Antenatal care monitors your health during pregnancy, as well as the health and development of your baby. It can help predict possible problems with your pregnancy or the birth, so action can be taken to avoid or treat them.
Your first antenatal appointment will probably be your booking-in appointment and usually happens at about eight to 12 weeks. You can expect to have appointments every four weeks after week 12, every two weeks from week 32, and every week during the last three or four weeks.
You’ll be asked a number of questions about your health, family history and any previous pregnancies. The aim is to get a basic picture of your health and your pregnancy so far. The midwife might discuss issues such as diet, smoking and work; she may also ask about your thoughts on breast or bottle-feeding and give you information on these. You don’t have to make up your mind on this or on any other matter, but it’s a good chance to ask questions and clear up anything you’re worried about.
Routine checks at appointments are likely to include:
- Blood pressure
- Palpation – feeling your tummy
- Listening to your baby’s heart
- Questions about your baby’s movements
- Urine tests
- Checking for any swelling in your legs, arms or face
- Questions about how you feel
Labour and Delivery
Women who feel able to do so are encouraged to walk during the early stages of labor, which can make them more comfortable. One support person may be present during labor and delivery.
There are many reasons why the decision may be made to perform a cesarean section. Sometimes, the cesarean is planned in advance because of an existing medical condition or because there will be more than two babies born. Other times, a cesarean section is performed after labor fails to progress and there is some concern about the health of the baby or mother.
Anesthesia provided before and during a cesarean section allows women to remain comfortable during the procedure. Most remain awake during the birth. Husbands are invited to be present in the cesarean section room. After giving birth, women who have had a cesarean are encouraged to hold their baby, breastfeed and bond.
Recovery from a cesarean section will take longer than a vaginal birth. However, women who have had cesarean sections will generally be up and out of bed within 24 hours, with the help of their nurse, and are encouraged to walk and move around. They stay in the hospital a few extra days. In addition, new moms who have had a c-section should plan on some extra help for when they leave the hospital.
Our private recovery rooms are equipped with color televisions, telephones, lavatories and comfortable birthing beds.
After the baby is born, new mothers are encouraged to initiate breastfeeding to encourage bonding during this period. Husbands are invited to be present in both the recovery room.
Right after birth, your baby will be evaluated by a Womens’ Hospital International & Fertility centre health career (obstetrician, nurse practitioner and/or neonatologist), who checks your baby’s vital signs, such as blood pressure and heart rate. This is a judgment of the baby’s activity, pulse, grimace, appearance and color.
Babies are weighed and given treatment to prevent eye infection. Identification bands are placed on the baby and both parents, and the baby’s footprints and mother’s thumbprint are obtained to ensure proper identification.