Complications to watch out for and routine tests

There are some routine blood tests and ultra sound scans carried out during one’s pregnancy to rule out or to diagnose some conditions/issues/complications, whereas some other tests are offered upon identification of some symptoms.

Routine tests:

Blood tests
. Routine blood test done at the first appointment with midwife (or booking appointment as it is called here)
2. Routine blood test done at 28 weeks 2.a. Glucose screening and glucose tolerance test,  2.b. to check for iron level.
3. Screening test for Down Syndrome or Triple test (16 to 18 weeks) – although available as a routine test in all NHS trusts, it is generally briefed to the parents and parents are given a choice whether to go for it or not.
In my case, in our NHS, they tried to discourage it for me, I had to request, still they gave me few appointments to discuss it over, meaning, they made me run all over the place to get it done.  Reason – cost cutting!
Triple test would require dating scan done. So, if you are going for triple test, make sure you had your dating scan done before going for triple test, otherwise this will delay the triple test, which should be done before 18 weeks.

Ultra sound scans
1. Viability test (6-8 weeks) – not available as a routine test in all NHS trusts
2. Dating scan –  not available as a routine test in all NHS trusts
3. Nuchal Transulancy scan (and blood test) – not available as a routine test in all NHS trusts
4. Anomaly scan (20 – 23 weeks) – available as a routine test in all NHS trusts. Some abnormalities, mainly chromosomal discrepancy related abnormalities, can be detected in this scan.
5. Fetal growth scan during third trimester – not available as a routine test in all NHS trusts

As the third trimester growth scan is not offered in all NHS trusts, one has to go private if one would like to have it. Size of the baby is generally not speculated, though the centile charts (the charts and measurements are not height and weight centiles, but are different things such as head circumference) may be indicative. My babygirl follows 90th centile curve so far.  And, as they (NHS) do not know (officially) that it is a girl, they are plotting on not_gender_specific graph, and still my babygirl follows 90th centile curve.

Complications to watch out for

There are some tests available and offered in most of the NHS trust, but will be offered only after reporting some symptoms. Unfortunately neither the midwife nor in the antenatal class they make you aware of it. Midwife appointment is for every four weeks and if anything happens in between and if we are not aware of the symptom and related complication, we are at risk. Some people told me that midwife appointment is for every fortnight after 30 weeks, but it is not the case in our NHS, i.e., it  is the same once in 4 weeks. But the NHS pregnancy book and book from boots, which are freely available, do give some idea on what to watch out for. Buying a book on pregnancy or reading from Internet is certainly a good idea.
1. Ectopic pregnancy – Symptom: severe stomach pain  – first trimester
2. Pre-eclampsia – symptom: swelling on the ankle – third trimester
3. Obstetrics Cholestasis – Symptom: itchy skin, mainly on palms and soles – third trimester
4. Placenta praevia – Symptom: uncontrolled bleeding
5. Gestational diabetes – identified during routine urine test when attending antenatal clinic
6. Loss of amniotic fluid – symptom: water leaking – report to your consultant immediately and get yourself checked.

The list above does not cover all complications and their symptoms. Read more to be aware of them all.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Anitha
    Dec 28, 2007 @ 18:04:50

    Is your itching under control? OC test results – have they come? 90th percentile sounds like Nikki, c-sec is a good option if the baby is big (You should have known from my experience).


  2. Premalatha
    Dec 28, 2007 @ 18:14:41

    Itching is under control and I am almost cleared for OC. But, still waiting for the bile acids test results.
    The baby IS big I suspect. My consultant has agreed for C sect in principle, but there is no record of his agreement. He is on holiday. I just have to wait until he comes back. 😦


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