Sunday, 27 April 2008

What happens during pregnancy

Timetable: Significant events you are expected to know about
{Mention for a detailed timetable see reference section}
Missed periods/blood spotting
Scans & blood tests

12 week “dating” scan
Nuchal scan When is it charged and what can you do about it?
20 week scan
Other scans: Some places insist that a scan to determine the sex should be a separate private scan. Sizing scan. Additional scans in case of problems.
The Birth

What are scans and what can we learn from them?
An example scan
For comparison purposes I have included the same scan on the next page without the labelling. See if you can also spot the cheek bones, the shoulders and the beginnings of the ears.
An interesting feature of this particular scan is that the hand is almost straight in front of the umbilical cord which is only not visible because we are looking on the near side of it and it is angled away. When the scan was taking place movement could be seen and this was much more obvious.

Figure 5 Foetus at eleven weeks (unlabeled).
The standard pregnancy test consists of soaking a stick in urine for about a minute to se if certain hormones can be detected. Generally a blue line is produced if this is the case, though as one line may already be present it could appear as a blue cross. To check your reading of the test is valid there is often a control window which should produce a blue line whether or not hormones are present.

Figure 6 Test showing a positive result.

Blood group id
Anaemia/complete blood count
Rubella Immunity
Chicken pox
Hep b
Double test (for Spina bifida, downs syndrome and related problems).
Triple Test
Blood pressure
Screening tests (opt in/opt out)

Copyright 2005-2006 Rufus Evison

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