Your pregnancy check-up diary
This article may help answer:
When should I tell my GP I’m pregnant?
When do I have my first pregnancy scan?
What are some important check-ups during my pregnancy?
Grab your diary or open your smartphone calendar. It’s time to lock in some important appointments you will have during your pregnancy. These will help keep an eye on your health and your baby’s development.
Find out more:
Where will you have your pregnancy check-ups?
Where you decide to have your baby – private or public hospital, at a birthing centre or at home – will determine where you go for your pregnancy check-ups.
Appointments may take place in hospital, a clinic or doctor’s office. Again depending on your choices you might see the same person at every visit, or a number of doctors and midwives.
The most important thing is that you make and keep the appointments as they will help ensure that you and your baby’s health is being properly managed.
The first trimester checks
First appointment? Confirm your pregnancy with your GP. This check-up is likely to include:
- Blood tests
- Urine test
- Blood pressure and other general health checks
At this appointment you can determine your estimated due date and discuss with your GP how and where you would like to have your baby. They can then advise on how to proceed.
6-12 week scan
At around the 6-12 week mark you should have your first ultrasound and be able to hear your baby’s heartbeat. The scan will also look at how your bub is developing. Blood tests and measurements taken during the ultrasound will also screen for congenital abnormalities.
Other more detailed tests are available to check for specific congenital and genetic defects. It is also possible to find out the sex of your baby. Ask your healthcare provider if you would like to know more about the tests available to you.
The second trimester checks
From 18-20 weeks the gender of your baby can be detected on ultrasound so if you and your partner want to know, make sure you book an appointment you can both get to.
Sometimes called a morphology scan, this ultrasound will look at your baby’s limbs and foetal structure, check the position of the placenta, and assess the volume of amniotic fluid.
Expect to check in every month with your doctor or midwife, who will keep an eye on your general health and wellbeing.
24 to 28 week blood glucose test
Elevated blood glucose levels affect three to eight per cent of women during pregnancy. Following an overnight fast, a blood sample is taken before and after drinking a high glucose drink. Expect to be at the pathology centre or clinic for at least two hours so take your laptop or a book to pass the time.
28 week Anti-D Injection
In that very first appointment your blood type will have been recorded. If you are Rh negative, and your baby isn’t, your body may start to produce antibodies that attack your baby’s blood system. An injection called Anti D immunoglobulin prevents your baby being harmed by these antibodies. Your doctor or healthcare provider will let you know when and if you need Anti D injections.
The third trimester checks
The closer you get to your due date, the more often your obstetrician, midwife or clinician will want to see you, and as you near D-Day your check-ups should be weekly.
As well as keeping an eye on how big your baby is – this can be done by measuring the distance from the top of your pelvic bone to the top of your bump – general health and wellbeing checks will also be done.
While specialists often have their own ultrasound machine, some of which offer 4D pictures of your baby, GPs and midwives usually don’t. If at any time you would like to have an additional ultrasound or scan you can ask your doctor or midwife for a referral. Just bear in mind, scans can be expensive.
Additional pregnancy tests
If you are concerned about the health of yourself or your baby, or you have a family history of genetic disorders, talk to your healthcare provider about any additional tests you might need.