The important milestones for expectant parents during the antenatal period

      Antenatal check-ups

      The important milestones for expectant parents during the antenatal period

      The check-ups during pregnancy are exciting and beautiful moments. Read on, to look through the processes of your pregnancy and the development of your baby. We will tell you the details.

      At every check up

      Blood Pressure
      Urine test Weight
      This is to ensure that you do not develop pre-eclampsia 
      • Test for presence of protein which may indicate
      • Pre-eclampsia
      • Kidney problem
      • Urinary tract infection
      • Test for the presence of sugar which may indicate Gestational diabetes
      To determine maternal nutrition

      Scans from week 6-12

      • To determine that the foetus is in the correct location
      • To see the baby’s heartbeat
      • To estimate the due date

      Offered at the first prenatal visit

      This test screens for:

      • Low blood count
      • Thalassaemia (the formation of abnormal haemoglobin, a common genetic blood disorder in Singapore)

      Low-blood counts often caused by a lack of iron due to inadequate intake or the increased demands during pregnancy.

      Offered to perform this screening at the first prenatal visit.

      Hepatitis B is a virus that infects the liver.

      Many people may not develop any symptoms when they are infected.

      Hepatitis B can be passed on to the baby at birth. If you are tested positive, your newborn will be given the Hepatitis B vaccine and Hepatitis B Immunoglobulin (HBIG) within the first 12 hours of birth to prevent him from getting infected.

      Offered at the first prenatal visit

      To test for Syphilis (a sexually transmitted disease that can cause birth defects and can

      be passed to your baby through the placenta during pregnancy)
      Syphilis can be treated with antibiotics

      Offered at the first prenatal visit

      HIV can be spread to a baby during pregnancy, labour and delivery.

      The risk of your baby being infected will be greatly reduced if detected early, for appropriate treatment and to improve the mother’s health.

      Offered at the first prenatal visit

      To test your immunity to German measles but has no impact on your current pregnancy.

      If you got infected with German Measles during the first four months of your pregnancy, your baby is at risk of having serious birth defects such as hearing loss and heart defects.

      It is encouraged to go for vaccination after delivery to protect your future pregnancies.

      To check if the mother develops antibodies (facilitates to get blood during emergency situations)

      Anti – D injection offered at 28th, 34th week of pregnancy and after delivery if the father is tested rhesus positive 

      To prevent the mother from the development of antibodiesReduces risk of haemolytic disease (a condition that can lead to anaemia, jaundice and heart failure) in future babies while in the womb or newborn.

      Done at 11th to 14th week of pregnancy

      Measures the thickness of the fluid-filled area at the back of the baby’s neck

      Conducted at 15th- 20th week of pregnancy
      The mother’s blood is measured for:

      • AFP (alphafetoprotein)  
      • HCG (human chorionic gonadotrophin),
      • Substances produced by the baby
      • The placenta

      A higher risk of having a baby with Down syndrome when pregnant mothers have a low AFP level and high HCG levels.

      Test performed at 11th – 14th week of pregnancy (in first or second trimester)

      Combination test of nuchal translucency and maternal blood test

      A positive result is not a representative that your baby has Down syndrome. It is an indicative that the risk is high and it is advisable to do further confirmatory tests as follows:

      Chorionic villus sampling (CVS)

      • Done at about 10th – 13th week of pregnancy
      • Biopsy of the placenta that may be done through the vagina and abdomen
      • 1% risk of miscarriage
      • Also test for other genetic problems


      • Involves the withdrawal of amniotic fluid from the amniotic sac
      • Performed under ultrasound guidance
      • Conducted during 15th – 20th week of pregnancy
      • 0.5 – 1.0% risk of miscarriage


      As advised by the doctor

      To test for thyroid disorder

      As advised by the doctor

      Pregnant women (35 and 37 weeks gestation)

      Vaginal and rectal swab

      Week 18-22

      You will be scheduled for a detailed ultrasound scan during this period to ensure that your baby is developing well with no major physical defects. However, some defects and abnormalities can be unnoticeable during the ultrasound scan. It is advisable to conduct these scans and tests to be able to early detect any abnormalities. You may also wish to find out the gender of your baby, if you can’t wait to know if you will be having a baby boy or baby girl to prepare the necessities for the arrival of your child!

      Postnatal checks

      You will usually be advised by your doctor to schedule a postpartum check-up 4-6 weeks after your delivery. Your weight, blood pressure, breasts and genital organs will be checked and examined to ensure your recovery. Pap smear, a simple procedure to detect for any abnormal cells in the cervix will also be performed. This is also a good opportunity to consult your doctor regarding any difficulties faced when adapting to life with your baby or with regards to birth control, and also about the ideal exercises for you. 


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