Subsequent Antenatal Visits
Antenatal visits are each four to six weeks until 28 weeks, then each two to three weeks until 36 weeks and then weekly until your baby is born. If there are any pregnancy complications or special considerations you may need some extra visits.
These visits are usually straightforward check-ups. They are necessary to check your progress in pregnancy, your wellbeing, the wellbeing of your baby, to identify problems, to address any queries or concerns you may have and to start planning your delivery.
What happens at subsequent antenatal visits?
I consider a holistic approach to pregnancy care is important. It is not unusual to have discussions on other concerns that you may have and may wish to share. These concerns may not be specifically about their own physical wellbeing or their baby’s wellbeing. If it is a problem for you and you wish to discuss it with us then we would like to hear – my focus is your overall wellbeing.
I endeavour to allow plenty of time for these visits and certainly don’t want you to feel rushed.
The following checks will be made at each subsequent antenatal visit:
- Your blood pressure
- Abdomen palpation.
- Ultrasound scan of your baby to check your baby’s wellbeing and growth at no cost to you. Photos taken will be exported to your personalised USB flash drive to you to add to your baby’s photo album.
- Urine testing for protein (toxaemia or kidney disease) and sugar (diabetes).
- Your weight.
At these visits, you lie clothed on the examination couch. All I need is access to check your arm (blood pressure check) and your tummy (baby check). An internal examination is not usually done at these visits. If you are concerned about abnormal vaginal discharge or bleeding then an internal examination may be needed. Also, I often do an internal examination close to your due date to see if the cervix is getting ready.
If you have Rh negative blood group you will be offered prophylaxis Anti-D injections twice in your pregnancy to protect your baby from Rh disease. The first will be after your 28-week blood test results are and the second will be at about 36 weeks. If you have bleeding in the pregnancy then you will need extra Anti-D to be given.
Often a patient will bring her husband/partner to these visits. Sometime she will also bring parents and even friends to watch their baby on the ultrasound screen.