Now that you have missed a period, the first objective is to confirm whether you are pregnant or not and begin to prepare for the baby's coming.
The easiest way to confirm whether you are pregnant or not is to take a home pregnancy test, eg. Velocit, Pregcolor, Fastrace) with a kit, which should be reliable and standardised. Pregnancy test detects hCG in the urine (pregnancy hormone) which is highest in concentration in the 1st urine sample taken in the morning, though a sample taken at any other time of the day may report positive (2 bright lines on the test).
It is a good idea to visit your gynaecologist once the test is positive. If you do not already visit a gynaecologist/obstetrician, referrals from friends may help. Be sure that your doctor is well qualified and has visiting centres where you would want to deliver. You could also visit specialised birthing centres in cities, or visit a well-known maternity hospital and choose your doctor. Be sure you are comfortable with the doctor and that he/she is amenable to answering all your questions. This is important because the doctor will be the sheet anchor of your pregnancy.
Your doctor will reconfirm your pregnancy, do a blood test if required and calculate your expected date of delivery. Let your doctor know about any illness, surgery or medication in the past, any family history of diseases such as hypertension and diabetes, any issues with the previous pregnancies or any problem in conceiving.
Your ultrasound is usually done after two weeks by when the little bunch of cells, which will grow to form your baby, will acquire a heart beat. Till the ultrasound is done, avoid intercourse so that there is surety that all is well.
Check your partner's as well as your blood group. Haemoglobin, blood sugar, thyroid and urine will be checked to rule out any medical problems. Routine HIV & Hepatits B tests will also be done. A test to rule out thalessemia and a rubella test is essential.
Eat small and frequent meals; these may be split from 3 main meals into 6 small ones. Remember that you don’t have to eat for 2; your calorie requirement during pregnancy increases by only 350 calories.
Take these precautions, enjoy your pregnancy to the hilt and follow your doctor’s advice.
Dr. Meenakshi Ahuja is a Senior Consultant at Fortis La Femme.
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