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You are here : home > Pregnancy Month by Month > First Month of Pregnancy > Antenatal Visit and Diagnostic Tests during Pregnancy

Antenatal Visit and Diagnostic Tests during Pregnancy

Antenatal visit and diagnostic tests during pregnancy help to prevent complications during pregnancy. Read more about the first antenatal visit and diagnostic tests.

What Can I Expect From my First Antenatal Visit?

As soon as you suspect that you are pregnant you must fix an appointment with your obstetrician or family physician. In case you do not have a doctor to consult about your pregnancy it is time for you to choose one.

For majority of women pregnancy is usually straightforward, happy and healthy time. In order to make sure that you and your unborn baby stay healthy it is important to have regular antenatal check-ups. Regular checkups during your pregnancy are very useful to identify and reduce risks to both you and the baby.

Make use of antenatal visits to consult your doctor and ask questions about any issues that you are unsure about. You can talk to your doctor about your aches and pains, the birth process, feeding your baby or any other concerns that you may have. Hence prior to each visit, it may be worthwhile to think about the things that you may want to talk to your doctor about and make a note of it beforehand.

Just like any other health check up, during your first antenatal test also the doctor will first note down your medical history and follow it up with a physical examination. Most doctors do not recommend scheduling a visit before you are about 8 weeks pregnant. Exceptions are made only in case you have a medical condition which requires immediate attention, have had issues with past pregnancies or are having symptoms such as vaginal bleeding and pain.

Normally, the first visit will probably be the longest and the most comprehensive. After the physical examination and preparing your medical and gynecological history the doctor will be able to determine your due date.

Many doctors do an ultrasound on the first visits itself. Thereafter some tests may be recommended.

What Kinds of Tests are Normally Recommended?

During each of your antenatal visits your blood pressure will be checked. Your abdomen will also be examined to see how much the baby has grown and to listen to your baby’s heartbeat. Normally, your weight will also be recorded during each of your antenatal visits.

There are a number of test not all of which are routinely recommended to be performed for every expectant mother. Depending upon your history the doctor will prescribe the tests some of which include:

Blood Tests - Blood tests are carried out to determine your blood type and check whether you are anemic.

Urine Analysis - Urine analysis is done to a check and screen for blood, bacteria, protein, sugar and white blood cells.

Blood Screen Tests - Blood screen tests are done to determine immunity to rubella.

Gestational Diabetes Screening Test - Gestational diabetes screening test is performed in cases of women who may have earlier delivered an excessively large baby or may have gained excessive weight.

If gestational diabetes is not identified and treated in a timely manner it can cause complications for both the mother and the unborn baby. For example there are chances that the baby may grow very big and have difficulties at the time of birth.

Some babies of mothers suffering from this type of diabetes become sick and have breathing problems after birth. To ascertain whether you have diabetes this screening will be done normally around 24–28 weeks.

Test for Detecting Infections - Blood tests for infections like Hepatitis, Chlamydia, AIDS, Syphilis, Gonorrhoea.

A Full Blood Count Check - A full blood count to check for any antibodies from disease processes which are capable of slipping across the placenta and cause harm to the growing baby.

Abdominal Palpitations - Abdominal palpitations are performed during antenatal visits to make sure that the uterus is enlarging in an appropriate manner.

Foetal Heart Rate - Foetal Heart Rate sounds can be heard with a hand-held Doppler when the fetus is around ten weeks old. Many doctors perform this test which gives you the opportunity to feel little heart beats inside you.

Antenatal visits and diagnostic tests during pregnancy are very important as the growth and development of baby can be traced. It also helps to prevent complications during pregnancy.

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