Any couple who is thinking of having a baby should first see a doctor ensure if they are in good health to do so. Although childbirth is a natural process and should be without any complication, certain disorders in the body could get severely alleviated if not checked on time. Then there comes the risk of passing some hereditary disorders from parent to the child. Therefore, before conceiving, the woman should start taking care of her health and building up her immunity so that the pregnancy affects neither her nor the child. It is advisable for women to start taking supplements containing folate well in advance as it reduces the chances of having an abnormal birth. Along with that, the prenatal period should be lined with constant and frequent medical follow-ups.
The first examination should be taken after 6 to 8 weeks of conceiving. A check up at this time will allow the doctors to correctly determine the length of pregnancy and the time left till delivery. The doctors will also ask you about the medications that you have taken or have been taking so that it can be continued or discontinued depending on how safe it is for the pregnancy. He will collect information about the previous pregnancies, conditions such as diabetes and whether or not there has been any miscarriage. The first examination should be inclusive of the following things.
- Height and weight measurement
- The examination of the uterus, its size, and position
- Examination to see if there has been any swelling
- Blood test to check the presence of infectious diseases such as syphilis, hepatitis, immunodeficiency virus, etc, which could potentially e passed on from the mother to the child
- Urine test
- A test to see if there are any possibilities of cervical cancer
- A separate test for the sexually transmitted diseases such as gonorrhea and chlamydial infection
After the first examination, the pregnant women should continuously go for a check at least every 4 weeks. This should be continued till the time of delivery. As she nears delivery, the frequency of examinations should be increased. These visits should mainly be aimed towards keeping a track of the body weight, blood pressure, uterus expansion and the growth of the fetus. It is also important to frequently measure the blood sugar levels so as to cut down the risk for gestational diabetes.
Ultra-sonography is done to assess the developments that have been taking place in the fetus. It gives a detailed image of the fetus, its movements and the rate at which the growth is taking place. Ultra-sonography also allows determining the heart beat and gender of the child. Ultra-sonography should be done as frequently as possible and if that is not possible, it should be done at least once during the pregnancy. This will also give an idea ab
out whether the mother will be able to have a normal delivery or a caesarean section is needed.
Getting prepped for childbirth
A pregnant woman should start bracing herself up for childbirth well in advance. This will include maintaining a healthy diet and keeping up with the exercises. The delivery should also be planned out in detail, like which hospital you are going to, which doctor you will refer and who is going to be with you. This will prevent the last minute rushes so that you can have a well-organized delivery.