Happy Pregnancy – 2 : Your first antenatal visitView in: Tamil
– Dr. Vidhya Selvam, MBBS, MS, DNB, MRCOG(UK)
Dr. Vidhya Selvam is an obstetrician, Gynaecologist, Fertility Specialist and a laparoscopic Surgeon. She specializes in Infertility counselling and treatment, antenatal and postnatal Pregnancy care, vaginal delivery and caesarean section, gynaec procedures, laparoscopic surgeries and obstetric Ultrasound Scan. She practices as an Assistant Professor in a private medial college in Chennai, India. She is a Member of Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (MRCOG), UK.
In this era of information, being misinformed is as dangerous or I should say more dangerous than being not informed. Source of information decides the nature of information. So decide the source wisely. Healthy mother and healthy baby is our ultimate destination. In this journey of pregnancy, your Obstetrician is the torch in your hands who can throw light on the dark spots and show you whether the one hiding behind is of concern or not.
In this article we are going to see how to prepare for the first visit to the obstetrician and what to expect.
When should I visit?
Have the first visit as soon as the pregnancy is confirmed by urine test, especially if you have any risk factors like being more than 35 years old, any medical conditions, on any medications or with previous miscarriages.
Who should accompany me?
A person who is going to be with you through out pregnancy will be the ideal partner for the visit as it will help both of you understand the do’s and don’ts precisely.
Ofcourse, having your life patner by your side will help you share these precious moments together.
What should I carry?
Have your medical records with you. Have your partner’s medical records also if his condition in anyway would affect the baby in your womb.
You will have many small doubts nagging in your mind related to the pregnancy. Kindly list down all those as simple questions. E.g. Shall I travel by two wheeler to work? Bring the list to the clinic so you don’t miss out anything.
What is the aim of the first visit?
From the doctors view, the main aim of the first visit is to categorize your pregnancy as low risk or high risk with series of questions, clinical examinations and tests.
What will the doctor ask me?
The doctor will ask everything about you. She/He will ask your age, how long you are married, whether this is a spontaneous conception or you had treatment for infertility, how regular your cycles are, what is your last menstrual date, any medical condition like diabetes, hypertension, hypothyroid, history of surgeries in the past. Be ready to tell everything. For medical conditions, you can show your medical records to be precise. If you had already been pregnant, doctor will ask about your previous pregnancies also in detail.
If you are worried to tell certain aspects of your personal information in front of the people accompanying you, kindly use the privacy during examination to tell them to the doctor in detail.
What examinations will I undergo?
Your height and weight will be checked and your BMI will be calculated. High BMI(>30) and low BMI (<18) are high risk. Your blood pressure, pulse will be measured. The doctor will check of you have anaemia, thyroid enlargement.
She/he will check your heart and lungs with stethoscope to know your general health status. The doctor will also check your abdomen along with your private parts. She /he may also do per vaginal examination to know if your womb is appropriately enlarged for your pregnancy period and the adjacent organs are of normal size.
When to do the first scan?
The first scan done between 6 to 7 weeks gives lot of vital information. So the doctor will ask you to do the frist scan by this period. I will discuss in detail about the scans during Pregnancy in the next part.
What are blood and urine tests?
The doctor will ask you to do a battery of tests to know about your health condition exactly.
- Hemoglobin – To know if you are anaemic
- Fasting and post breakfast blood sugar – To know if you are diabetic
- Thyroid function test – To know the thyroid status
- Blood grouping and typing – for the purpose of emergencies
- HIV, VDRL, HBSAG, HepC – these are the infections that if you are suffering from, may adversely affect the baby’s well-being and if properly managed, we can bring a change.
- Urine analysis – being the window of our body, analysing the urine for the presence of various components like proteins, sugars, pus cells etc hepls us to know the functioning status of various systems in our body.
What drug will I be prescribed?
If you are not already taking folic acid, you will be prescribed to take folic acid 1 tablet per day regularly. It is a simple vitamin present in green leaves. It is essential for multiplying cells. Pregnancy is when your body has to support single cell multiplying into millions of cells is a truly demanding condition for this vitamin – folic acid. Hence supplementation of this vitamin is important. Various studies have proven that folic supplementation few months before pregnancy and in the first few month of pregnancy reduces the chances of the baby having many congenital deformities (neural tube defects).
If you are having severe morning sickness, doctor may prescribe tablets to reduce the vomitting.
If you are taking any medication (be it allopathic, ayurvedic etc) before pregnancy, show them to the doctor and ask if it is safe to continue them in the same dose during pregnancy.
Ok dear to be moms! That’s all for now. Have a happy pregnancy. If you have any doubts, feel free to ask them. Let us see in our next appointment. If you have any specific doubt to be clarified, contact me at email@example.com or comment in this article. Based on your question, it will be answered directly or in the next article. Your questions can be anonymous. Let us see in the next article with lot more information.