Thursday, September 26, 2013

Follow doctor’s orders during your pregnancy

Having a baby is a magical time in a woman’s life. It is an exciting wait for a tiny miracle. It is important for a pregnant woman to take care of herself. One of the most important decisions you have to make, if you are expecting, is who your doctor will be and which hospital you would like to have your baby in. Once this decision is made, you need to make sure that you see your doctor on a regular basis throughout your pregnancy, maintain your records, do all the tests that the doctor has advised and follow the doctor’s directions correctly.

Tests that your doctor may advice you to do 

There are three trimesters in a pregnancy of three months each. Every trimester could be quite different from the other. The way your body feels, your emotional and physical needs may be different for each, as your body goes through a myriad changes during pregnancy. Your doctor will give you some routine tests for all three trimesters and some special ones, specifically during a certain trimester. Let’s take a look at the three trimesters and the tests that you may be required to do.

First trimester tests

Prenatal screening 

During the first trimester, it is important to do a prenatal screening which would include fetal ultrasound and maternal blood testing. This is to check if the fetus is healthy and has no birth defects. You may also have to do a plasma protein screening and/or a human chorionic gonadotropin test. These are again tests for any fetal abnormality. Apart from this, you will have to do routine blood and urine tests to check your vital parameters. These include a hemoglobin test to check your RBC, WBC and platelet count, fasting and random blood sugar test to determine your sugar levels. Some people get gestational diabetes which causes their sugar levels to go up, during pregnancy. It usually settles down after the baby is born.

Tests during your second trimester 

During the second trimester, the number of tests done may increase. You will have your routine blood, urine and stool tests, but you may also have to do blood tests to check for genetic markers. These are also tests that check if the baby has any birth defects. An ultrasound will also be advised to check the position of the baby and the placenta. If the genetic markers show any kind of abnormality, then a test called amniocentesis may be done. For this test, amniotic fluids will be drawn from the amniotic sac and this will be analyzed.

Tests during the third trimester 

You will be in the home stretch by now. If you have done all the tests recommended by your doctor during the first two trimesters, you can be sure now that you are carrying a healthy baby to term. In this trimester, the doctor may recommend an ultrasound to see the position of the baby. In the later stages, if you are having a difficult pregnancy, fetal monitoring may be advised. This keeps a check on the baby’s status 24/7. This is done to ensure that the baby does not go into distress unnoticed. If the baby does show signs of distress, the doctor may make a decision to bring the baby out early, as it may be safer outside than inside your womb.
Apart from these tests, the doctor will give you shots for a variety of illnesses to immunize you and your child. If you follow your doctor’s advice and take care of your health, you will be holding a tiny miracle at the end of it!


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