Prenatal Care of Pregnancy

Prenatal care of pregnancy is very important for development of a healthy baby and to prevent any pregnancy complications. Therefore pregnant women should be monitored right from the day of diagnosis of pregnancy till the delivery of the child.

Fetus at 38 weeks after fertilization 3D Pregn...
Fetus at 38 weeks after fertilization 3D Pregnancy (Image from gestational age of 40 weeks). Retrieved 2007-08-28. A rotatable 3D version of this photo is available here, and a sketch is available here. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Early diagnosis of pregnancy is very important to monitor. There are several methods to diagnose pregnancy.

Final weeks of pregnancy
Final weeks of pregnancy (Photo credit: storyvillegirl)

Urine test is simple for diagnosing of pregnancy. Test cards are available, which are very simple to use. Housewives can conveniently use the cards at home to know their pregnancy result. HCG is detected by these cards and the result is seen within few minutes. Serum HCG can also be checked if there is any doubt. Serum HCG or urine HCG can be checked soon after the periods are missed or after 14 days of embryo transfer in case of IVF or ICSI cycles. After about 14 days of testing the urine or serum ultra sound scan can be done to detect the gestational sac and the pulsation which confirms the pregnancy. Ultra sound examination also is useful to detect multiple pregnancies.

As soon as the pregnancy is confirmed a gynecologist should be consulted for a thorough examination and to take necessary instructions and care to be taken. The gynecologist monitors the pregnancy till delivery of the baby. If the pregnancy is due to an IVF or ICSI utmost care should be taken since the pregnancy is valued very high.

The following aspects should be taken care during the monitoring of pregnancy.

  • History: A complete history of the pregnant women should be collected regarding the sicknesses before pregnancy and treatments taken for taking necessary care.
  • Urine test: To detect glucose and albumen for any symptoms of diabetes or kidney problem.
  • Blood tests: To find out hemoglobin levels, blood group, blood glucose and any antibodies against diseases like hepatitis, HIV to take necessary preventive measures.
  • Blood pressure: For monitoring of blood pressure throughout the pregnancy period to be cautious against pre-eclampsia.
  • Measurement of weight: To monitor the growth rate of the fetus.
  • Ultra sound scan to monitor the growth of the baby and to study the genetic abnormalities of the baby.(Usually done between 11-20 weeks).

The above tests are very useful to take preventive measures in case of any negative results.

Nutritional requirements during pregnancy:

Iron is an important topic in prenatal care be...
Iron is an important topic in prenatal care because women can sometimes become iron-deficient from the increased iron demands of pregnancy. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The pregnant women require more nutrition to cope up with the growing fetus. Nutritious food should be given to prevent anemia, calcium deficiency. Green vegetables and fruits should be included in the diet. Fish, eggs, and dairy products also should be included in the diet to get enough calcium, iron, protein and folate. Grains and beans provide vegetable protein.

Exercise during pregnancy:

Exercise prepares the pregnant women to gain necessary stamina to face the labor. If the pregnancy is not complicated exercise is a useful option to keep the body healthy and active. Mild walking, low level aerobics, or indoor cycling is good options to take up. However it is advisable to take the guidance of your doctor before taking up any exercise who will decide the type of exercise suitable to you.

Substances which should be avoided during pregnancy:

Coffee, tea, smoking, alcohol, should be avoided since they adversely affect the developing baby. Medications if necessary should be taken as per the advice of the doctor only since many drugs affect the baby and cause adverse reactions.

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