Your understanding… … Researched Definitions (www.bbc.co.uk) I think antenatal care involves Antenatal care monitors your supporting mothers and their health during pregnancy unborn babies before the birth. as well as the health and development of your baby.
It is important because it can It can help predict possible predict problems that may occur, problems with your this means they can try and pregnancy or the birth, so stop them from happening action can be taken to avoid before they ever occur. or treat them.
I feel that without antenatal care many women’s lives and hearts could be destroyed if something happened with the birth, which could have been avoided if it was found earlier.
The care provided to a mother before the birth of her child, is also known as ‘antenatal care’, during the first 8 weeks she should make an appointment with her GP, preferably as soon as she thinks she is pregnant. If they are found to be pregnant, they will be referred to a mid-wifery team or a mid-wife. This means they can be given health advice as soon as possible. During the next 12-16 weeks, she will be ‘booked in’ with her local maternity unit; this is so they know she is expecting a baby. Her mid-wife will either visit her at home, or the women will need to attend a booking clinic at her local hospital or health centre. This is when the first few tests are done and the pregnant women will be informed about what is going to happen during pregnancy. The second antenatal session is usually at about 24 weeks of her pregnancy stage. They ser patterns for future appointments, and the mid-wife also checks her blood pressure, urine and measure the size of her ‘bump’. During 24-32 weeks, she should have an appointment once a month, then every two weeks after that, although this does depends on the area that you live in. Then during 30-36 weeks, most mums tend to start attending antenatal classes, normally run by a local mid-wife. Finally at 36 weeks onwards, the women are most likely to have an appointment every week. Close checks are done on the size and position of the baby. If the mid-wife has any concerns she refers the women for a scan, or to see the obstetrician to double check things over.
Your first appointment is most likely to be the longest. You may be offered the chance to see your baby through an ultra-sound, although, this can be scheduled for another time from this appointment.
Your might be offered an ultra-sound scan at any of these times-
6-8 weeks-To confirm pregnancy and to see if it’s developing in the fallopian tubes and not the uterus, and to check if the fetus is alive by checking for a heartbeat.
10-14 weeks-To confirm pregnancy and to check if you’re expecting twins or more. And to also asses the risk of Downs Syndrome, or other chromosomal conditions.
20-23 weeks-This will be to check for Spinal Bifida and other possible abnormities, and to look in detail at your baby, to check its grown and the health of your placenta.
Later scans monitor the babies growth and to check the position of the placenta and the baby.
How ultrasounds work-
Ultrasounds use high-frequency sound waves, which bounce off solid objects, which will create a screen image of your uterus and nearby organs, including your baby, and its organs and your placenta. They can be 2D or 3D. Whilst you’re lying down, the operator spreads gel over your tummy, and rolls a hand-held transducer across the area, which is then transmitted to a screen. These may be printed out for you, and sometimes put on a CD.
Blood Tests during Pregnancy-
Normally, a small sample of blood is taken at your first antenatal appointment, you may also be asked to give a sample at a later date in the pregnancy.
The test can…
-Identify your blood group
-see if your blood is rhesus positive or negative.