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.
You don’t have to have the tests. However, it’s important to understand the purpose of the tests you’ll be offered so that you can make an informed decision about whether to have them. You should discuss them with your maternity team and you should be given written information about the screening tests offered.
You will be weighed at your booking appointment, but you won’t be weighed regularly during your pregnancy. Your height and weight are used to calculate your BMI (body mass index). Women who are overweight for their height are at increased risk of problems during pregnancy.
Most women put on between 11 and 16kg in pregnancy, most of it after they are 20 weeks pregnant. Much of the extra weight is due to the baby growing, but your body also stores fat for making breast milk after the birth. During your pregnancy, it’s important to eat the right foods and do regular exercise.
During your pregnancy, you will be offered a number of ultrasound scans.
These include a dating scan which can be used to confirm your due date, a nuchal translucency scan might be offered to help you work out the risk of your baby having a chromosomal abnormality and an anomaly scan, which is a detailed ultrasound scan of you and your baby.
You’ll be asked to give a urine sample at your antenatal appointments. Your urine is checked for several things, including protein or albumin. If this is found in your urine, it may mean that you have an infection that needs to be treated. It may also be a sign of pregnancy-induced hypertension, which can be a sign of pre-eclampsia.
Your blood pressure will be taken at every antenatal visit. A rise in blood pressure later in pregnancy could be a sign of pregnancy-induced hypertension. It’s very common for your blood pressure to be lower in the middle of your pregnancy than at other times. This isn’t a problem, but it may make you feel lightheaded if you get up quickly. Talk to your midwife or doctor if you’re concerned about it.
There will be several blood tests offered to you during your pregnancy. These include your blood group, Rhesus (RhD) factor, iron levels, gestational diabetes and for infections.
The Cervical Screening Test has replaced the two-yearly Pap test. This test is more accurate than Pap smears at detecting human papillomavirus (HPV), a common virus that can change cells in your cervix, which in rare cases can develop into cervical cancer.
For most women aged 25 to 74 years, their first Cervical Screening Test is due two years after their last Pap test. After that, they will only need to have the test every five years if their result is normal.
Group B streptococcus (GBS, or group B strep) is a bacteria carried by up to 30% of people but it rarely causes harm or symptoms. In women it’s found in the intestine and vagina and causes no problem in most pregnancies. However, in a small number of pregnancies, it infects the baby. This can happen just before or during labour and can lead to serious illness.
If you’ve already had a baby who had a GBS infection, you should be offered antibiotics during labour to reduce the chances of your new baby getting the infection.
If you have had a group B streptococcal urinary tract infection with GBS (cystitis) during the pregnancy, you should also be offered antibiotics in labour. A swab from just inside the vagina can be taken to check for this bacteria. This is usually done at 36 weeks. If the test is positive your doctor may plan to give you antibiotics during labour.
Maternity Leave Coach provides free, non-judgemental emotional support and reassurance. We provide guidance on children’s growth, behaviour and development and are able to refer parents to local services. Our maternal child health nurses work with parents to ensure the health and wellbeing of their children and family.
Northwest Garage, Columbus, OH 43210, USA.
Phone Number: (614) 688-8728
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