How Much Should A Baby Weight At 20 Week Ultrasound Pregnancy Antenatal Care – Your Health Care Team and Appointments

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Pregnancy Antenatal Care – Your Health Care Team and Appointments

During pregnancy, you and your baby’s health are closely monitored, but who should you see? When are you going to see them? And what are all the pregnancy tests and scans for? Figuring out what antenatal care to expect when you’re pregnant can be confusing, so here’s our guide to help you through this exciting time.

Your pregnancy health team

Your team of healthcare professionals during pregnancy can be quite varied. Initially, you should see your general practitioner (family doctor) when you think you are pregnant and they will help you plan your antenatal care.

Your doctor should tell you how to arrange your first appointment with your midwife (also known as your ‘appointment’) and from there the midwife will look after you and your baby throughout your pregnancy and for the first few weeks after your baby is Born.

You can also have routine appointments with an obstetrician at the beginning and end of your pregnancy. They specialize in pregnancy and childbirth and will see you more regularly if you are carrying multiple births, have complications with your pregnancy or need a planned caesarean section.

When your baby is a few months old, your health nurse will take over the care of you and your baby from your midwife. They will likely visit you to see how you are doing and are available for any worries or concerns you may have as your baby grows.

Pregnancy check

During your first pregnancy you are likely to have up to 10 appointments to attend. This reduces to around 7 in subsequent pregnancies.

The number of tests you have when you are pregnant depends on many things:

  • Your risk factors
  • Any complications
  • Selected work opportunities
  • The number of babies you are carrying
  • The area in which you live.

All pregnant women will be given their medical records, which they must keep during the pregnancy. Don’t forget to bring them to all your appointments so that the doctor or midwife treating you has your notes to hand.

Order by appointment

The first meeting with your midwife will take place when you are around 8-10 weeks pregnant and is called the “booking-in” time.

This is where your midwife will discuss your family history (and your partner’s), give you advice on your diet, lifestyle and staying healthy while pregnant.

The midwife will also carry out some tests such as urine and blood tests, you will have your blood pressure checked and some details about your body recorded such as height, weight and stomach measurement. This is all for your midwife to monitor the health of you and your baby.

Dating 12 week scan

Many clinics offer a scan between 10 and 14 weeks. This is your pregnancy dating scan (also called the 12 week scan) and is used to date the pregnancy more precisely than the estimated due date your midwife may have given you. The dating scan is also used to check the number of babies you are carrying.

Sometimes you may be able to take a photo of the baby home with you (hospitals often charge for this) to keep as momentum of your 12 week scan. For most women, this is the first time they have seen the baby.

The dating scan is not offered in all parts of the country, so if this is not available to you in your area, you will need to wait for the 20-week anomaly scan, which is the next scheduled pregnancy scan.

Pregnancy blood tests

You should have a series of blood tests in your 2nd trimester, usually between the 14th and 20th week of your pregnancy. These are routine and offered to all pregnant women:

  • Blood group tests identify whether you are Rhesus Negative (RhD). This can cause complications in later pregnancies, but simple injections during your first pregnancy will prevent this.
  • You’ll have what’s called a full blood count test (repeated again at 28 weeks) to help monitor you for anemia, a common complaint during pregnancy.
  • You will also be screened for infections and viruses such as hepatitis B, syphilis and HIV. This is a safety measure and just means they can look after your baby to prevent you passing on the infection during pregnancy.

20 week anomaly scan

Around your 20th week of pregnancy, you will have an anomaly scan. This is a detailed check of your baby using ultrasound and examines the baby’s body, measurements and growth. They will also check your placenta and you may even be able to find out what your baby is, although not all places offer this and no hospital guarantees the gender from an ultrasound.

You can usually ask for a picture from this pregnancy scan, but again expect to pay a fee. Some sites even offer a video.

Additional tests and scans

In addition to the regular pregnancy scans and tests, you may be offered additional checks, either as optional tests if you are at risk of complications, or as extra monitoring of your baby. The important thing to remember is to discuss any concerns you have with your midwife or doctor, they are there to help make your pregnancy as healthy, safe and comfortable as possible.

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