The nine months of pregnancy are accompanied by medical appointments to ensure the good health of the mother and child. Follow-up is carried out with health professionals: general practitioner, medical or obstetric gynecologist and / or midwife. All care is covered 100% by Health Insurance.
The number of appointments and tests to pass depends, among other things, on family history, the age of the future mother and previous pregnancies. For low-risk pregnancies, seven medical consultations are required, three ultrasounds are recommended, to which are added urine tests and blood tests.
To see more clearly and better understand the need for these examinations and blood tests during pregnancy, we take stock with Dr Félicia Joinau-Zoulovits, obstetrician gynecologist.
The first month of pregnancy
Even if the mother thinks she is pregnant, the doctor asks, during the first appointment, to perform a urine test to confirm the pregnancy. At the request of the expectant mother, he can also prescribe a dating ultrasound in the event that the patient does not know her term.
A blood test is usually done during the first month. It makes it possible to check the hemoglobin and platelet level, to know if it is immune against toxoplasmosis and rubella and to detect possible sexually transmitted diseases (hepatitis, syphilis, HIV).
If the patient is over 25 years old or has a history of diabetes, the doctor adds a fasting blood sugar test. If she is not immune to toxoplasmosis, a monthly blood test will be prescribed.
A Pap smear is done if the woman has not had one in the past three years. The patient should also have urine tests every month to detect possible urinary tract infections that are asymptomatic in pregnant women.
The second and third month of pregnancy
The first ultrasound is done between the 12th and 14th week. It confirms the term of pregnancy, studies the cranio-caudal length (LCC) of the fetus and the thickness of nuchal translucency. Information to calculate the risk that the child will have a chromosomal problem.
To check the risk of Down's syndrome, a blood test is requested. Doctors measure it by taking into account the age of the expectant mother and the measurement of nuchal translucency. Depending on the term, two hormones are analyzed: between 12 and 14 weeks, we measure the Pregnancy-Associated Plasma Protein-A (PAPP-A) and the chorionic hormone human gonadotropin (hCG).
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The fourth month of pregnancy
From the fourth month, medical consultations are compulsory every month. The doctor or midwife monitors weight gain, blood pressure, the uterus, the vagina, but also the baby's heart, among other things.
Blood tests to detect the risk of Down's syndrome are still possible during this period of pregnancy, with the difference that between 14 and 18 weeks, we analyze the levels of alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) in addition to hCG.
The fifth month of pregnancy
As in the previous month, the patient must consult her doctor or midwife. Between the 21st and 24th week, she can also perform a second so-called morphological ultrasound. This examination is not compulsory but is systematically prescribed by doctors. The practitioner looks for possible morphological anomalies. It monitors the baby's growth, the structure of the placenta, the amount of amniotic fluid and possibly the cervix.
The sixth month of pregnancy
The fourth consultation is carried out. It is also at this time, between the 24th and the 28th week, that the patient can, at the doctor's request, take a blood sugar measurement during an OGPD, hyperglycemia caused by the oral route. It will depend on the future mother's history.
The seventh and eighth months of pregnancy
The patient consults her doctor or midwife every 30 days, who performs the usual examination.
She also presents for her third ultrasound, between the 32nd and 34th weeks.The growth ultrasound checks the location of the placenta, the baby's position in the uterus, its development, the speed of blood circulation in the baby's cord and brain.
An appointment with the anesthesiologist is compulsory, even if the patient does not wish to have an epidural.
The ninth month of pregnancy
In addition to the medical consultation, the patient is subjected to a bacterial sample from the 35th week. It makes it possible to detect the presence or not of streptococcus B, a bacterium which can cause serious infections. The last appointment will take place at the maternity hospital, where the mother will welcome her baby.
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