Prenatal appointments are crucial during pregnancy and need to be followed timely. At every prenatal visit, there will be a physical exam, tests and ultrasound (if any recommended by the doctor) based on your pregnancy health. In India, the first ultrasound happens between 6 to 9 weeks, second between 11-13 weeks, third between 18 -20 weeks and the final one between 28 to 32 weeks.
At 14-16 weeks, you will be going for your third prenatal visit. The appointment will include urine sample to test sugar and protein levels, checking blood pressure and weight, monitoring baby’s heartbeat and ultrasound. To know the fetus’s growth, the doctor will examine your belly. She will use a measuring tape to check the fundal height which is the distance from the top of the pelvic bone to the top of the uterus. Usually after 20 weeks of pregnancy, the fundal height measurement is equivalent to the number of weeks of your pregnancy.
There can be variations in the fundal height if you are overweight or have a history of fibroids. The variations, either more or less in the fundal height could be due to slow fetal growth, a larger baby, more or less amniotic fluid content. Fundal height gives the assurance that baby’s growth is fine. In case things are not as expected the doctor may advise an ultrasound for reassurance.
Besides the above tests and physical exam, your doctor will review the issues you had in your earlier visit which have been documented in the file. Specific questions will be asked about how you are feeling presently. For example, about morning sickness, baby movements, any contractions, vaginal spotting or bleeding to name a few. In order to benefit most from the visit, if you have any queries/concerns note them down before meeting the doctor. From now on until 27 weeks of pregnancy, you will be seeing your doctor once a month unless any complication arises, which needs immediate medical intervention.
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