Pregnancy and prenatal care should as a matter of necessity go hand in hand. Every pregnant woman wants a healthy pregnancy which is medically possible; but not every pregnant woman achieves this desire of theirs. The steps that lead to achieving this are very simple.
Prenatal care is an integral part of any pregnancy. When should prenatal care start? The answer is: Immediately your pregnancy is confirmed. It is in your best interest to begin that early for you to achieve a healthy pregnancy. You should create ample time to have a comprehensive interaction between you and your health care provider
What are you to look forward to in your prenatal?
The first few prenatal visit is loaded. A lot is discussed between you and your health care provider. It is advised that you come along with your partner. A lot is involved and the following are what is to be expected on a prenatal visit:
Your medical history
Expect many questions from your health care provider all based on your person. These questions will be all embracing with a few by your health care provider to get a total medical history behind you. The honest answers you provide will help the health care provider deal with medical challenges that may come up during the nine months of your pregnancy. Expect the following questions on your prenatal:
- Your personal and family medical history
- Past pregnancy experience if any.
- Questions will be asked about your gynecological history and medical cycle
- Your lifestyle will be probed deeply. It will involve you explaining to your health care practitioner your history of tobacco, caffeine and alcohol. All issues should be discussed here. Your entire self should be laid bare without withholding anything back if you desire a healthy pregnancy.
Your due date
Your due date is the expected date of your delivery. It can be predicted with some degree of accuracy. The knowledge of this date helps the health care provider to plan well ahead with you and prepare you for the day. Though the truth must be told here, for most women this expected due date becomes a ruse. But for some other women, it comes with some measure of accuracy.
How is this date calculated? If your prenatal brief, you be asked questions bothering on your menstrual cycle. The estimated date is gotten from the statistics of the date your last period started; seven days are added to it and a backward count of three months is taken. The date and month arrived at will be the projected delivery dated.
Expect a physical examination at the prenatal meeting. Your weight and height will be recorded and it is the tool that will be used to calculate your BMI. Your BMI is used to calculate the commensurate weight gain that you need to a healthy pregnancy.
Your blood pressure will be measured; your breathing rate will not be left out. A complete physical examination will be carried out on you. Checks will be carried out to determine any undiagnosed medical conditions if any.
Be prepared for an examination of your vagina to be carried out as well as the opening of your uterus. A pap test will be carried out to screen for cervical cancer; your last screening will determine if you are to undergo this test.
Aside the questions and physical examinations carried out, a lab test will also be conducted to ensure a more precise degree of accuracy on your state of wellbeing. These are some of the expected tests that are to be carried out on you:
- Your blood type
Your RH status is very important. This is a specific protein found on the surface of red blood cells. You must test RH +ve together with the father of the baby. In the event of a negative result; then special attention will be given this category of women during the course of the pregnancy.
- Your Hemoglobin
The hemoglobin is an iron rich protein that is found in red blood cells which allows the cells to carry oxygen from your lungs to the baby in the womb and to carry carbon dioxide to your lungs through which it is exhaled. If your hemoglobin is low, it is a sign of anemia and it portends danger to your pregnancy. In such a scenario, the health care provider will take palliative measures.
- Immunity for certain infections
Your immunity for certain infections will also be checked. This test will only be waived if a proof of past vaccination or natural immunity is documented in your medical history.
- Detect exposure to other infections
Be prepared for a series of tests to detect exposure to some other infections in your past if your healthcare practitioner is not convinced enough. The overall interest here is a healthy pregnancy for you; therefore no stone will be left unturned.
Tests for fetal abnormalities
Through prenatal tests, valuable information can be gotten about your unborn baby. This is professionally carried out by the health care provider with the objective of detecting fetal abnormalities. This may take the form of ultrasound, blood tests or other medical means as may be chosen by the health care provider.
Lifestyle during pregnancy
The health care provider will also show interest in this area and will give useful tips of advice during your prenatal meeting. The importance of proper nutrition and prenatal vitamins forms issues that will be discussed here.
Every topic under the sun bothering on your lifestyle is discussed here. It is a no holds barred discussion; frank and straight to the heart of the matter. Even issues that bother on your sex life during pregnancy are discussed. It is an avenue to talk to your health care practitioner about your morning sickness.
On a closing note; prenatal should start immediately pregnancy is detected. That is the only way to guarantee a healthy pregnancy.