If you belong to a traditional Indian family, there are two places you will visit most during your pregnancy – a place of worship (temple, mosque, church) and your doctor’s clinic. You can expect to see your doctor more than you see your friends. These visits are only valid considering that your doctor is the one to care for your baby. However, how many of these prenatal visits are enough? In this article, Dr Astha Dayal, one of the best obstetricians in Gurgaon, discusses the role of prenatal appointments. You can consult Dr Astha dayal at the CK Birla Hospital, the best maternity hospital in Gurgaon.
‘How much is too much?’ is an age-old question. Doctor visits during pregnancy are a must but like everything else, they should also be tracked.
How many prenatal appointments can I expect?
OB-GYN experts worldwide recommend an expecting couple to follow a certain schedule to receive prenatal care. The suggested schedule for prenatal appointments are as follows:
Weeks 4 to 28: 1 prenatal visit a month
Weeks 28 to 36: 1 prenatal visit every 2 weeks
Weeks 36 to 40: 1 prenatal visit every week
This is the general appointment schedule suggested for patients. As an expecting parent, you should make sure to follow this schedule at all costs.
The general schedule, however, can alter depending upon your overall health and the progress of your pregnancy. If there are additional tests or screenings that you require, your doctor may suggest you attend those.
If your health condition or your baby’s growth requires more attention, your total number of prenatal visits may increase.
What risk factors lead to an increased number of prenatal visits?
There is a wide spectrum of factors that help your doctor determine if additional visits are required. Most often, if you or your baby would be at a risk, your doctor would ask you to schedule prenatal appointments. The common risk factors for this purpose include:
Advance maternity age: If you are carrying a child at an age of over 35 years, your risks of high-risk pregnancy substantially increase. In this case, your prenatal care will differ from the average.
Underlying health problems: Your doctor would keep a closer look at your pregnancy if you have a history of some medical condition. If you have a pre-existing health condition during the course of pregnancy, then also you would be required to get extra prenatal care. Some of the common health conditions that impact a pregnancy are diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, epilepsy, depression, blood disorders, autoimmune diseases, anaemia, asthma, obesity and more.
Risk of preterm delivery: A preterm delivery is when the labour is induced early than 37 weeks of pregnancy. Preterm labour increases the risks of health complications for the mother and child. If your doctor suspects that you may have preterm labour, he/she will ask you to come for additional tests and screenings.
What types of tests can I expect during my prenatal appointments?
The purpose of prenatal screening is to determine the health of your fetus. In order to make sure that your baby is growing well while you are also keeping safe, gynecologists do multiple tests through the course of a pregnancy. Some of the common prenatal tests include:
- Blood tests
- Physical exam
- Urine (sugar level) tests
- Ultrasound scans
During the 9 months of your gestation period, your gynecologist will instruct you to have numerous ultrasounds. While the objective of an ultrasound is to visualize the growth of the fetus, this imaging technique also helps in checking the fetus for possible abnormalities.
You can visit the CK Birla Hospital, the best maternity hospital in Gurgaon to know more about prenatal visits.