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Antenatal care 

Antenatal care

Chapter:
Antenatal care
Author(s):

Janet Medforth

, Linda Ball

, Angela Walker

, Sue Battersby

, and Sarah Stables

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198754787.003.0004
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date: 26 March 2017

This chapter comprises confirming the pregnancy, the signs and symptoms of pregnancy, pregnancy testing and how to go about it, pregnancy adaptation, how the body changes in response to the pregnancy, the booking interview, and where, when, how, and why it takes place. Pregnancy screening and risk assessment, based on the medical, social, and obstetric history, is outlined. Blood group and the rhesus factor, their importance in terms of preventing haemolytic disease in the newborn, and anti-D prophylaxis are explained. Down’s syndrome risk screening protocols, gaining consent, and the testing options are presented, as well as antenatal examination and how and when this is carried out, the abdominal examination procedure, and the significance of findings and how this relates to fetal well-being. Monitoring fetal growth and well-being by a variety of clinical and technical measures is also included, explaining the procedure for measuring growth and plotting the results on a customized chart.

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