Sometimes when the pregnant women go to their health providers they fall short of words and will be confused on what to do and who to ask certain pressing questions. therefore in this article, pregnant ladies are encouraged to ask their doctors or their health providers any pressing questions they have prior to the date of their delivery. This will help them to clear all doubts during pregnancy, labor and after labor.
The importance of paying regular visit to your health provider is to help you through your pregnancy and delivery and to answer your questions Like;
How do I know when I am pregnant?
In as much as everybody’s body respond differently to the signs of pregnancy but there are things to look out for once you are pregnant. for example;
once ovum is fertilized, your menstruation seizes to come when it is due to come ( delayed menstruation) then you suspect pregnancy.
spotting and cramping; some women sometimes mistake spotting and cramping as the signs of the starting of their missed period. and when the spotting stops they may complain that they didn’t have a good flow of their period without knowing that it is the pregnancy that is taking place.
Spotting and cramping take place in the early stage of pregnancy when the fertilized ovum is embedding in the wall of the uterus ( implantation).
If the spotting and the cramping continue in intensity, consult a midwife or gynecologist quickly.
Breast enlargement is another sign of early pregnancy. Breast responds to the increase in the pregnancy hormone by increasing in size, becomes heaving, tingling. The area around the nipple becomes dark. All these are in preparation for breastfeeding the baby after delivery.
There are other ways you can know when you are pregnant; like home- testing increased in the frequency of urination, sleepiness, spitting, and others.
Scanning can be used to confirm your pregnancy. This is carried out between 8 to 12 week of pregnancy
Why do doctors prescribe generic testing for some pregnant ladies?
It is very pathetic that some of the pregnant women may look so healthy but still carry a gene that may harm their babies. Some of the doctors make is mandatory screen every pregnant woman that comes into their clinic before it is late to do so. Though the extent of the gene depends on the family history. If a mother is a carrier and the father is a carrier there is 50% chance that the child will get it.
Pregnant women or their husbands who have a history of Spinal Bifida ( discontinuity in the formation of the Neural tube which forms the brain and the spinal cord) needs special care during pregnancy by screening the woman out through proper history taking.
Another reason why genetic testing is important is to rule out cystic fibrosis, which is a serious lung disease. Some of the women who carry this disease do not show the signs. But they can be screened out and specially cared for during the pregnancy so that it doesn’t go to their babies.
How do I know when to deliver my baby
The midwife does a calculation of Expected Date of Delivery (EDD) by adding seven days to the day of your last menstrual period and subtracting three months from the month of your last menstrual period, this gives you your expected date of delivery. The data you get may not be the exact date you are going to deliver. The gap will not exceed two weeks if it does exceed from two days you have to let your doctor know.
Another way you can know your expected date of delivery is by scanning. Scanning done between 8weeks to 12 weeks of gestation will give you the date of your delivery and also give you the viability of your baby. Another scan done towards the third trimester is done to check your baby’s structural anomalies. You can at this time know the sex of your baby if you want to or if the hospital is ready to reveal the sex because some hospitals don’t give out the sex of the baby to some pregnant women without first of all knowing the particular sex you are interested in.
Is there any other tests or scanning I have to do?
In the first day of your visit to the hospital, Birth center, or home, you will be expected to carry out tests like:
To check the percentage of your blood to exclude Anemia
To know your Rhesus factor, If you have a negative Rhesus factor and you have had your first baby you would need a particular injection after any of your other babies.
To check your blood HIV status, if you are positive or negative
To check your blood to exclude Hepatitis B.
A scan called a Nuchal fold scan may be done to exclude the risk of your baby getting a disease called Down’s syndrome or disorders called chromosomal abnormalities. It is not a must done but where the tendency is high an amniocentesis can be suggested, in this case, your amniotic fluid is taken for the test. This test is not without bad effect, sometimes in one in one hundred, there may be miscarriage after the procedure.
Whatever, make sure to discuss any procedure that will be carried on you with your doctor to know the best way out. Here your doctor may suggest to you about chorionic villus sampling (CVS) instead of Nuchal fold scan though this one is done in early pregnancy stage and it cannot detect Spinal Bifida.
Does low back pain adversely affect my pregnancy and normal delivery?
Low back pain is common during pregnancy due to the action of pregnancy hormone and the increasing weight of the baby. If you indulge in active life coupled with some exercise and good posture you may prevent low back pain during pregnancy. Some low back pain which comes during pregnancy may be cured following some simple exercise.
If your own back pain started before your pregnancy and the pregnant makes it worst. It is important you discuss it with your doctor so that he/she can plan the way you will be managed during your pregnancy and labor. Your delivery may be difficult because of pain. The doctor may suggest using the Epidural injection to reduce the pain or alternatively he may suggest carrying out a cesarean section.
Most of the chronic back pain women experience does not always come due to pregnancy. These may come from bad posture formed in a youthful age or dislocation of hip from a fall or accident. Another cause may be pain from sciatic nerve which the causes may be;
- Arthritis in the spine
- Lumbar disc disease
- Spinal stenoses
- A lumbar herniated disc
All of the above are the cause of sciatic nerve pain which may be present before, during or after delivery. These may cause chronic pain during your pregnancy and labor.
Talking to your doctor at all times concerning your pains will always lead to better pregnancy and labor management.
What vaccines can I expect during my pregnancy and when?
Some of the vaccines given to you are to protect you and your baby in the uterus and some months after delivery.
These vaccines are;
1, Vaccine against whooping cough (Adult TDP) would be given to protect you against deadly diseases including a cough which is very contagious, can lead to pneumonia and death. Your baby will be immune against this cough in the uterus and about two months after delivery when it will then receive its own doses.
2, Traveling Vaccine will be given to you if you are going to travel out of the country during pregnancy. Speak with your health provider if you wish to travel out the country during pregnancy at least 4 to 6 weeks to the date traveling.
3, Flu Vaccine may also be given to you if you are pregnant during influenza to boost your immune system
4, If you have not had immunity against hepatitis B, Immunization will be given to you during your pregnancy to protect you and your baby.
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Related articles are:
BootsWebMD: PARTNERS IN HEALTH ( 2016) http://www.webmd.boots.com/pregnancy/guide/10-questions-doctor-midwife-pregnancy?page=3
Mumtastic by Judy Koutsky (2017) http://www.uk.momtastic.com/pregnancy/547967-6-crucial-questions-every-pregnant-woman-ask-ob-gyn/
word of mom blogger (Jan 27, 2015) http://www.whattoexpect.com/wom/pregnancy/11-crucial-questions-every-woman-needs-to-ask-her-ob-gyn-during-pregnancy.aspx
WebMD (oct 10, 2016) http://www.webmd.com/baby/guide/pregnancy-am-i-pregnant#1