Prenatal care: what it is, when to start and necessary exams


Prenatal care is the health monitoring recommended for all pregnant women. Prenatal care is offered by the SUS and aims to assess the health of women and babies during pregnancy, through imaging and laboratory tests.

During prenatal consultations, the doctor must identify the gestational age, inform the likely date of birth, clarify all the woman’s doubts about pregnancy and childbirth, as well as order tests to check the health of the mother and baby. baby.

Check out the video below for more details on how prenatal care is carried out:

When to start prenatal care

Prenatal care should begin as soon as a woman discovers she is pregnant. These consultations must be carried out once a month until the 28th week of pregnancy, every 15 days from the 28th to the 36th week and weekly from the 37th week of pregnancy onwards.

Prenatal care is a right for every pregnant woman and can be provided at health centers, hospitals or private or public clinics. During these consultations, women should also seek information about the procedures and preparations for childbirth.

Gestational age calculator

One of the doctor’s first checks is the gestational age, as this means that appropriate tests can be indicated for that period and it will be possible to assess how the baby is developing. To find out your gestational age, enter the date of your last menstrual period in the calculator below:

How is done

During the prenatal consultation, the nurse or doctor usually checks:

  • Or weight;
  • Blood pressure;
  • Signs of swelling of the legs and feet;
  • Uterine height, measuring the belly vertically;
  • Fetal heartbeat;
  • Observe the breasts and teach what can be done to prepare them for breastfeeding;
  • The woman’s vaccination record to give the vaccines in fata.

In addition, it is important to ask about common pregnancy discomforts, such as heartburn, burning, excess saliva, weakness, abdominal pain, colic, vaginal discharge, hemorrhoids, difficulty breathing, bleeding gums, back pain, varicose veins, cramps and work during pregnancy, clarifying all the pregnant woman’s doubts and offering the necessary solutions.

During the prenatal consultation, the doctor also assesses whether the pregnancy is low or high risk by assessing the presence of diseases, such as heart disease, autoimmune disease, kidney failure, neurological changes, diabetes, malnutrition, suspected cancer or other diseases. infectious, for example. Therefore, based on this initial assessment, the doctor can recommend some measures to reduce the risk of pregnancy and promote the health of the woman and the baby. Find out everything about high-risk pregnancy and its care.

Prenatal exams

The tests that must be carried out during the prenatal period, and which are requested by the family doctor or obstetrician, are:

  • Ultrasound;
  • Complete blood count;
  • Proteinuria;
  • Hemoglobin and hematocrit measurement;
  • Coombs test;
  • Stool examination;
  • Bacterioscopy of vaginal contents;
  • Fasting blood glucose;
  • Examination to determine blood type, ABO system and Rh factor;
  • HIV: human immunodeficiency virus;
  • Rubella serology;
  • Serology for toxoplasmosis;
  • VDRL for syphilis;
  • Serology for hepatitis B and C;
  • Serology for cytomegalovirus;
  • Urine, to find out if you have a urinary tract infection.

Prenatal consultations should begin as soon as the pregnancy is discovered. The woman must receive important information about nutritional issues, weight gain and the first care of the baby. Find out more details about each exam, how they should be done and their results.

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Mastologist and gynecologist graduated from the Federal University of Pernambuco in 2008 with professional registration in CRM PE 17459.

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  • July 17, 2023 (Current version)
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  • January 20, 2023
  • September 26, 2022
  • February 4, 2010
  • Created in February, 2010
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