how often should you visit your midwife during pregnancy?
Conceiving a baby, getting pregnant and becoming a parent is likely the most beautiful and awaited moment in the life of a couple especially females. Reproductive ability is a blessing that gives a feeling of completeness to females.
The time period from conception to the process of labour in which female delivers a baby is called as Antenatal period. This period has its own importance and it is critical one to monitor for successful and uncomplicated delivery of a baby. A well- monitored and healthy antenatal period will lead to a healthy mom and baby during the labour and in postnatal period.
When a female conceives and especially when it is her first baby she is excited, anxious and worried. A lot of advices from family, experienced elders, friends, life partner and lot more just make her confused with only a bundle of questions in her mind what and how to do, how will this experience be, how will it end and so on. The answer to all these questions is to visit a doctor or an authorized mid-wife in a clinic for scheduled antenatal checkups. It helps in detecting and treating any physical or psychological problems during pregnancy.
It provides a platform for the mother to discuss her anxieties and the misconceptions heard from here and there. She gets proper information regarding any procedure to be done, its reason and its implications. Most importantly the couple gets mentally ready and prepared for the new family member with all necessary information regarding the diet, childcare, mothercare in postnatal period and the likely problems both the baby and mother can suffer. Only the proper medical knowledge along with the present state of health of that mother will let her know how to go about the things.
When it comes to visiting a midwife or a doctor, the query raises how often to visit a midwife during pregnancy. As soon as the female misses her due date of periods after an unprotected intercourse she has either to do a pregnancy test herself or consults a midwife to get it done. After the pregnancy test turns to be positive, the journey of motherhood with all its ups and downs, positives and negatives begins.
After the pregnancy test is done, her first antenatal visit is between the 7 and 10 weeks. It should be followed by the visits between 12 and 15, 18 and 20, 26 and 28, and at 32, 34-36, 38 and 40 and 41 weeks. If some problem is detected at any time, the frequency of visits should be adjusted accordingly.
At the first antenatal visit the woman should undergo detailed blood investigation including hemoglobin level, ABO and rhesus blood group, hepatitis B and C antibodies, VDRL antibodies. Urine examination should be done. In each antenatal visit measurement of blood pressure, height of her fundus, urine test, listening the heart sounds should be performed along-with encouraging the female to discuss any problem she is facing. Rhesus negative females should have Rhesus antibody test at 28 and 36 weeks. Hemoglobin check should be done at 32 and 36 weeks and measure serum ferritin if required. The ultrasound imaging is done usually at 18-20 weeks of gestation to detect anomalies if present.
In addition there is a list of indications for imaging studies that can be done when required. The woman should be explained the necessary details of procedure of delivery, lower down the anxiety related to labour and prepared for breastfeeding. Usually if the pregnancy is going uncomplicated and the patient is having adequate balanced diet she needs not any medication, however she may require some iron or mineral supplements and should be monitored with laboratory investigations. These antenatal visits to midwife or a doctor will certainly prove helpful for the would be mother to cope with her journey to motherhood.
Dr Saadia Hafeez