Mothers who are expecting should get the medical attention that they need to ensure their well-being throughout their pregnancies. Getting the recommended wellness checks can benefit the health of both the mother and the baby. Here are four wellness checks that every pregnant woman should have.
Red Blood Cell Count
A blood test to determine the number of red blood cells is especially important during pregnancy. Expecting mothers are more susceptible to anemia, which occurs when red blood cell counts are too low. The reason for this is because the body needs to produce more blood to nurture the developing baby. Anemia can result in premature birth and low birth weight and have fatal consequences for the mother and child.
Blood Sugar Test
Blood sugar levels can also spike during pregnancy and result in a case of gestational diabetes. This condition often occurs in women who are 24 to 28 weeks pregnant and sometimes causes no symptoms. Doctors can test for this condition by taking a blood sample. Gestational diabetes may result in a heavier birth weight and delivery complications due to an increased size of the baby. Mothers who have gestational diabetes are also more susceptible to developing type 2 diabetes.
Visiting a doctor to be checked for sexually transmitted diseases is also important during pregnancy. Many of these diseases can be asymptomatic for years while still possibly causing harm to a baby in the womb. Professionals, like those at Rural Health Services Consortium Inc., know that HIV can be passed to a child from the mother, and certain prenatal treatments can lower the chances of this happening. Having syphilis may cause stillbirth and organ damage in developing babies without treatment. Other STDs that can harm babies include herpes, gonorrhea and hepatitis B.
First Trimester Screen
This assessment can identify genetic abnormalities and developmental disorders in the early stage of pregnancy. Most women receive this test between the 15th and 20th weeks of pregnancy. The test can identify chromosome abnormalities that may result in the child having down syndrome or other related conditions. Heart defects can also sometimes be detected with this wellness check. The results from these screenings can be used by pregnant women to take precautions that can better safeguard their health and the well-being of their babies.
Pregnant women will increase their chances of avoiding certain health complications and delivering healthier babies by getting the right wellness checks. These tests are offered by most OB/GYNs and are now standard in many pregnancy wellness screenings.