Many people say that pregnancy is an amazing part of life; in fact a lot of women look forward to experiencing it. While becoming a mother is truly a blessing, it is definitely not easy. Expecting moms may feel a little strange with their growing bump, and first-time parents are bound to have a lots of anxieties and questions about the pregnancy process. Antenatal care is crucial for parents-to-be, not only to monitor fetal development, but also to ease their minds when things get stressful.
In its literal meaning, ante means “before” and natal means “labour,” so antenatal care is defined as a clinical assessment of a mother and fetus during pregnancy. It is a continuous assessment that needs to be consistent in order to obtain the best possible outcome for the mother and child. “Most patients have their first antenatal visit during the first trimester when the mother starts to experience the earliest signs of pregnancy, such as missed periods, mood swings, nausea, vomiting and so forth. Although I found several cases where the mothers only realised they were pregnant in the second trimester, it is always better for expecting mothers to receive antenatal care as soon as possible,” explains Dr. Alvin Setiawan, Sp. OG, M.Kes, D.Mas, Obstetrician - Gynecologist and Minimal Access Surgeon at MRCCC Siloam Hospitals Semanggi. Antenatal care requires a number of routine visits on a regular basis throughout the pregnancy. Accordingly, it is a great opportunity for parents to ask any questions and talk about any issues that they are unsure about. “As the fetus grows, antenatal care also continues to develop. During the first visit, we determine whether the position of pregnancy is normal; that the fetus is placed inside the womb and not otherwise. We then check the condition around the uterus on the next visit to ensure that there aren’t any strange objects that can endanger the pregnancy like cysts or myoma. Furthermore, the end of first trimester is very important, because it’s when we see if the fetus is developing normally and we can start to estimate the day of delivery based on the fetus’ size,” Dr. Alvin continued.
The number of examinations needed varies for each woman, but as a rough guide, Dr. Alvin suggests to make an appointment once a month from the first visit until the 28th week, then twice a month from the 29th week until the 37th week. After the 37th week, the expectant mother needs to see her Obstetrician every week until the delivery day. “Periodic examinations should be performed to check whether there are any possibilities of abnormalities in the fetus. We also conduct laboratory tests for the mother to see if there is any special condition that may complicate her labour”. Antenatal care is common and can be obtained in any hospital today. However, in order to get the best care, MRCCC Siloam Hospitals Semanggi is always one step ahead. The antenatal department is equipped with sophisticated medical equipment, including three and four-dimensional ultrasonography. “2D ultrasound is the conventional technology that everyone is familiar with; they provide black and white, two-dimensional images of the fetus. In recent years, 3D and 4D ultrasounds have become increasingly popular. As the name suggests, a 3D ultrasound shows static images that show more specific facial features and the baby’s well-defined formation. Its latest development, 4D ultrasound, captures real-time images of the baby and parents can see all the action taking place in the womb, like if the baby is yawning or sucking their thumb. Moreover, 4D ultrasound also allows us to detect if there are any abnormalities in the infant’s surface area with an accuracy of up to 62 percent more than 2D conventional ultrasound,” added Dr. Alvin.
Technological advancements like this make MRCCC Siloam Hospitals Semanggi stand out among the others. On top of that, their highly experienced and skilled doctors ensure that patients receive expert guidance. Dr. Alvin’s many years of experience in obstetrics and gynecology are certainly reassuring when it comes to your antenatal assesments. The antenatal facility is one of MRCCC Siloam Hospitals Semanggi’s centres of excellence. The care is supported by various specialists who are really passionate and dedicated to ensuring that every expecting parent gets the best healthcare during this magical time.
Dr Alvin’s Tips for a Healthy Pregnancy:
- Eating for two is just a myth, you don’t have to eat much more than usual. Just make sure that your body gets essential nutrients every day.
- Take a prenatal vitamins, including folic acid, micronutrients, and iron.
- Don’t smoke and avoid secondhand smoke.
- Don’t drink alcohol or anything with artificial colouring.
- Exercise is important for general health and reducing stress. Recommended exercises are walking, doing yoga and swimming.
- Don’t take any medication or herbal remedies without consulting your obstetrician.
- Avoid chemicals that could possibly harm your baby.