Antenatal care is important for both your health and your baby’s health. When you’re expecting, you’ll welcome a new routine into your life: regular Antenatal visits. There is an air of excitement to these visits. You’ll learn your estimated due date and hear your baby’s heartbeat for the first time.
What happens during Antenatal visits?
What happens during Antenatal visits varies depending on how far along you are in your pregnancy. Schedule your first Antenatal visit as soon as you think you are pregnant, even if you have confirmed your pregnancy with a home pregnancy test. Early and regular Antenatal visits help your doctor monitor your health and the growth of the fetus.
During the visit, you can expect your doctor to do the following:
Answer your questions. This is a great time to ask questions and share any concerns you may have about your pregnancy.
- Check your urine and blood sample (known as Beta HCG) to confirm your pregnancy.
- Check your blood pressure, weight, and height.
- Calculate your due date based on your last menstrual cycle and ultrasound scan.
- Ask about your comprehensive medical and surgical history.
Perform a complete set of Antenatal blood tests:
- To determine your blood type and Rh (Rhesus) factor. If the mother is Rh-negative (lacks the protein) and the father is Rh positive (has the protein), the pregnancy requires a special level of care.
To do a blood count—hemoglobin, hematocrit.
To test for hepatitis B, HIV, rubella, and syphilis.
Do a complete physical exam, including a pelvic exam, gonorrhea and chlamydia cultures, and Pap test to screen for cervical cancer.
Start vitamin supplements such as Folic Acid, Iron supplements and Fish Oil
Offer Non-invasive Antenatal testing: screening for Down syndrome and other chromosomal problems, cystic fibrosis, other specialized testing depending on history.