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Why should one have Antenatal check-ups during pregnancy?

For most of the women, pregnancy is a happy time.Antenatal check ups means visits done during pregnancy. Having regular antenatal check-ups is an important part to make sure that you and your baby are healthy.Regular checks during your pregnancy will help in identifying the high risk and low risk pregnancy and manage accordingly.

When should i have my first ANC?

Ideally you should visit your doctor as soon as your pregnancy is confirmed like by doing a urine pregnancy test, so that you get an opportunity to meet your doctor and know about normal and abnormal pregnancy changes. You will not only be briefed about visits and medications, but also will get mentally prepared for the future motherhood.

What should i expect in my first visit?

A general examination is done first along with checking and recording your weight.A thorough personal history, family history, past relevant history of any disease or surgery undergone will be asked.

How often should i have my visits?

Every month uptill 7th month and every fortnight thereafter uptill 8and half months, weekly thereafter until delivery. In high risk cases you will be having frequent visits as advised by your doctor. Pregnancy has been divided into three trimesters.(1st,2nd,3rd). If not every month WHO guidelines says that atleast a single visit in each trimester will help in identifying high risk cases ( especially in rural areas)

When should i have my first ultrasound?

Ultrasound should be done in first trimester as it has got some relevance. It not only confirms pregnancy,but rules out abnormal pregnancies like ectopic pregenancy, missed abortion, blighted ovum. It also rules out gynaecological problems which might complicate the pregnancy outcome. Finally when everything is fine it helps the obstetrician to give you the expected date of delivery.Subsequent ultrasounds done in 2nd and third trimester helps to rule out congenital anomalies and also in monitoring the growth of the baby.

How safe is it to have ultrasounds in pregnancy?

Because the ultrasound waves are high energy sound waves,unlike the X- rays which involve radiation , it is said to be safe irrespective of the number of times its been done. In a normal pregnancy you might be advised around 3 times , whereas in case of high risk pregnancies it is done as and when required.

Can i take medications during pregnancy?

Yes ofcourse with the consultation of your doctor as s some of the drugs are teratogenic. Its better to minimise any and all over the counter drugs.

What should be the ideal diet in pregnancy?

A healthy and a nutritious diet is the foundation for a healthy pregnancy. 3 major meals should include lot of green vegetables and fruits. Other nutrious food include egg, milk and meat.

Can i smoke and drink during pregnancy?

Smokoing and drinking both not safe for the unborn baby. Its found that high amount of alchohol consumption during pregnancy has led to fetal alchohol syndrome which means abnormal development of the baby. Similarly smoking causes reduced blood supply to the baby, growth restrictions and sudden death also.

Can i do exercise and yoga ?

Yes , you can. Twenty minutes walks in the morning and evening,light weight exercises and yogasanas too. It helps your muscles and joints to relax and losen and prepare your body for the labour changes .

How do i know about my fetal well being inbetween my visits?

You will appreciating the movements only after 20 weeks in primigravidas , and as early as 16-18 weeks in multigravidas. Before this period you need to observe some of the things like pain abdomen, leaking per vaginum,bleeding per vaginum, which might warn you to consult your doctor immediately. Once you start appreaiating fetal movements , you better have a keen observation , because that is the only subjective way of knowing your fetal well being. After 28 weeks its daily movement count (DFMC). You should feel 3 FM in one hour in the morning , 3 FM in the noon and 3 FM in the night roughly.