It is important that expectant mothers begin their prenatal care as soon as their pregnancy is confirmed or before they are three months pregnant. Some tests done during prenatal care are important to detect problems, such as diseases that may affect the child or its development in the womb. Doctors usually order the following tests:
* Blood glucose , to assess whether diabetes is present;
* Blood group and Rh factor . This exam is very important, as it detects blood incompatibility between mother and baby, which can lead to the death of the fetus;
* Anti-HIV , to identify if there is the presence of the AIDS virus in the mother’s blood. If the mother is HIV positive, the doctor will prescribe some drugs that will reduce the chances of the disease being transmitted to the baby;
* Examination to detect syphilis , a disease that can cause malformations in the baby;
* Exam to detect toxoplasmosis , as this disease can be transmitted to the fetus, causing malformations;
* Examination to detect rubella , a disease that can lead to abortion, in addition to causing malformations in the baby;
* Examination to detect the presence of the hepatitis B virus . If the mother has the disease virus, some measures can reduce the chances of transmitting the virus to the baby;
* Urinalysis and urine culture , to identify if the mother has a urinary infection, which can lead to a premature birth, in addition to being able to progress to a more serious infection;
* Ultrasounds . Ultrasounds are used to identify the gestational age and malformations in the baby.
During prenatal care, pregnant women also receive guidance on the importance of maintaining a healthy diet, physical activity and the importance of avoiding alcohol, tobacco and other types of drugs. It is important to monitor the mother’s weight, so that she does not gain more weight than necessary, which can cause some problems. In prenatal care, it is important that the pregnant woman replaces vitamins, and folic acid is recommended in the first weeks of pregnancy, as it helps to prevent malformations.
As we have seen, prenatal care is extremely important for future mothers, because it is through it that changes are detected and treated in time, thus avoiding problems for the health of the mother and baby.