You will be checked regularly during your pregnancy. As soon as you know that you are pregnant, it is therefore important to contact your doctor and look for a midwife in your area. If you are under treatment by a gynecologist, you will of course call him right away.
The first consultation is around 8 weeks, so be quick!
The first consultation with a midwife takes a little longer than the next one. This has to do with the fact that she still wants to know everything about you. So many questions will be asked, especially about the medical history of you and your partner.
When everything runs smoothly, follow-up checks will take place around the weeks: 20, 26, 30, 36 and 39.
At each check the midwife will measure your blood pressure, measure your uterus (how big is your child?) And listen to the heart of your baby. She will also check your tummy with her hands, for example to see how your child is lying.
There is an opportunity to ask questions and the physical condition of you is being looked into. On indication of the doctor or midwife a urine examination can take place or a CTG or ultrasound is made.
What is a CTG?
A CTG is a cardiotocogram. During this examination, the heartbeat of the baby and the contraction of the uterus are recorded for about 20 minutes. The outcome provides information about the condition of the baby and the activity of the uterus.
What is an ultrasound examination?
An ultrasound is an investigation by means of sound waves. Because certain tissue of your baby reflects these sound waves, the image of your child becomes visible on a screen. Not only your baby, but also the amniotic fluid and the placenta. This way the location of the child can be determined, but also how big your child is.
What is a doptone or doppler?
A doptone is a device with which the midwife can listen to the heart of your baby. It is not harmful to you.
How often do you go to consult?
In general, you go until you are 26 weeks pregnant, every 4 to 6 weeks for monitoring. Of course this depends on whether everything is going well. From 26 weeks, the checks are done more often. From that moment on every 3 weeks you go to check. After 32 weeks this is even every 2 weeks and from 36 weeks, you go every week for control.
If everything goes well it can be less often, if there is cause for concern, it can be a little more often.
If you are past 40 weeks, you have to go to the hospital for extra checks.
The 20-week ultrasound
If you are twenty weeks pregnant, you get the 20-week ultrasound. This is a very exciting echo, because it gives a lot of information about your child. For example, what the gender of your child is, but it also shows whether your child is healthy, or, for example, develops his organs properly and whether your child does not have an open back.
From a week or 13 your baby is big enough to make a pretecho. There are different practices that offer this possibility. From a week or 18 the gender can be determined. There are pretechos in 2D, 3D and in 4D (moving image) to make. Do not wait too long, because after week 32 your baby is getting more and more curled up so that it is difficult to get a good picture of him.
Some midwives have a maternity check in the form of a group consultation around the 24th week. The regular medical checks are done in a separate room, but in addition you get an explanation about the delivery and information about the possibilities of painkillers, for example. Of course, this is different per obstetric practice.
Sometimes it is necessary to do further research, for example if the mother is older.
In week 16, amniocentesis can be done if necessary. With the help of a needle, a little amniotic fluid is collected which is examined in a laboratory. With this test it can be checked whether there are certain abnormalities, such as Down's syndrome. This research can be done when the mother is 36 years or older.
During the chorionic test, cells are removed from the placenta for examination. The test can be done earlier than the amniocentesis, but the result is a bit less certain.
The combination test can be done between the 11th and 14th week. The combination test is a neck fold measurement by ultrasound examination with an additional blood test). This test is also for women over 36 years.
The combination test, chorionic test and amniocentesis are studies that fall under the term 'prenatal diagnosis'. If there is a medical indication, these tests will be reimbursed. These examinations are not done in every hospital.
When do you qualify?
Age plays an important role in this, but also certain hereditary defects. The midwife or doctor discusses with you the possibilities and possible risks. It is up to you whether you want to make use of these possibilities.
The chance of a child with Down syndrome
|Age||Opportunity||20 years||1:1528||25 years||1:1351||30 years||1:909||35 years||1:384||40 years||1:112||45 years||1:28|
If everything goes well, all checks will be done by the midwife. In case of any problems or medical indications, you will be referred to a gynecologist.
A blood test is performed during the first check with the midwife. Your blood is being tested for: |
- Your blood group and your rhesus factor
- Whether you have blood antibodies against another blood group
- Hepatitis B
- Venereal disease (Syphilis, HIV)
- Iron content / Hb
Your glucose is measured to see if you do not suffer from gestational diabetes.