Pregnancy Checklist: What To Look Out For During Pregnancy
The first three months of your pregnancy is an exciting time filled with joy, giddiness and questions. Understanding what to expect during the first trimester can help ease some of your anxieties about your changing body and growing baby.
Start taking prenatal supplements such as folic acid. Folic acid is an essential nutrient that protects your baby against birth defects like the brain and spinal cord problems. Depending on your diet, your doctor may also prescribe you prenatal vitamins such as vitamin D, vitamin B group and iron.
If you are a smoker, avoid smoking during the duration of the pregnancy, Smoking during pregnancy puts you at higher risk of miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy and premature labor. This applies to second-hand smoke as well since smoke you inhale can also affect how your unborn baby grows, resulting in low birth weight. Vaping and e-cigarette are also not encouraged as these vapors may also contain nicotine and other toxins that may be harmful to your child too.
Screening Tests In First Trimester
First-trimester screening is a combination of fetal ultrasound and maternal blood testing. This screening process can help determine the risk of the fetus having certain birth defects.
First-trimester screening includes:
If the results of these first-trimester screening tests are abnormal, genetic counseling is recommended. Some additional testing might be required if a genetic abnormality does Additional testing, such as chorionic villus sampling, amniocentesis, cell-free fetal DNA or other ultrasounds, may be needed for an accurate diagnosis.
Screening Tests In Second Trimester
The second trimester contains several screenings which are usually done by taking a sample of your blood between 15 and 20 weeks of pregnancy.
The blood test in your second trimester is able to indicate several things which include:
Abnormal test results may mean that additional testing is needed and ultrasound will be needed to confirm the milestones of your pregnancy and to further investigate the defects.
Congratulations! It’s only a few months until you can meet your baby!
Screening Tests In Third Trimester
For the third trimester, tests are mainly conducted to monitor the growth of your baby and also to make sure that there aren’t potential complications and everything going smoothly for delivery.
Preventing and treating birth defects