Why do you need routine doctor’s visits when you are pregnant?
This is mainly to • help make your pregnancy safer • check and assess the development and wellbeing of you and your baby • screen for particular conditions (if you are at increased risks due to family history or age)
What is being done at your routine antenatal visits?
1) Weight and height measurements Your height and weight will be measured at your first visit. Subsequently, weight will be measured at every visit to calculate your body mass index (BMI). The reason for doing is to monitor your monthly weight gains. If you are not gaining enough weight or gaining too much, this will pose a health risk to you and your baby. Therefore monthly measurement is taken so that proper advice can be given accordingly.
2) Antenatal urine tests You'll be asked to give a urine sample at your antenatal appointments. Your urine is checked for several things, including protein.
3) Blood pressure tests in pregnancy Your blood pressure will be checked at every antenatal visit. A rise in blood pressure later in pregnancy could be a sign of pre-eclampsia. It's very common for your blood pressure to be lower in the middle of your pregnancy than at other times. This isn't a problem, but it may make you feel lightheaded if you get up quickly. Talk to your midwife if you're concerned about it.
4) Blood tests in pregnancy Blood test is necessary during your antenatal visits, but this is not done on a monthly basis. You probably need just one blood test throughout your pregnancy if it is not a complicated one, and it is usually done early in pregnancy. Your routine blood test is done to assess: • Hemoglobin • Blood group and rhesus • HIV • hepatitis B • syphilis However, if you have family history or at risk of developing diabetes, you will probably need more than just one test to screen for gestational diabetes.
5) Ultrasound scans Early ultrasound scans are usually done if you are unsure of your last menstrual period. It is not routinely done at your doctor’s visit.