Congratulations - you are pregnant.
From now on, a particularly exciting time will begin for you. If you are pregnant for the first time, you will certainly have many questions. You want to do everything right, and that includes check-ups with your gynecologist.
Perhaps your gynecologist has already confirmed your pregnancy or you just held the positive pregnancy test in your hand? You probably want to know now: What's next? How often do I have to go to the check-up and what exactly is examined there?
We would like to give you an overview of the most important check-ups during your pregnancy so that you can enjoy them relaxed and with great joy.
Preventive check-ups during pregnancy
When should you go to the gynecologist?
If you do not have any symptoms at the beginning of the pregnancy, it is sufficient if you make an appointment in the 7th - 8th week of pregnancy.
From this point on, you can already see the baby's heartbeat in most cases. This is a very special and exciting moment. With an earlier initial examination, expectant mothers and fathers are often disappointed because nothing can really be seen on the ultrasound. At this early stage of pregnancy, only a built up uterine lining or a small amniotic sac can be seen.
What happens during the first check-up?
- During the first examination, a detailed medical history will be taken, during which you will be asked about previous illnesses and family hereditary diseases, among other things.
- The first ultrasound of the pregnancy takes place so that the position and size of the uterus can be determined and an ectopic pregnancy can be ruled out.
- The exact week of pregnancy is determined and the expected date of delivery is calculated.
- Your gynecologist will discuss with you what you should pay particular attention to and which vitamins and minerals you should take.
- Blood and urine tests are carried out to check your infection status (e.g. chlamydia) and your protection against infection (e.g. rubella).
- An antibody search test is also carried out. Not all of these examinations are covered by health insurance. You should therefore inquire and seek advice on this.
- Your maternity passport may be issued. However, not every gynecologist gives this passport to the first examination. Some wait a few weeks to see if the pregnancy goes well.
How often do I have to check up?
Generally, check-ups at the gynecologist take place every four weeks. From the 32nd week of pregnancy, there are examinations every two weeks. If the calculated due date is exceeded, check-ups are carried out every two days. If the pregnancy is at risk, more appointments may be necessary.
What happens during the check-up?
During every check-up, the gynecologist measures your weight and blood pressure. In your urine, it determines the protein and sugar content and sediment and possible bacteria. With a blood test, your hemoglobin content is determined in order to rule out anemia. In addition, the position of the uterus as well as the heartbeat and the position of your child are checked.
Photo Credit: Jair Lázaro on Unsplash
How many ultrasound scans are necessary?
- First ultrasound scan (1 to 12 weeks' gestation): Your doctor will check whether the egg cell has implanted itself in your uterus and has already developed into an embryo or fetus. Your child's length and head diameter will be measured and your child's heartbeat will be checked. From this, the doctor can estimate the probable date of delivery.
- Extended basic ultrasound examination: Your doctor will also check that the head and the ventricle are normal in shape and the cerebellum is visible. The development of the neck and back and the size ratio of the heart and chest are also examined. He also determines whether the heart is visible on the left side and is beating rhythmically.
- Third ultrasound examination (29th - 32nd week of pregnancy): The doctor once again measures the size of the head, stomach and femur and checks the position and the heartbeat.
Pregnancy is a very intense time. As an expectant mother, you always want to do everything right to give your child the best possible start in life. So it's quite normal that you have a lot of questions.
It is all the more reassuring that your doctor is obliged to advise you and to inform you in detail about any upcoming examination. You can consciously decide for or against certain investigations.
Your doctor can also give you information material to take home so that you can talk to your partner in peace. There are countless advice centers you can turn to for a second opinion or further help.
On the website of the Federal Center for Health Education you can find, for example, various addresses for advice centers in your area. We wish you a nice, happy and relaxed ball time. 💞
Photo Credit of feature picture:
1) Misael Moreno on Unsplash
We wish you a nice, happy and relaxed ball time. 💞