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Myths And Truth About Prenatal Screening

Prenatal screenings cause a lot of conflicting opinions and feedback. Someone is convinced of their necessity; others are convinced of their complete inexpediency. What kind of research is this, and should all pregnant women really take them? To understand this issue, let's weigh the pros and cons and separate the existing myths from the objective data of scientific medicine.

The argument "against" number 1: ultrasound harm the baby

There is a fairly common opinion that Pregnancy Ultrasound negatively affects the nervous system of a child, annoys him - during the examination, children often try to hide from the apparatus, cover their heads with hands. Therefore, children whose mothers regularly performed ultrasound during pregnancy are more restless than babies whose mothers have refused ultrasound diagnosis. Is it really?

According to doctors, ultrasound cannot cause the baby absolutely no harm - modern equipment is absolutely safe. Therefore, official medicine insists that absolutely all pregnant women should undergo an ultrasound. Indeed, the timely diagnosis allows, firstly, to see the full picture of the course of pregnancy, and secondly, if necessary, to correct certain problems.

Especially important are the data obtained on ultrasound of the first prenatal screening (at 11-13 weeks of pregnancy). During this period during the study:

  • The number of embryos in the uterus and their viability are determined;
  • Put a more accurate period of pregnancy;
  • Gross defects are excluded;
  • Determines the thickness of the collar space - (that is, the amount of subcutaneous fluid on the back of the child's            neck is measured - in normal TVP should not exceed 2.7 mm);
  • The presence or absence of the nasal bone is investigated.

The argument "against" No. 2: a biochemical blood test gives an unreliable result

Many mothers are sure that it is impossible to make at least some reliable conclusions on one analysis- too many factors can affect the result. And, in part, they are really right. However, it is necessary to study the analysis process more closely in order to understand on what basis the doctor makes a conclusion. The second screening takes place at 18-21 weeks of pregnancy. This study includes a "triple" or "quadruple test. "Everything happens the same way as in the first trimester- the woman again takes a blood test. Only in this case, the results of the analysis are used to determine not two, but three (or, respectively, four) indicators.

The argument "against" No. 3: "I have good heredity- I do not need screenings."

Some mothers do not see the point of going through screenings - all relatives are healthy, what problems could there be? Indeed, there are certain groups of women who are primarily recommended to undergo Pregnancy Ultrasound to identify possible pathologies in the development of a child. These are women over 35–40 years old (since after this age, the risk of developing abnormalities in a child increases several times) and expectant mothers with certain diseases (for example, diabetes).

Why are prenatal (pregnancy) health checkups and ultrasounds important?

prenatal health checkup

Why are Pre Natal Health Check Ups Important?

Getting yourself regularly checked during your pregnancy is extremely important. This can help you and your baby remain happy. You’ll be able to prevent the problems by being able to spot the problems when the problems occur. This will help you prevent getting diseases during your pregnancy.

During your first visit to the doctor, your full physical examination will be performed by your doctor. Your doctor might examine your breast; do a pelvic examination for checking your uterus. Your cervical exam might also be done. This would include a pap test too. You would have to answer to many questions associated with your health habits, lifestyle and relationships. It’s necessary for you to be honest with your doctor. During prenatal health checkup visits, you’ll be asked to get the following done-

Your weight and Height checked

Your body mass index will be calculated by checking your weight and height. If you would be overweight as compared to your height, you’ll be at a higher risk of problems during your pregnancy.

Your Urine Checked

Sample of your urine will be collected for checking many things like Protein or Albumin. If your Urine is found to be possessing Protein or Albumin, an infection is diagnosed. This infection needs to be treated.

Your Blood Pressure Checked

You might get high blood pressure because of your pregnancy. In such a case you’ll have to refer to your doctor.

Your Blood tests done

Your varied types of blood tests would be done to check your RhD factor, blood group, Iron levels, Gestational Diabetes and various other infections.

Your Pap (Smear) Test done

This helps in finding the warning signs of Cervical Cancer. The national Cervical Screening program has recommended every pregnant woman to get this test done in case if you haven’t got this test done since last two years.

Group B Streptococcus done

GBS Bacteria is present in the body of 30 percent of the people. In the body of a woman this Bacteria is present in the intestine and the vagina. Though in most of the cases it doesn’t cause any harm during pregnancies, in certain cases it may infect the baby. This happens either before or after the labour and the repercussion of the same can be a very serious illness.

If you happen to get infected, you’ll be given the antibiotics so that your baby doesn’t get infected. If you acquire Group B Streptococcal infection of the urinary tract with GBS, you’ll be given antibiotics. From inside the vagina, a swab will be taken to check whether you possess this Bacterial infection or not. This would be done when you would be 36 weeks pregnant.

Why Prenatal Ultra Sound is important?

Inquisitive about the way your baby is developing in the womb? Getting an ultrasound done would reveal the development of your baby through the images created using sound waves. The Pelvic organs of the female during pregnancy get checked with the help of the ultrasound.

For determining, screening and measuring the potential problems with the pregnancy, an ultrasound test is important. Your health care provider would determine the best scanning schedule for you. This test during the first twelve weeks is done to -

  •         Find if the pregnancy is normal or not
  •         Determine your baby’s age
  •         Look for problems that may lead to the miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy
  •         Determine your baby’s heart rate
  •         Find multiple pregnancies
  •         Identify problems associated with your uterus, ovaries, placenta and cervix
  •         Find whether or not you have an increased risk of down syndrome

It may be done in the second and third trimester to -

  •         Find the age, position and growth of your baby
  •         Identify problems revealing the growth of your fetus
  •         Check whether you have twins or triplets
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