Prenatal care, also known as antenatal care is a type of preventive healthcare, with the goal of providing regular check-ups that allow doctors or midwives to treat and prevent potential health problems throughout the course of the pregnancy while promoting healthy lifestyles that benefit both mother and child. During check-ups, pregnant women will receive medical information over maternal physiological changes in pregnancy, biological changes, and prenatal nutrition including prenatal vitamins. Recommendations on management and healthy lifestyle changes are also made during regular check-ups. The availability of routine prenatal care, including prenatal screening and diagnosis, has played a part in reducing maternal death rates and miscarriages as well as birth defects, low birth weight, neonatal infections and other preventable health problems.
During your pregnancy, you’ll be offered a range of tests, including blood tests and ultrasound scans. These tests are designed to check for anything that may cause a problem during your pregnancy or after the birth.
The screening of blood tests will be performed during the pregnancy such as :
Blood type, Rh factor, and antibody screening
Screening for Down syndrome and other conditions
When will I get my ultrasound scans?
This can vary from person to person. All pregnant women should have at least one scan in the first trimester but most get two. If yours is a low-risk pregnancy, you may have four or five scans during your entire pregnancy.
These routine scans usually are :
Dating and viability scan between 6 and 9 weeks.
Nuchal translucency (NT) scan sometimes called the early morphology scan between 11 and 13 weeks.
Anomaly scan (ultrasound level II) between 18 and 20 weeks.
Growth scan or fetal wellbeing scan between 28 and 32 weeks.
Growth scan and colour doppler studies between 36 and 40 weeks.
You will need more scans if :
You are above 35 years.
You are carrying twins or more.
There is a difference in your baby's expected size based on your due date, and his actual size as measured in a scan. This is known as intra-uterine growth restriction (IUGR).
Any irregularity or complication with the pregnancy such as ageing placenta, low or high levels of amniotic fluid, an irregularity in blood circulation in the umbilical cord and so on.
You have a medical condition, such as high blood pressure, gestational diabetes, a problem with your liver function which may cause some complications.