Your first antenatal visit is called your booking visit. This is the most important antenatal visit as gives your doctor the opportunity to screen and identify any risks that may have bearing on the progress and outcome of your pregnancy. Hence, it is better to have this booking visit as early as possible, at least less than 12 weeks of pregnancy.
At the booking visit, you will be asked several questions with regards to your medical health, previous surgeries, gynaecology problem, relevant past obstetric details, family history and socio-economic background. A thorough body examination will also be done. This includes the neck, breast, chest and abdominal examination. Your blood pressure and urine will be check for protein and sugar. Several blood tests and an ultrasound may be ordered. An antenatal card will be given as well as your next appointment schedule.
Antenatal visit is usually scheduled every month till 28 weeks, 2 weekly till 36 weeks and then weekly from 36 weeks onwards. However, your antenatal visit may be more frequent if any complication arises.
Further subsequent antenatal visits will be done to monitor the progress of your pregnancy and that your baby is growing well. The following will usually be done in the antenatal visits:
- Your blood pressure and weight measured.
- Your urine will be check for sugar and protein.
- Your abdomen will be palpated to assess your baby’s growth and position.
- Your baby’s heart beat will be heard.
- An ultrasound may be requested occasionally.
- Relevant blood investigations.
You may have to wait for some time at the antenatal clinics especially at the government hospital as there is usually a long queue. So, perhaps it would be a good idea to take a book and snack along with you.
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