Maternity Medical Care

Maternity Medical Care

Maternity medical care is an essential part of your life during pregnancy. Regular check-ups ensure good health of you and your baby. Physical exam, lab tests and other health tests are all part of your medical care. Prenatal care and post-delivery care is very essential.

Why is maternity medical care important?

Frequent visits to your healthcare provider allow you to track your baby’s development. Maternity medical care allows you resolve all your queries about your pregnancy, birth, or parenthood. Most healthcare providers welcome your partner, as well as interested family members, at each visit.

When to visit the doctor for the first time?

Your prenatal care must begin very early, ideally even before you are pregnant. You should visit a doctor immediately you test positive for pregnancy at home. The first visit should be within 6th to 8th week.  You can also visit the doctor if your period is 2 to 4 weeks late.

How many visits are required in each trimester?

If you are having a health pregnancy, without any complications, you can visit

  • Every 4 weeks until 26th week
  • Then every 2 weeks until 36th week
  • Lastly, every week until delivery.

Types of doctors you generally consult for maternity medical care?

When pregnant you mostly need to seek help from the following medical practitioners

  • Obstetricians-a doctor who specializes in pregnancy and child birth
  • Obstetricians/gynaecologists (OB/GYN)- a doctor who specializes in pregnancy, child birth and women’s health
  • Your family doctor- someone who knows your and your family medical history.
  • Midwife or nurse- a certified midwife or nurse can help you with your pregnancy, prenatal care, labor and delivery requirements.

What to expect in the first check-up of maternity medical care?

Your first visit is to evaluate you overall health. Apart from this the first visits importance are to:

  • Determine your due date
  • Evaluate your health
  • Know if there is any medical history of family members
  • Any medications you are or were on
  • Determine if there are risk factors based on you age, health, etc.
  • Check if out for any complications in the previous pregnancy.
  • Check for previous surgeries, or exposure the contagious diseases
  • Weight and blood pressure is also checked
  • Pelvic exam is taken to screen for cervical cancer, and to detect for STDs (Sexually Transmitted Diseases). A bimanual internal exam is also done to determine the size of your uterus, pelvis and abnormalities of ovaries, fallopian tubes and pelvis.
  • You can also listen to your baby’s heartbeat for the first time during this. Doppler, which uses ultrasound waves to detect the heartbeat is used. Though the doppler can detect the heartbeat not before 10-12 week of pregnancy.

What are the tests involved in maternity medical care?

Few lab tests that are done during your first visit to the doctor are:

  • A complete blood count (CBC), to check blood related problems like anaemia.
  • RPR, to check for syphilis (a sexually transmitted disease)
  • Rubella, to know your immunity against German measles.
  • HBsAg, to test for Hepatitis B (Liver infection).
  • Urinalysis: To test for kidney diseases and liver infections.
  • HIV screening.

What to ask the Doctor as a part of prenatal care?

Here are few questions that you may ask your doctor on your first visit

  • When is your due date?
  • Are the symptoms you are experiencing are normal?
  • Dos and don’ts during pregnancy.
  • Foods to avoid?
  • Can you have intercourse during pregnancy?
  • What are the warning signs
  • The size of your uterus?
  • What is high-risk pregnancy? Are you at high-risk?
  • What are the complications that can happen during your pregnancy?

Tips for healthy pregnancy

To ensure a healthy pregnancy, you should:

  • Avoid smoking, vaping, drinking and taking illegal drugs.
  • Check with your doctor before taking any over the counter medications
  • Eat a healthy diet.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Avoid certain herbal supplements
  • Avoid high doses of vitamins. Consult your doctor before taking any vitamins

To know more about maternity medical care and prenatal care, post-delivery care visit Book a tele-appointment with the doctor for personal consultation.

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