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Antenatal Care During Your Pregnancy

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Yes!!The good news has finally arrived!!You are expecting, calls for a party right??

But beware, the process has just begun. Creation of a new life is one of the most mysterious and miraculous affair known to mankind. The entire activity involves a multitude of factors, all of which need to be in place for a healthy life to come into existence. And something that was so natural decades ago, has become a task so complicated, thanks to our lifestyle and increasing age of couples at conception.

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During pregnancy, you are offered a battery of tests to check for anything that may trouble your pregnancy. A basic antenatal check up includes the following tests:

  1. Blood group
  2. Hemoglobin chromatography
  3. Syphilis
  4. Hepatitis B
  5. Hepatitis C
  6. HIV
  7. TORCH Infections
  8. Glucose Challenge Test
  9. Urine Routine examination

It is very important to know a pregnant lady’s blood group as those who are Rh negative need to take Rh D immunoglobulin to protect their baby from any hemolytic reaction.  Amount of hemoglobin and its typing is required to assess the mother’s anemia status and check for the presence of any abnormal hemoglobin variant like thalassemia. Presence of latter warrants a prenatal diagnosis for the fetus and genetic counseling to the couple.

Testing an entire range of infectious diseases is also of paramount importance as timely treatment can save the baby from infection. TORCH stands for Toxoplasmosis, Rubella, Cytomegalovirus and Herpes. These infections are very dangerous in pregnancy as they inhibit fetal organ development and increase the risk of miscarriage and still birth. Other than testing for acute infection, they also test if the patient has had a past infection and therefore has immunity to it. Accordingly, the clinician decides what treatment is best for the patient.

Routine examination of urine tells vital facts about the body’s fluid balance. Apart from ph, it detects the presence of any pus cells indicating infection in the urinary tract, and chemicals like protein, sugar and ketone bodies. Presence of sugar indicates poor sugar control of the body hinting towards diabetes and presence of protein points towards conditions like preeclampsia and eclampsia. Glucose challenge test also hints towards the presence of gestational diabetes mellitus.

So get your antenatal tests done in time, as little steps now will take care of bigger things in your future.

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