Antenatal care starts as soon as the woman realises that she is pregnant. At the first visit in our centre we will ascertain the viability of the pregnancy by ultrasound. It is also the time when we will diagnose the presence of more than one fetus if this is the case. At the first visit we will also take an extended medical and obstetric history which is important to the care and management of pregnancy. We will also offer verbal and written information about nutrition, exercise, general health and activities over the next 9 months. Early in pregnancy the mother will perform some routine blood tests and some of them will be repeated later.
Irrespective of the mother’s age, we recommend an ultrasound assessment at 11-14 weeks gestation for the assessment of the nuchal translucency. This test is combined with a blood test (PAPP-A, b-HCG) in order to determine with more accuracy, the possibility of the fetus to have a chromosomal abnormality. If this possibility is valued as significant, then amniocentesis or a chorionic villus sampling is offered. In any case that the woman did not perform the nuchal translucency test, then another blood test at 16 weeks can estimate the risk of chromosomal abnormality but with much less accuracy. At the 22 weeks of gestation there is another ultrasound assessment which checks the baby’s anatomy. At this assessment we can also perform a Doppler assessment of the uterine arteries which can determine those pregnancies that have increased risk of developing complications later in gestation. The visits at our centre occur initially every 4 weeks but this can vary based on individual needs. Towards the end of the pregnancy visits will be every one to two weeks. At every visit the Blood Pressure is measured and the urine is checked for the presence of protein or glucose. The abdominal examination will also determine the baby’s growth and the way the baby is lying inside the womb.
At every occasion we would be happy to answer your questions and help to relieve your anxieties. At the third trimester of pregnancy we offer one more ultrasound assessment which can assess the baby’s growth and other parameters of the well-being of the baby. Cardiotocograph (CTG) is another complimentary test of the baby’s well-being, by recording the baby’s heart beat. This is usually offered towards the end of the pregnancy and to those women who have passed their expected day of delivery. Those women that have not started labour by their due day are followed regularly with Doppler ultrasound assessments and CTGs. Induction of Labour has been proven to have a higher chance of resulting in Caesarean Section.
Our objective is to avoid unnecessary interventions where possible, provided that the baby’s well-being has been assured. If labour does not start a week after the Expected Day of Delivery (EDD) then we are organising Induction of Labour.