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Antenatal check-ups: what to expect?

ZP® - English

, 22 January 2019 13:48Laatste update op: 2 August 2019 15:59

Checkups at the obstetrician. What can you expect? The obstetrician is there to guide you through this period in a way that is as pleasant as possible for you. If you and/or your partner want to discuss any questions or concerns, this is always possible.

Regular check-ups

The obstetrician will check a number of things because these results give a good impression of how your baby is doing, but also how you are doing.

  • Weight
  • Blood
  • Blood pressure
  • Protein and sugar in your urine
  • External examination

How often do you visit the obstetrician? It is recommended to visit the obstetrician every four to five weeks, during the first months. As of week 25, every three weeks and as of week 30 every two weeks. As of four weeks before your due date, you are expected to have a check up every week. If you have symptoms or complications, it may be necessary to have more frequent contact with your obstetrician.

Weight

It is logical for you to gain weight during the pregnancy. The obstetrician will check to see whether this is happening in a healthy way. It is possible that you lost weight at your first checkup, because the making of a baby takes a lot of energy. You may have little appetite in the first three months and feel nauseous regularly. You will then gain weight during the pregnancy. The exact number of kilos that is going to be varies per woman: for one it is seven kilos and for the other twenty.

The weight increase is based on:

  • the baby itself: 3400 grams
  • the amniotic fluid: 800 grams
  • the placenta: 600 grams
  • the larger uterus: 1000 grams
  • he breasts: 800 grams
  • extra blood: 1500 grams
  • extra fluid and extra fat: 4500 grams

Slim women often gain slightly more weight because their body has to gain a layer of ‘mother fat’ to be able to function properly. Some slim women, however, hardly have a bulge at the end of pregnancy. Women who were already on the heavier side before the start of the pregnancy should try not to gain too much weight.

The external examination

The growth of your uterus is checked during each visit. The obstetrician does this with his/her hands or sometimes with a tape measure. In the last months of the pregnancy they can feel not only the growth but also the position of the baby. From the third month of the pregnancy you can hear the baby’s heart rate by placing the doppler on your belly.

Blood pressure

The obstetrician measures your blood pressure during each checkup and compares it to your blood pressure at the beginning of the pregnancy. Normally, your blood pressure is slightly lower in the first six months than before the pregnancy. In the last three months the blood pressure will once again be at the same level as before the pregnancy, and sometimes slightly higher.

Urine

The obstetrician only checks your urine if this is necessary. This may be the case if your blood pressure is increasing, for example. They will ask you to bring a urine sample to the checkup. In the case of high blood pressure, the protein in the urine is measured. During the checkup, the sugar in your urine is also measured.

Blood

Your blood is checked at the start of your pregnancy. Your blood group is determined as well as the rhesus factor and whether you have a sexually transmitted disease or antibodies. They also check your blood sugar level and iron content. By measuring the iron content in your blood, the obstetrician determines whether or not you have anemia. This is checked several times during the pregnancy.

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