Nervous about your gynae appointments? Here are the routine examinations and scans you can expect, trimester by trimester.
Your first check-up will involve a scan to confirm and date your pregnancy, says Dr Chee Jing Jye of The Obstetrics and Gynaecology Centre.
If you have morning sickness, ask your doctor how to deal with it, as well as the basic dos and don’ts of pregnancy. You may also consider doing a Down syndrome screening test at this stage.
Your doctor will also go through your medical and gynaecological history to see if you’re at risk for any pregnancy complication. If you are, take this chance to ask your doctor how he intends to manage it, suggests Dr Tony Tan of Raffles Women’s Centre.
Also, inform your doctor if you’ve been exposed to any medications or harmful substances that might potentially affect your unborn baby.
Your doctor will continue with routine monthly examinations and scans. At about Week 20, you’ll undergo a detailed scan to check if your baby’s structures are developing well, says Dr Chee.
She adds that if you’re at risk of developing gestational diabetes (that is, diabetes in pregnancy), your doctor will also order a special test called the oral glucose tolerance test to be done at Week 28.
Towards the end of the second trimester, you can ask your doctor questions about delivery and pain-relief options, says Dr Tan.
Discuss your birth plan with him and see if he’s comfortable with them. You may also want to ask questions about cord blood banking.
Third trimester – the final stretch
At about 35 to 36 weeks, you’ll need a compulsory test for a bacteria called Group B Streptococcus, says Dr Chee.
From 37 weeks onwards, apart from regular scans, another mode of fetal monitoring known as cardiotocograph – which monitors your baby’s heart rate and rhythm – will be done as part of the routine antenatal visit.
By now, you should be well-informed of the labour process and what to expect if it doesn’t go as planned, and if interventions such as a C-section, forceps or vacuum delivery are required, reminds Dr Anthony Siow of Parkway Gynaecology Screening and Treatment Centre. Get more information from your doctor.
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