The first antenatal care is an important appointment, and we recommend it be done before eight weeks of pregnancy. During this visit, the pregnancy is not only confirmed, but we provide key information on what needs to be done in the months ahead so that the mother and the baby are healthy.
This is the right time to discuss pregnancy care and get antenatal counselling.
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Set up an appointment with your doctor at about 6 to 8 weeks into pregnancy. However, if you have had pregnancy complications before, have a medical condition, or have symptoms like stomach pain, severe vomiting and nausea, and vaginal bleeding,
I recommend you visit much earlier or when you feel the symptoms are not subsiding. First-time mother or not, it is quite natural to be anxious about how the antenatal visit will be; there is no need to worry as it is a visit to the doctor for preliminary checks.
After the initial inquiries, we generally start by noting the detailed medical history of the pregnant woman and her family. This is done to assess the overall health of the individual. Questions regarding previous pregnancies, operations or illnesses, medications(prescribed and unprescribed), allergies to any medicines, or any current health issues will help make necessary changes. Lifestyle-related questions like alcohol, cigarette smoking or recreational drugs are also enquired.
Family history, including any chronic illnesses like diabetes, genetic disorders, and family history of having twins, is asked to understand the need for any genetic tests if there is a history of genetic disorders. If blood test reports are carried out, we will check the parameters for anaemia, diabetes etc.
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During the appointment, enquiries about any previous pregnancies and their outcomes help us plan for the current one.
A thorough antenatal check-up is done when you come to your first prenatal exam. A fetal heartbeat can be heard or seen on an ultrasound if the pregnancy is over eight weeks. Your blood pressure, breathing rate, and heartbeat are recorded to indicate how well your body is functioning. These will be monitored throughout the pregnancy,
The first ante natal visit serves as a baseline for measurement and changes.
During your first visit, the pregnancy gets confirmed and you also get to know your due date. This is also a great time to get the best antenatal counselling to choose from, as it can help ensure a healthy pregnancy. An ultrasound can help find which week of pregnancy you are in and the probable delivery date.
Clear instructions on how to care for yourself regarding activities, nutrition, food, and prenatal vitamins will be offered to pregnant women. You should follow them and take vitamins with folic acid as prescribed, protecting the baby from certain congenital disabilities. I will also talk you through the common symptoms, the discomforts you may experience, and the warning signs for which immediate care and attention are needed.
We discuss the antenatal care follow-up and exercises to ensure that you and your baby are healthy. These visits are recommended for the first trimester and increase frequency during the second and third trimesters. Like all others, the first antenatal appointment will be about you and your baby’s health. Be at ease and feel free to ask as many questions as you want about ANC care; We will be happy to answer all of them during your ANC visit.
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