Things You Need To Know About Prenatal Care

Pregnancy in Singapore is not just a matter of waiting for birth. It can be a joyful and fulfilling time for some women, both as individuals and as members of society. But it can also be an occasion of misery and suffering if the pregnancy is unwanted or comes at the wrong time, or if complications or adverse circumstances endanger the pregnancy, leading to illness or even death. Pregnancy may be common, but that doesn’t signify that it is trouble-free. Rarely is pregnancy greeted with indifference. 

When pregnancy occurs, women, partners, and families usually experience a mixture of joy, worry. They hope that the result will be the best of everything: a healthy family and a healthy child. All societies strive to make sure that giving birth is indeed a joyful ocassion. They do this by providing adequate prenatal care during pregnancy to promote health and manage problems by taking steps to prevent unwanted pregnancies and ensuring that pregnancies occur in socially and environmentally favourable conditions. 

Women around the world face many injustices during pregnancy. During this crucial time, women rely on the care and assistance of health services and household and community support systems. Exclusion, marginalisation and discrimination can severely affect the health of mothers and their babies.

Essential Components Of Prenatal Care

See your doctor on time and regularly.

If you think you are pregnant or think you might be, the first thing you should do is make an appointment with your doctor. He or she will be able to detect health problems in the mother and baby. He or she will be able to treat health complications during pregnancy.

Begin taking folic acid daily.

Ideally, women should start taking 500 to 800 mg of folic acid three months before becoming pregnant. By doing so, you will reduce the risk of birth defects of the back and leg. A folic acid vitamin is the best and most efficient way to ensure you are getting enough in your diet.

Get any medical conditions under control

Health conditions like asthma, diabetes, high blood pressure, depression and many more should be under control before you try to get pregnant. Talk to your doctor about how to control these conditions and what to expect during pregnancy.

Make sure your vaccine are up to date

When you go to your doctor to prepare your body for pregnancy, ask about any vaccinations that need to be refreshed within the next year. These should be completed before you try to get pregnant.

Stop drug and drinking alcohol

Alcohol and nicotine can be very harmful to your child. Give yourself enough rest to stop smoking and regain a healthy body before you try to get pregnant. Talk to your doctor if you need help quitting and find out about useful resources.

What Is Prenatal Care?

Prenatal care is the health care you receive during pregnancy. It includes a combination of doctor visits, screening and diagnostic tests, ultrasounds, counselling, education, emotional and social support, and foetal monitoring (i.e., monitoring foetal growth, heart rate, maternal blood pressure, and screening for signs of preterm labour).

What to expect during your visits

Here is an overview of everything you can expect during your doctors appointments:

6-12 weeks:  prenatal care begins with an office visit with your OB/GYN or midwife. A detailed test is taken, including a family history of genetic disorders with possible conculsion that include: Ultrasound, pelvic examination, blood count, blood pressure, weight and urine screening for protein and sugar.

12-16 weeks: The second appointment is usually one month after the first appointment. This appointment will most likely include blood pressure cheques, urine screenings, weight recording, and other tests if needed.

18-22 Weeks: If an ultrasound has already been done, then fundal height (FH) will be measured and foetal heart tones (FHT) will be documented. FH is the distance in distance from the pubic bone to the top of the uterus. FHTs are listening to and measuring the foetal heart rate with a handheld device called Foetal birth

22-26 weeks: This appointment is similar to the last one, with a diabetes screen, which can be done starting at 26 weeks. Your doctor may also cheque your hands and leg for swelling.

26-30 Weeks: This appointment is very similar to the last, screening for diabetes if not already done.

28-32 Weeks: Your visits may become more frequent now as you approach delivery. From here until 34 weeks, FH and FHT will be performed at each visit to cheque on the baby.

32-36 Weeks: Cervical exams begin at 36 weeks to cheque the baby’s position in the womb (crown, breech, occiput, etc.)

36-40 weeks: Your appointments become more frequent, and you will be seen every week until about 41 weeks gestation. The visits are routine examinations to cheque the baby’s health, growth, and position, with few additional tests.

One particular factor that affects prenatal care is the living area. Firstly find a location in Singapore that is near hospital or clinics

Secondly make sure that the area you are living in is conducive for pregnancy. You will not want a place where you have to worry going home late at night everyday, or is so noisy that you cannot have proper rest.

We will be talking about how living in a proper residential place can help with pregnancy and prenatal care.