how healthy you are and what type of problems you are most likely to experience during your pregnancy.

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There are many things that may be done in the way of physical exam, including:

• Pelvic Exam

• Breast Exam

• Laboratory tests (Antenatal profile)

• Pregnancy Test (if your pregnancy is not already confirmed)

• Ultrasound

• Check your blood pressure

• Record your weight

Most women will be seen for their first appointment between 8 and 10 weeks gestation. You may wish to visit your doctor earlier if you are having problems.

Your second appointment is usually done about a month after your first appointment, unless you are having problems or are requesting specific prenatal testing that is best performed in a specific time range. Here is what will most likely happen during this prenatal care visit:

• Check your blood pressure

• Screen your urine for sugar and protein

• Record your weight

• Listen for a fetal heart beat using a Doppler

• Additional testing as needed

• Ultrasound examination

Your baby's first heart beat will usually be heard with a Doppler between 8 and 12 weeks gestation. If you have trouble hearing the baby's heart beat, you will normally be asked to wait until your next visit when your baby is a bit bigger.

These tests are optional but may be requested by you or recommended by your doctor

• Nuchal Fold Test (Screening for Down Syndrome)

• Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS) (Diagnostic test for many genetic diseases.)

• Early Amniocentesis (Diagnostic test for many genetic diseases.)

• Dual marker test

• Glucose Tolerance Test

The third prenatal visit you are mostly likely around 14-16 weeks pregnant. You are feeling better and the most dangerous part of pregnancy is over. You are now probably feeling more confident in your pregnancy. It's been about a month since you've seen the doctor. Here is what a prenatal appointment may look like:

• Urine sample to screen for sugar and protein

• Check your blood pressure

• Record your weight

• Listen for baby's heart beat

• Measure your fundal height to check baby's growth

You may also have the following prenatal testing done if you request it:

• Neural Tube Defect (NTD)/Down Syndrome Screening by way of maternal blood work (Several tests can be used including: Alpha-fetoprotein (AFP), Triple marker test etc.)

• Amniocentesis (Diagnostic test for many genetic diseases.)

The fourth visit to your doctor is between 16-20 weeks, at this point and it's been about a month since your last appointment. Many times you feel like you've made a huge amount of growth since your last appointment and may now feeling your baby move. Here is what a prenatal appointment may look like:

• Urine sample to screen for sugar and protein

• Record your weight

• Listen for baby's heart beat

• Measure your fundal height to check baby's growth

• Check your blood pressure Ultrasound screening Between 20-22 weeks you may be having your fifth prenatal care visit.

Here is what this appointment may look like:

• Record your weight

• Urine sample to screen for sugar and protein

• Listen for baby's heart beat

• Measure your fundal height to check baby's growth

• Check your blood pressure

• Mid Pregnancy Ultrasound Screening

• Ultrasound examination

Your sixth visit to the doctor is between 22-26 weeks of pregnancy. This is what your doctor may do during this appointment.

• Record your weight

• Urine sample to screen for sugar and protein

• Listen for baby's heart beat

• Measure your fundal height to check baby's growth

• Questions about baby's movements

• Check your blood pressure

Your seventh visit to your doctor is between 26-28 weeks of pregnancy. Here is you’re your doctor may do during this appointment.

  • Record your weight

  • Urine sample to screen for sugar and protein

  • Listen for baby's heart beat

  • Measure your fundal height to check baby's growth

  • Questions about baby's movements

  • Check your blood pressure

Your eighth visit is between 28-36 weeks of pregnancy. In fact, you are likely to have at least two prenatal visits. You are now being seen every other week. Here is what a prenatal appointment may look like:

• Urine sample to screen for sugar and protein

• Record your weight

• Listen for baby's heart beat

• Palpate to check baby's position (vertex, breech, posterior, etc.)

• Measure your fundal height to check baby's growth

• Questions about baby's movements

• Check your blood pressure

• Ultrasound screening

Between 36-40 weeks of pregnancy you are likely to have several prenatal care appointments. In fact, you are likely to have at least two prenatal visits. You are now being seen every other week. Here is what a prenatal appointment may look like:

• Urine sample to screen for sugar and protein

• Record your weight

• Listen for baby's heart beat

• Palpate to check baby's position (vertex, breech, posterior, etc.)

• Measure your fundal height to check baby's growth

• Questions about baby's movements

• Check your blood pressure

• Ultrasound examination

You will continue to be seen every other week until about the 39 weeks of pregnancy, at which point you may be seen every few days until your baby is born. Your visits are fairly routine with very few extra tests being performed.

You will also have an ultrasound to tell you determine what position the baby is in at this point. Your doctor will also try to predict the size of your baby. This is usually not very accurate. It is not recommended that you have an induction of labor based on the size of your baby.

At 40 or 41 weeks of pregnancy you may begin to see your doctor every few days. Here is what a prenatal appointment may look like:

• Record your weight

• Urine sample to screen for sugar and protein

• Listen for baby's heart beat

• Measure your fundal height to check baby's growth

• Palpate to check baby's position (vertex, breech, posterior, etc.)

• Questions about baby's movements

  • Check your blood pressure

Since you are officially past your due date, your doctor may want to watch you and your baby more carefully until labor begins. This may include the following tests:

• Non-stress test (NST)

• These tests will help determine if your practitioner needs to intervene with an induction of labor for the health of your baby or let your pregnancy continue.

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