Pregnancy care (Antenatal) treatments

Antenatal care is the care that a pregnant woman receives from a healthcare provider (an obstetrician) during her pregnancy. It includes regular check-up of the baby as well as pregnant mother to ensure a healthy pregnancy.

Starting Antenatal care

Antenatal care should start as soon as a woman gets pregnant as it is a very crucial stage that requires continuous care and regular appointments with obstetrician. Although a monthly antenatal visit to check the health status of mother as well as baby is required for every pregnant woman but it may be designed according to the special needs of the pregnancy.

First Antenatal visit care

At the first antenatal visit, the pregnancy details are recorded with your doctor and an ante-natal card is prepared with basic information about the parent. This card is to be filled at every visit to keep a track of the pregnancy. A folic acid supplementation is prescribed for first trimester.

In addition to this, some basic tests are performed including:

  • CBC-Complete blood counts to detect anaemia and other disorders such as low platelet counts etc.
  • Urine-routine & microscopy to look for protein, blood, pus cells etc. in the urine
  • Blood group
  • VDRL-test for syphilis
  • BSF-Fasting blood sugar for diabetes
  • HbsAg-test for hepatitis B
  • Hepatitis C screening
  • HIV-AIDS screening

A first-trimester ultrasound scan [USG] is performed to evaluate:

  • Expected date of delivery [EDD]
  • Twin pregnancy
  • Molar pregnancy
  • Tubal pregnancy
  • Subsequent antenatal visits

After first visit, each next visit is scheduled either at 3 or 2 weeks interval depending upon the pregnancy condition. It would include the following:

  • Weight record to examine excessive or poor weight gainBP record
  • Evaluation of the height of the uterus according to the period of pregnancy
  • Baby position
  • Swelling of feet/hands or any other part of the body
  • Foetal heart sound
  • Solving any patient query or complaints
  • A prescription according to patient complaints and pregnancy needs
  • Supplemental iron and calcium are started soon after the beginning of second trimester
  • Follow up blood tests including Hb, 50g oral glucose test are performed at 24-28 weeks
  • Two ultrasounds at 13 and 21-22 weeks are performed to evaluate growth of the baby as well as to pick up abnormalities
  • Other diagnostic procedures may also be performed as and when required during the pregnancy

A Down’s syndrome screening is carrried out between 12-13 weeks with a special blood test known as the double marker test

Importance of regular Antennal care

  • To check the health of mother and baby
  • To monitor the growth of baby
  • To keep track of the mother-s vitals including BP, weight, blood sugar levels
  • To solve all queries of the expecting mother
  • To pick up any problem (in both mother & baby) as early as possible
Authored by Dr.Deepak Rao

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Dr. Deepak Rao is a gynaecologist and laparoscopic surgeon. A pioneer of endoscopic surgery (laparascopy and hysteroscopy) in Bangalore

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