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Antenatal Care

Pregnancy is powerful and conjures up an overwhelming feeling of love for the new life growing inside of you. You are now no longer just responsible for your own self but for the baby whose very existence depends on you and the choices you make. This is why antenatal care is so important. 

What is antenatal care?

Antenatal care, also known as prenatal care or prenatal checkup, involves comprehensive monitoring and checkup of mother and baby during pregnancy. In Singapore, it starts with the first pregnancy checkup and continues until delivery and ensures the health and well-being of mother and baby throughout pregnancy. 

Most women only realise they are pregnant when they start to notice subtle signs such as a missed period or nausea, and this usually means that they are already in weeks 5-8 of the pregnancy, which is when antenatal care usually begins.

Pre-pregnancy screenings are advised before you plan on getting pregnant, this ensures that you are in the best possible health for a healthy pregnancy.


How does antenatal care work?

Most women will have 8-10 antenatal check-ups before delivery; however, this may increase if you or your baby require closer monitoring. Your urine, weight, blood pressure, and your baby’s growth will be checked at each visit to help ensure that everything is on track and healthy. 

At Dr Claudia Chi Women’s Clinic , your antenatal checkup schedule may look like this:

  • Every month in the first 6 months of your pregnancy
  • Every 2 weeks in the 7th and 8th month of your pregnancy
  • Every week in the 9th month of your pregnancy

This may increase depending on the health of you and your baby.

Throughout your antenatal care and in addition to the standard ultrasounds, you will be advised to undergo a number of antenatal tests  and screening which help provide information about you and your baby. 

antenatal care

These tests by trimesters are:

First trimester (weeks 5-12 of pregnancy) 

  • Viability and dating ultrasound: checks if your pregnancy is in the right location, to demonstrate foetal heart activity and date the pregnancy.
  • Antenatal screening blood tests: checks full blood count, blood group, thalassaemia screen, infection screen, and general health of mother.
  • Non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT): screens for genetic/chromosomal abnormalities.
  • Combined first trimester screening (FTS or OSCAR): screens for genetic/chromosomal abnormalities.
  • Chorionic villus sampling (CVS): when needed, diagnoses genetic abnormalities.

Second trimester (weeks 13-25 of pregnancy)

  • Amniocentesis: when needed, diagnoses genetic abnormalities.
  • Detailed foetal anomaly scan: also known as the 20 week scan, it checks for the physical development of the baby.

Gestational diabetes screening : tests for gestational diabetes by measuring your body’s response to sugar after overnight fasting.

Third trimester (weeks 26-40 of pregnancy)

  • Regular growth scan: regular monitoring of the growth of your baby.
  • Group B streptococcus (GBS) test: a vaginal swab is taken at around week 35 of pregnancy. GBS is present in the normal vaginal flora of 30% of women and does not cause problems to the mother but may affect the baby as it passes through during birth and cause severe neonatal infection. Antibiotics are given during labour if the test is positive to help prevent transmission to the baby.
  • Cardiotocography: performed during labour to continuously monitor your baby’s heart rate and tracks any uterine contractions.

Not all of these tests are necessary, they are usually conducted based on your medical needs as advised by your obstetrician


What are the benefits of antenatal care?

  • Assesses the health (physical, mental, and emotional) of the mother
  • Identifies complications early which in turn allows for early intervention
  • Prevents pregnancy and post-delivery complications


Frequently asked questions

  1. When should I start antenatal care?
    Ideally, antenatal care should start at least 3 months before conceiving. This starts with pre-pregnancy screening and subsequently antenatal care. However, antenatal care typically starts at around 6-8 weeks of pregnancy.
  2. Why is antenatal care important?
    It helps to ensure that mother and baby are in the best possible health and helps to identify and monitor complications.

3 Mount Elizabeth
#09-08 Mount Elizabeth Medical Centre
Singapore 228510

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