Key Doctors’ Visits and Check-ups and Why?

Key Doctors’ Visits and Check-ups and Why?

With pregnancy, comes new routine in your life. Regular check-ups with doctor, regular exercises, following a nutritional diet becomes your life. What are check-ups? How often should you visit the doctor? What to expect during these check-ups? This article answers it all.

How often should you go for check-ups?

A healthy pregnancy requires frequent doctor visits. Recommended schedule for doctor visits is:

  • Week 4 to 28: 1 prenatal visit a month
  • Week 28 to 36: 1 prenatal visit every 2 week
  • Week 36 to 40: 1 prenatal visit every week

Twin pregnancy may require more prenatal visits than then one mentioned above.

What happens during every prenatal check-up?

The first prenatal check-up is the longest. The doctor asks you about a lot of questions. This may include your allergies, your chronic diseases, family history etc. You will have an overall health examination. You will be asked for blood and urine samples to investigate about infections like Syphilis, Hepatitis B and HIV. Urine samples may be for kidney and bladder infections. Your blood test may detect anaemia and Rh factor. The doctor will also check your blood pressure level, do a Pap smear and pelvic examination. These tests ensure your pelvic and womb is in good condition. The Pap smear checks for cervical cancer and infections like chlamydia and gonorrhoea. You may get some vaccines, your first ultrasound to know your due date and some prenatal vitamins and folic acids.

The later check-ups are not as long as the first one. The doctor will check for your weight and blood pressure. He will check the baby’s heartbeat, measure your belly and check the baby’s growth. The doctor will ask you about the baby’s movement once you are in the twentieth week of your pregnancy. As the pregnancy progresses, the doctor will do a pelvic examination in every visit to check the changes in the cervix. You have to take the Tdap vaccine in between the 27th to 36th week. This vaccine protects the mother and the baby from pertussis (whooping cough).

What are the tests that are done during pregnancy?

Pregnancy involves various of test and check-ups. You might get bored at some point, but all these tests are important for you and your baby.

  • Routine Physical Exam: Depending upon your age, general health and risk factors for certain problems, lifestyle changes are some of criteria on which routine physical exams are done. This makes sure that everything is fine.
  • Blood Pressure: High blood pressure have higher chances of getting heart disease or stroke. Also known as hypertension, BP is 130 over 80 or higher. Normal BP is less than 120 over 80.
  • Cholesterol: Higher chances of getting heart disease and stroke if your cholesterol is high. You are advised to visit your doctor often if you are older, overweight, diabetes, personal or family history of high cholesterol.
  • Blood Sugar Test: A way to know whether you have diabetes or prediabetes. Routine testing of blood sugar is advisable to all mothers.
  • Mammogram: This test looks for the changes in your breasts though X-ray. You doctor can tell you when is the right time for you to get it tested and how many times.
  • Cervical Cancer Screening: Few tests for this to check changes in your cervix that can gradually cause cancer.

Who should visit more for prenatal check-ups

Doctors usually decide how more often do you need to visit them for prenatal check-ups depending upon your individual health. Some risk factors, might increase your doctor visits for you and your baby’s health. These risks include:

  • Pre-existing health problems: Having history of high blood pressure and diabetes can increase you visits. Doctor would want to examine your health from close, to make sure your baby’s health is not affected. Asthma, lupus, anemia, or obesity are some of the other health problems that require frequent visits.
  • Being age 35 or older: Most women give birth to strong and healthy babies during their late 30s and early 40s. But at times, there are increased chances of the baby to be born with defect after age of 35. You can also have high risk of pregnancy complications.
  • Risk of Preterm Labor: Having a history of preterm labor or premature birth, or having signs of preterm labor would want the doctor to examine you closely.

For more information on key doctor visits and check-ups during pregnancy, visit Book a tele-appointment today to speak to the doctor.

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