Pregnancy follow-up is the care and follow-up that the mother and baby receive in the pregnancy period to ensure that they are healthy and have a healthy birth.
The pregnancy follow-up process starts before pregnancy. It then includes your consultations with your doctor throughout the entire pregnancy and then your postpartum follow-ups.
With a regular follow-up during pregnancy, health problems of the mother and baby can be detected early, and thus early treatment can be possible. Early treatment can cure or prevent many problems.
In addition, better conditions can be created for the mother and baby, as some necessary examinations will be made about the health of the expectant mother and preventable or correctable problems will be identified and corrected during the pre-pregnancy doctor consultation. For example, some foods, habits such as smoking and alcohol, and medications can harm your baby even before you become pregnant. Some health problems can also affect pregnancy.
One of the most important precautions before pregnancy is to take 400 micrograms of folic acid every day for at least 3 months before getting pregnant. Scientific studies have proven that this folic acid supplement reduces the risk of neural tube defects in the baby. Another important issue is to give yourself enough time before pregnancy to quit smoking and reduce alcohol consumption. The negative effects of smoking and alcohol on the baby are also well-proven scientifically.
In cases where some chronic diseases of the expectant mother are not under control, it makes the pregnancy risky and poses a danger to the mother and the baby. The best known of these are asthma, diabetes, depression, high blood pressure, thyroid disease and epilepsy. If you have one or more of these conditions, plan for your doctor to apply the necessary treatment and control these diseases.
Vaccines, such as drugs during pregnancy, are also in the risk group. For this reason, it is a good idea to complete your necessary vaccinations before planning to become pregnant. Again, consult your doctor if there are over-the-counter and prescription medications you are using, even if they are medications or herbal supplements, some of them are not safe during pregnancy. At the same time, it can be harmful to stop the drugs you need, do not stop your medications without consulting your doctor.
X-rays during pregnancy can be harmful to the baby. Therefore, if you need to have a dental examination or X-ray, try to get it done before you get pregnant. If you experience such a situation during pregnancy, be sure to inform that you are pregnant.
All these warnings and precautions apply to every pregnancy, no matter how many pregnancies you have. Every baby is unique and precious and health care is extremely important. Your doctor will check to make sure you and your baby are healthy at each visit, and if there are any problems, they will take early measures and help you and your baby.
Make sure you have a balanced and healthy diet. Choose balanced fruits, vegetables, whole grains, calcium-rich foods and foods low in saturated fat. Also, make sure to drink plenty of fluids, especially water. Get all the nutrients you need each day, including iron. Getting enough iron prevents anemia,
which can lead to preterm birth and low birth weight. After a certain week of pregnancy, your doctor may prescribe iron pills because your iron income with food will not be enough for both you and your
baby. You may want to consider getting support from a dietitian for nutritional advice.
Gain a healthy amount of weight during pregnancy. Your doctor can tell you how much weight you should aim to gain during pregnancy. Do not smoke, drink alcohol or use drugs. These can cause long-term harm or death to your baby. Ask your doctor for help to quit.
Be sure to exercise during your pregnancy in line with your doctor’s recommendations. Walking, swimming, yoga and pilates are our favorite and recommended exercises during pregnancy.
Do not take a bath with very hot water, do not enter the hammam or sauna. Get plenty of sleep and take care of stress management. Good sleep and a calm pregnancy are the keys to keeping your baby healthy and peaceful.
The first examination is about maternal health. Because a healthy mother means a healthy baby. At the first visit, your doctor first questions your medical history, researching diseases, surgeries or previous pregnancies. By doing gynecological examination and ultrasound, she examines whether there is an obstacle to pregnancy, and during this time, she definitely performs a PAP smear test (cervical cancer screening test). Can do a basic laboratory examination, blood – urine tests are taken.
If not done before pregnancy, gynecological examination and ultrasound, PAP smear test is performed. A basic laboratory examination is performed and some important conditions of the mother (anemia, thyroid, blood sugar, urinary tract infection) are examined. In addition, infections, such as hepatitis or toxoplasma, which have a risk of transmission to the baby are also investigated.
Blood pressure and weight are checked. Gestational week and expected delivery date are calculated. If in proper week, the baby or gestational sac is examined with ultrasound. At the first visit, you should discuss all the questions in your mind with your doctor and discuss all the problems related to your pregnancy. Learn all you can about how to stay healthy. In subsequent examinations, your blood pressure and weight will be measured, some blood tests will be performed as needed, and your baby’s heartbeat will be checked with ultrasound and it will be examined whether its development is as expected.
If the expectant mother’s age is over 35, blood pressure and sugar monitoring will be done more strictly and genetic examination of the baby will be recommended. You should discuss this issue in detail with your doctor and make sure you understand it thoroughly. Remember, though, that the vast majority of mothers over 35 have healthy babies.
It is very important to see a doctor regularly throughout your pregnancy. Do not neglect your check-ups for you and your baby to be healthy.