What is antenatal care? When to start antenatal care?

Antenatal care is the care you receive from healthcare professionals during your pregnancy. When you first learn that you’re pregnant, get in touch with a doctor who specializes in pregnancy and birth (obstetrician) as soon as possible. Regular checks during your pregnancy can assist in identifying and reducing risks to either you or your baby. Antenatal visits also give you a chance to ask any questions and to talk about any issues that you are unsure about.


Antenatal care


How will I feel during my pregnancy?

Every pregnancy is different and you may experience all, some or none of these signs.

Every pregnancy is different and you may experience all, some or none of these signs.

  • Feeling very tired
  • Feeling sick and vomiting
  • Changes in your breasts
  • Passing urine more often
  • Increased vaginal discharge
  • Losing interest in certain foods or drinks that you previously enjoyed food. You may also start to crave certain foods due to the hormonal changes.


Pregnant Care


How much weight can I gain during pregnancy?

How much weight you should gain during your pregnancy depends on your body mass index (BMI) before you conceived. Excessive weight gain during pregnancy may lead to insulin resistance, gestational diabetes or hypertension, all of which are associated with health risks in the offspring.

Pregnancy Care


Can I exercise during pregnancy?

The more active and fit you are during pregnancy, the easier it will be for you to adapt to your changing shape and weight gain. Walking for atleast 30 minutes, for atleast five days in a week is a good exercise. Aerobics, swimming and cycling are other options. Can enroll in prenatal yoga classes which will help you to prepare for childbirth. Try to avoid activities where there is a high risk of falling such as gymnastics and contact sports like basket ball.


Pregnant Care


What is Prenatal screening?

Prenatal screening tests are safe, non-invasive procedures that identify small subgroups of expectant mothers that may be more likely to have a baby with a particular chromosomal abnormalities or birth defect. However, a screening test can only provide a risk or probability that a particular condition exists. Women found to be at increased risk based on screening would then be offered a diagnostic test for a definitive answer. The screening may be done in the first trimester, second trimester or in both trimesters. The screening takes into account your age, a blood test and, usually, a special ultrasound test.


Antenatal Care


What are the tests I need to undergo during pregnancy?

There are certain blood tests and ultrasound that will be offered to you during your pregnancy. When you have your first antenatal visit, it is usual for your doctor to offer a series of tests including complete blood

picture, urine examination, viral screening, thyroid hormone etc. An oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) is usually done between 24 – 28 weeks of pregnancy. It screens women for diabetes during pregnancy (gestational diabetes).


  • A scan to confirm your pregnancy at around 7 weeks.
  • Another scan called NT scan between 11 and 14 weeks of your pregnancy.
  • This will estimate when your baby is due and measure the fluid under the skin at the back of your baby’s neck.
  • A ‘foetal anomaly’ scan between 18-22 weeks. This scan looks for the presence of physical abnormalities in the baby.
  • Fetal well being scan in the later part of pregnancy to see the growth of baby and fluid around the baby. The above are the basic essential scans every pregnant mother should have. Your doctor may ask you for an extra scan as and when needed.




What kind of diet should I follow during pregnancy?

Eating for two doesn’t mean eating twice as much food. Pregnant women need about 300 extra calories a day. It’s important to eat a variety of different foods every day to get the right balance of nutrients that you and your baby need.

  • Eat small frequent meals
  • Eat foods that are rich in protein like eggs, pulses, grains, meat etc.
  • Include generous servings of fresh fruits, vegetables and sprouts
  • Consume foods rich in iron such as green leafy vegetables, jaggery, beans, groundnuts, ragi, lean red meat etc. and calcium rich foods like milk, curds, paneer.
  • Make sure your diet contains enough fibre.
  • Drink about atleast 2-3 liters of fluids daily.





How do I know that my baby is doing well?

Your doctor will check your baby’s heartbeat at every visit. At home, you can count your baby movements starting from 28 weeks of pregnancy. You need to report to hospital whenever you are not comfortable with baby movements.


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