From the minute your pregnancy is confirmed, there seems to be be so much information thrown at you that it is hard to take it all in. Yes, in bygone days you would have been left to get on with it, but you wouldn’t know if there were any problems, defects etc until you actually gave birth, and then the odds of actually having a live child were drastically reduced. Being pregnant today can seem a very clinical process, but all the technology is there for your benefit. Blood tests, diagnostic tests, weight maintenance are all governed by trained professionals who have your best interests at heart.
Common things such as morning sickness can be extremely traumatic, especially if it carries on after the first trimester. If you are unlucky to suffer from Hyperemesis Gravid arum, excessive sickness, you no longer have to suffer alone. Medications which are safe for you and your developing baby can greatly alleviate this problem. Dehydration is a very dangerous side effect of this condition, and fluid given intravenously are common place now, making you won’t reach a critical level of dehydration. Morning sickness is one of the demons of pregnancy, and like everything else, some cope with it better than others. It is reassuring to know, however, that should you suffer badly, there is help available. It does leave you feeling run down and basically lousy, and this is what pregnant women find the hardest deal with, as they are under the premise they should be feeling full of joy and ‘blooming’.
The ultrasound scan is without a doubt the biggest break though in prenatal care. Going for your scan and seeing your growing baby is generally a time of wonder and excitement, for some, however, it can be a time of great sorrow when they find out that their developing fetus has a defect. These are detected very early on and the choice is there whether to continue with the pregnancy or abort. Society is very divided over this, some think that any child is a gift and should be accepted even with defects, but the thought of raising a handicapped child is too much for some. Not every problem can be picked up by ultrasound obviously, but it has a permanent place now in prenatal care, and is ever improving.
Another common use of the ultrasound is to predetermine the sex of your baby. More and more couples are opting to do this now, as it makes it easier to prepare the nursery, buy clothes and to pick a name. Purists don’t agree with finding out the sex in advance and although a great many still choose to wait until delivery day, and see it as a great surprise, this trend is ever increasing. The amniocentesis test to determine whether your baby has Downs syndrome is another recent breakthrough. An ultra slim needle is put through the Mother’s stomach and draws off a small amount of the amniotic fluid which surrounds the baby. If the fetus is carrying Downs Syndrome, then you have the same choice as before, to continue or abort.
So next time you have an obstetrics appointment and really can’t be bothered to be poked or prodded, make sure you attend. Prevention is always better than cure, and your and your baby’s health is of utmost importance.