Bringing a new life into the world is a remarkable journey that comes with its own set of joys, challenges, and uncertainties. One of the most critical aspects of this journey is ensuring a healthy pregnancy.
In this article, we'll dive into the insights shared by one of Doctor Anywhere's ob-gyns, Dr. Carissa Mae Pascua-Lanante, addressing everything from prenatal check-ups to debunking common myths about prenatal care.
What prenatal check-up schedules should pregnant women follow, and what can they expect during these visits?
"Regular prenatal visits are essential for monitoring both the health of the mother and the growing baby," Dr. Carissa Mae explains. According to her, the recommended prenatal check-up schedules in the Philippines follow a traditional pattern. During the initial stages, visits are scheduled at four-week intervals until 28 weeks of pregnancy. After that, they become bi-weekly until 36 weeks, and finally, weekly until delivery. However, she also notes that complicated pregnancies might require more frequent visits, ranging from one to two-week intervals. During these visits, expectant mothers can anticipate a series of assessments.
Dr. Carissa Mae elaborates, "The obstetrician will conduct a comprehensive history-taking and perform physical examinations, including vital signs, maternal weight, pelvic/cervical exams, fundal height measurements, fetal heart rate monitoring, and determining fetal position."
Are there any specific risk factors or prevalent health conditions in the Philippines that might need extra attention during prenatal care?
Dr. Carissa Mae emphasizes the importance of risk assessment during pregnancy. "Certain health conditions require special attention to ensure a safe pregnancy journey," she states. In the Philippines, some prevalent health conditions include cardiac disorders, hypertension, gestational diabetes mellitus, asthma, and thyroid disorders. These conditions necessitate vigilant monitoring and management to mitigate potential risks.
For cases involving higher levels of complexity, such as genetic abnormalities, hemoglobinopathies, autoimmune disorders, epilepsy, HIV infection, and cancer, seeking maternal-fetal medicine consultation is advised. Such consultations provide specialized care tailored to specific needs, enhancing the overall pregnancy experience.
What are some misunderstandings or false beliefs about prenatal care that you would like to address?
"It's important to separate fact from fiction to ensure a stress-free pregnancy," she asserts.
Myth 1: Employment during pregnancy
Dr. Carissa Mae clarifies, "In the absence of complications, pregnant women can continue working until the onset of labor. However, severe physical strain should be avoided to minimize the risk of preterm birth, fetal growth restriction, or gestational hypertension."
Myth 2: Exercise is harmful
Staying active is beneficial for both you and your baby. Dr. Carissa Mae advises, "Pregnant women are encouraged to engage in regular, moderate-intensity physical activity for at least 150 minutes each week, provided they don't become excessively fatigued or risk injury." However, certain conditions like cardiovascular or pulmonary disease, preterm labor, preeclampsia, placenta previa, and fetal growth restriction might warrant caution.
Myth 3: Making love is off-limits
Addressing a sensitive topic, Dr. Carissa Mae states, "Being intimate is generally safe during pregnancy. However, it's best to avoid it when there's a threat of abortion, placenta previa, or preterm labor."
Every pregnancy is unique, and seeking regular professional advice is important. Speak with a primary care doctor 24/7 on-demand or by appointment, or schedule an appointment with an ob-gyn using the Doctor Anywhere app.
To learn more about women’s health issues and the available support services, visit https://www.doctoranywhere.ph/women-health.