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What to expect from prenatal appointments

Your first visit will not probably be with your doctor or midwife, but more likely with a nurse. She will confirm your pregnancy result and estimated due date. She also will explain what you should do and what shouldn’t before the actual appointment with the doctor or midwife. She might give you some prenatal vitamins. Your second visit might be the longest one from all appointments what you will have during the next eight months. Nurses will measure your height and weight; test your urine for protein, sugar, or bacteria. They take your blood to test for your blood group, Rhesus, hemoglobin level, iron, etc. Your practitioner will ask you all that you know about your family medical history. You should be as honest as possible with your doctor or midwife. You can even prepare for that by asking your close relatives about their diseases which you might don’t know. This will help your health care provider to see some potential risks on which diseases you have and which ones you may develop during the pregnancy. Your practitioner will also offer you to do some optional tests to see if your child develops fine. They are not exact and have some risk for your child. Therefore, women normally do these tests if they are not sure that their children will come out right and in case of bad results they plan to do abortion.

About on a second or third appointment the heartbeat of your child can be heard. If your pregnancy without any complications your next visits will be short. Your health care provider will do the routine urine test, measure your weight and belly. Your doctor or midwife will listen your child’s heartbeats. First two trimesters they will ask you to come every four weeks, then at around 28 weeks every two weeks, and from 36 weeks of pregnancy you need to come every week.

About in 20 weeks your doctor or midwife will send you on ultrasound to see the position of the child and to determine the sex if parents want to know that. In that time the mother might start to feel some first child’s movements. In the first pregnancies mothers notice them later. On the other hand, with multiple children mothers sense them earlier normally due to their past experience and that they know how they feel like. Your health care provider will keep asking you whether you feel child movements fine in order to make sure that the child develops good and still alive. Normally child should move at least 4 times per hour.

About in 28 weeks they will take your blood again to measure the level of your glucose and iron. If your results will be normal they won’t do anything, but if not, they will prescribe you iron pills. If you have gestational diabetes, they will prescribe you a special kit for controlling that. You will monitor your blood sugar every day by the end of your pregnancy and show your results each time you will come on your prenatal appointments. They will tell you how to control gestational diabetes during pregnancy with diet and exercises. If it won’t be enough they might prescribe you some dose of insulin.

If your result will show that you have a negative Rhesus then your practitioner will give you a shot of Rh immunoglobulin to prevent your body from producing antibodies that can hurt your child. However, sometimes even with this injection the mother’s antibodies can form anyway. At the end of your pregnancy they will test you whether you have group B streptococci. Many women have these bacteria and don’t feel it anyhow. However, it might hurt the child during the labor. If your result comes out positive they need to give you antibiotics while you will be in labor.

Medical Disclaimer

The author is not a doctor and the information in the article is general in nature with no medical advises given or imply. Talk to your doctor, nurse or medical advisor how to treat health related problems.