Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Getting ready for antenatal care appointment and antenatal care notes

Getting ready for antenatal care appointment: Having regular antenatal care is important for your health and the health of your baby. Most antenatal services are now provided in easily accessible community settings. Waiting times in clinics can vary, and this can be particularly difficult if you have young children with you. Try to plan ahead to make your visits easier. Here are some suggestions:
In some clinics you can buy refreshments. If not, take a snack with you if you are likely to get hungry.
Write a list of questions you want to ask and take it with you to remind you. Make sure you get answers to your questions or the opportunity to discuss any worries.
If your partner is free, they may be able to go with you. This can help them feel more involved in the pregnancy.
Antenatal care notes
At your first antenatal visit, your midwife will enter your details in a record book and add to them at each visit. You should be asked to keep your maternity notes at home with you and to bring them along to all your antenatal appointments. Take your notes with you wherever you go. Then, if you need medical attention while you are away from home, you will have the notes that are needed with you.
Your card or notes may contain the following information, but each clinic has its own system. Always ask your midwife or doctor to explain anything they write on your card.
Date: This is the date of your antenatal visit.
Weeks: This refers to the length of your pregnancy in weeks from the date of your last menstrual period.
Weight: This is your weight.
Urine: These are the results of your urine tests for protein and sugar. ‘+’ or ‘Tr’ means a quantity (or trace) has been found. ‘Alb’ stands for ‘albumin’, a name for one of the proteins detected in urine. ‘Nil’ or a tick or ‘NAD’ all mean the same: nothing abnormal has been discovered. ‘Ketones’ may be found if you have not eaten recently or have been vomiting.
Blood pressure (BP): This should stay at about the same level throughout your pregnancy. If it goes up a lot in the last half of your pregnancy, it may be a sign of pre-eclampsia.
Oedema: This is another word for swelling, often of the feet and hands. Usually it is nothing to worry about, but tell your midwife or doctor if it suddenly gets worse as this may be a sign of pre-eclampsia.

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