Prenatal Visit And First Trimester Exams
The first pregnancy follow-up consultation or first prenatal visit includes a complete clinical examination, including blood tests and an initial estimate of the progress of your pregnancy and your expected delivery date. Your healthcare provider will also prescribe prenatal vitamins containing folate. Watch a video to learn how UNITY Screen works here.
Folate is an essential vitamin to prevent certain anomalies in your baby’s nervous system or malformations such as cleft lip or palate. We also talk about folic acid or vitamin B9. You will also take stock of your vaccinations, in particular, to avoid the risks associated with rubella, whooping cough, or the flu. A booster shot of the DTP vaccine (also called “DT polio” or DTPC if it includes pertussis) may be particularly necessary to protect your baby from these very contagious and dangerous diseases. Vaccinations are generally not recommended during pregnancy, so this can be planned before conception if you talk to your doctor about your desire to have a child or, at worst, just after delivery.
Your first prenatal visit will also include a summary of your medical history, which will likely include questions about your lifestyle and sexual partners. Answer these questions honestly, as they help tailor your prenatal care to your situation. If these questions make you uncomfortable, choose a healthcare professional you trust.
Your first prenatal visit in Unity Screen for example may also include an examination of the chest, pelvis, and Pap smear to determine the presence of infectious agents or cancer cells. These tests can also be performed during the second visit and the fourth month.
It is also a priori during your first ultrasound, and you will hear your baby’s heartbeat using an ultrasound device. This moving moment will allow you to realize that life is developing in your womb. Finally, during the first prenatal visit, your healthcare provider will test your urine for sugars using urine dipsticks to determine if you have gestational diabetes. This follow-up will continue at each prenatal visit.
Here is a short description of the different prenatal examinations that your healthcare professional can advise you to undergo in parallel with the first-trimester consultation:
The first ultrasound. This first ultrasound, called “dating,” aims to measure the embryo to precisely determine the beginning of your pregnancy. It also measures the space at the nape of the neck, which is called the nuchal translucency. This screening can give your healthcare provider important information about your baby’s health and development.
Blood tests. Among other things, these allow you to determine your blood group and your hemoglobin level. If this is low, it may indicate that you have anemia, which makes you very tired. They also identify your rhesus (Rh), a protein on the surface of red blood cells. Most people have this protein and are “rhesus positive.” However, if you are rhesus negative and your fetus is a positive baby, this incompatibility can create health problems. Your healthcare professional will know how to control the risks associated with this situation.
Healthy carrier tests. This is a blood or saliva test to determine if you are a carrier of certain genetic diseases (without suffering from them yourself) that could be passed on to your baby.
Non-invasive prenatal screening. This NIPT measures the DNA of your fetus, which is present in your blood. It assesses the risk of certain genetic diseases in your baby. Depending on the results, your healthcare provider may recommend additional prenatal tests, such as amniocentesis.
A trophoblast biopsy. This is a sample of cells from the placenta to determine if your child has a genetic disease such as Down syndrome. Your healthcare professional will only recommend this diagnostic test if a preliminary screening examination, for example, a NIPT, has indicated a risk.