During your pregnancy it’s important to monitor your wellbeing and how your baby is doing. This is called antenatal or prenatal care. Your LMC will monitor your blood pressure, test your urine, listen to baby’s heart beat and measure your baby’s growth by examining your abdomen. You will also have your height measured, and weight monitored regularly. Gaining the right amount of weight during your pregnancy is one of the most important things you can do to support your health and the health of your baby.
When you first see your GP or LMC you will be asked to give a blood sample to test for:
- Your blood group
- Iron content in your blood
- Any harmful antibodies
- Blood Glucose levels
- Immunity to rubella
- Hepatitis B
You will also be offered Antenatal HIV Screening.
Initially you will have antenatal checks every 4 weeks. After 28 weeks they will be fortnightly. From 36 weeks antenatal checks are weekly up until your baby is born. (Timeframes may vary based on your health needs).
There are a number of tests available to screen for conditions that may affect you or your baby. The screening tests are optional and are called Maternal Serum Screening. Depending on what week of pregnancy you are in will depend on what test can be offered. Discuss these with your LMC. Talk to your LMC or GP about the risks and benefits of these screening tests before making your decision.
For more information about these screening tests see the National Screening Unit website
When you are between 26 to 28 weeks pregnant you will have a blood test to screen for diabetes in pregnancy.
Ultrasound Scans in Pregnancy
There are times in the pregnancy where an ultrasound scan may be requested. This is sometimes done:
- To confirm your due date
- As part of Maternal Serum Screening
- At around 20 weeks to check your baby’s physical features such as heart, lungs, brain, spine, etc
- If it is medically required (such as checking your baby’s growth)
There are several places in the Hutt Valley (and Wellington) that you can get ultrasound scans:
- Pacific Radiology (Hutt and Wellington)
- Valley Ultrasound
- Horizon Radiology (Wellington)
There may be a surcharge, check when you make your appointment.
Blood tests are usually done at a community lab. You can choose where you get the test done. In the Hutt Valley these include Wellington SCL. Blood tests are free for New Zealand residents.