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Oct 12, 2022

Get your Pregnancy Test, Check-Ups & Ultrasound Scans for baby safety

As a part of your antenatal care, you have to go for several check-ups, pregnancy tests, and ultrasound scans during pregnancy. Other pregnancy tests will be put forward if you or your baby have a higher risk of health problems or are experiencing any health issues during the pregnancy. You don’t have to do every suggested test unless mentioned by your treating Doctor to know more about your health condition.

Many health problems can be identified before the delivery of your baby, but few of them still remain elusive. There are 2 main types of tests suggested by doctors during antenatal care:

• Screening tests will detect and let you know if any health-related risk factor is associated with your baby or not, they are simple and can indicate need of any further confirmatory tests.

• Diagnostic tests which detect whether your baby has any health problem, with a much higher level of reliability.

Your pregnancy check-ups and tests can be done at a hospital or a doctor’s clinic.

Here we highlighted the pregnancy check-ups, tests, and scans you would usually be suggested if you have an uncomplicated pregnancy:

 First visit

• Test to confirm that you are pregnant

• After confirmation the doctor will calculate the number of weeks of your pregnancy and arrive at your due date. Your doctor will suggest you an ultrasound scan if the due date is not vivid.

• Blood pressure, height, and weight

• Medical and family history.

• A blood test, which includes testing and checking your blood group and test and detecting the risk factor for anaemia, rubella immunity, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, syphilis, chlamydia, and HIV.

• Urine test, to detect if you have a bladder or urinary tract infection

• Screening to check any Down syndrome symptoms.

• Cervical screening to recognize any human papillomavirus (HPV) and/or any signs of cervical cancer

 

As part of your pregnancy check-up and tests, you should inform and discuss with your doctor:

• Which medications you can take during pregnancy

• Whether you can smoke or drink alcohol during pregnancy.

• Whether you would prefer influenza (flu) vaccination or not.

• Which vitamin and mineral supplements you can take or should avoid during the pregnancy phase.

• Whether Antenatal care options are available to you during the pregnancy phase.

19-20 weeks

• Measuring blood pressure

• Measuring your tummy (abdominal palpation) to check your baby's growth and development.

• Checking your health and detecting any health issue

• Ultrasound scan to get information about your baby's physical development, growth, and any complications related to your pregnancy.

22 weeks

• Measuring your blood pressure

• Measuring your tummy (abdominal palpation) to check your baby's growth and development.

• Checking your health and detecting any health issues and risk factors associated with it.

26-27 weeks

• Measuring your blood pressure

• Measuring your tummy (abdominal palpation) to check your baby's growth and development.

• Checking your health and detecting any health issues and risk factors associated with it.

• Checking blood glucose level tolerance test for diabetes

28 weeks

• Measuring your blood pressure.

• Measuring your tummy (abdominal palpation) to check the baby's growth and development.

• Checking your health and detecting any health issues and risk factors associated with it.

• Checking your baby's heartbeat and movements.

• Discuss your birth plan with your doctor and how to implement it for the healthy growth of the fetus.

• Blood test to check for anaemia and blood platelet count.

• If your blood type is Rh-negative, anti-D immunoglobulin injection will be given.

• Pertussis (whooping cough) vaccination will be given.

• Urine test, if you have any symptoms or signs of urinary tract infection or high blood pressure

32 weeks

• Measuring blood pressure

• Measuring your tummy (abdominal palpation) to check your baby's growth and development.

• Checking how your health is and if you have any health issues or problems

• Checking your baby's heartbeat and body movements

• Urine test to detect any signs of urinary tract infection or blood pressure level.

 

34-36 weeks

• Measuring blood pressure

• Measuring your tummy (abdominal palpation) to check your baby's growth and development.

• Checking how your health is and if you have any health problems

• Checking your baby's heartbeat and movements

•Urine test, if you have signs of urinary tract infection or raised blood pressure

• Vaginal swab for detecting Group B streptococcus (GBS)

• If your blood type is Rh-negative, a second anti-D immunoglobulin injection will be given.

• Assessing presentation to identify which way up your baby is and how far down the baby's head has moved into your pelvis.

38-39 weeks

• Measuring blood pressure

•Measuring your tummy (abdominal palpation) to check your baby's growth and development.

• Checking how your health is and if you have any health problems

• Checking your baby's heartbeat and movements

• Urine test, to detect any signs of urinary tract infection or raised blood pressure

• Assessing presentation and station to check how far down the baby's head has moved into your pelvis.

40-41 weeks

• Measuring blood pressure

• Measuring your tummy (abdominal palpation) to check your baby's growth and development.

• Checking how your health is and if you have any health problems

• Detecting your baby's heartbeat and movements

• Urine test, to detect any signs of urinary tract infection or raised blood pressure

• Assessing presentation and station

• Checking your baby’s heartbeat and the amount of fluid around your baby.

Things to know about ultrasound scans.

Ultrasound is a scan that utilizes high-frequency sound waves to study and discover internal body structures. The sound waves are discharged from a vibrating crystal in a handheld scanner. The reflected sound waves or ‘echoes’ are then interpreted into a grainy, two-dimensional or sometimes three-dimensional image reflected on a monitor.

Your doctor usually prefers an ultrasound scan during pregnancy to detect the process of a baby’s growth and body function and to check any abnormalities such as Down syndrome. Since the ultrasound scan can’t give vivid images, to convey exact information about suspected abnormalities so you need to undergo further tests for confirmation. The ultrasound scan can’t give 100 percent precise data but the advantages of the test are that it’s antenatal, painless, and safe for both mother and fetus.

Key takeaway

It is important to have trust in your doctor and follow all the instructions carefully. Never miss a checkup and get all the required tests done. It is good to monitor the baby’s development carefully so that you have a safe and stress-free pregnancy.

FAQ

1. What is the normal schedule for an ultrasound during pregnancy?

It is recommended by a doctor to have your first pregnancy ultrasound scan between 6 to 9 weeks. Since the ultrasound scan can’t give vivid images, to convey exact information about suspected abnormalities so you need to undergo further tests for confirmation.

2. How many tests do you have during pregnancy?

There are 2 main types of tests suggested by doctors during pregnancy:

•Screening tests will detect and let you know if any health-related risk factor is associated with your baby or not, but this test can convey to you the exact information.

•Diagnostic tests which detect whether your baby has any health problem, with a much higher level of reliability.

3. Can too many ultrasounds harm the baby?

The ultrasound scan can’t give 100 percent precise data but the advantages of the test are that it’s antenatal, painless, and safe for both mother and fetus. Your doctor usually prefers an ultrasound scan during pregnancy to detect the process of a baby’s growth and body function and to check for any abnormalities.

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