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FAMILY MEDICAL CARE: SIGNIFICANCE OF CHECKS

Every check is carried out for a particular reason. This is to make certain mother and the developing infant will remain safe throughout the pregnancy and will be well and healthy at the termination of the confinement.

Tests are never carried out haphazardly and just for something to do.

The weight measurements are important. The mother-to-be should not gain more than 0.5 kg a week. If she exceeds this, it may indicate an increased risk of subsequently developing eclampsia, one of the serious complications of pregnancy.

Similarly, blood pressure readings are very important. Many doctors regard a reading of 140/90 as the upper limit of normal. If pressure readings start to rise above these figures, it is a cause for concern and action. Once more, a serious complication of pregnancy is characterized by a sudden rise in blood pressure. The only way in which this can be recognized is by the regular readings carried out accurately on a systematic basis.

Urine tests seek out a substance in the urine called albumen, which is a protein substance. If this appears, it indicates that all is not well, and that immediate action is necessary. Once more, it can be the warning signal that serious medical complications may be starting, and action becomes imperative at once.

Blood checks are important. The haemoglobin level gives a clear, accurate assessment of the mother's blood quality. This is done at the start. If it shows a reduced level, special treatment may be prescribed to bring it up to the normal level.

But a recheck later on is usually recom­mended. So, reassessments may take place occasionally, depending on what the doctor considers necessary.

From time to time, the doctor may consider other tests are needed. Whatever occurs, he will make certain requests depending on the situation at any given visit. Go along with these requests. They are all given in your own interest, and the best interest of your baby that's in the making.

When everything finally turns out the way you had hoped, a lot of this will be due to your own efforts, as well as the efforts and recommenda­tions of your doctor. So stay with his suggestions at all times.

 

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GENERAL HEALTH