What is done to me at booking?

Weight and height are recorded and if you are either very under or overweight, this is the opportunity to discuss your diet. A specimen of your urine will be tested. This will be done at each and every visit because there are several problems which are specific to pregnancy which can be identified from abnormalities in urine content: Glucose (sugar) in the urine is common in pregnancy. If your urine consistently contains glucose, You may be asked to have a blood test (either glucose tolerance test or random blood glucose) and if the glucose level is high then this be diabetes of pregnancy, known as ''gestational diabetes'' and you and your baby will need closer monitoring throughout the pregnancy Protein found in the urine of pregnant women is common because the normal vaginal discharge all women experience is increased and may contaminate the urine sample, showing as protein. On a more serious level it may be indicative of a bacterial infection of the kidneys or bladder or an underlying problem with high blood pressure of pregnancy. Ketones are found in urine after prolonged vomiting, dehydration or occasionally missing too many meals. It suggests an alteration in the body''s metabolic (energy generating) system. Very rarely it can be associated with poorly controlled diabetes. Blood pressure is recorded regularly. Usually this is done with you sitting upright or at 45 degrees. It is normal for your blood pressure to drop slightly in the middle 13 weeks of pregnancy (13 to 26 weeks), and to rise slightly in the last 13 (27-40 weeks). If you are told that your blood pressure is low then this is usually nothing to worry about; blood pressure that consistently rises throughout pregnancy may not be (depending of course on what level it started at, and how high it rises) and may need close monitoring. Blood tests will be carried out to (with your consent) to check that you are in good health and that you are not at risk from certain conditions which are harmful in pregnancy. Blood group and rhesus status: Everyone belongs to a blood group and it is important to know which one in case you need blood during the pregnancy or labour. The commonest is O; A, B and AB are much less common and therefore it is useful to know if you belong to a rare blood group in advance should you ever need a blood transfusion. Rhesus status is either positive or negative, so that you may be ''O negative'', ''A positive'' etc. Rhesus positive simply means that there is a special identifying label on your blood cells that isn''t present if you are Rhesus negative; if you are Rhesus negative then sometimes you need further blood tests in pregnancy to check for the production of antibodies, and injections of ''anti D'' if you have bleeding in pregnancy or at delivery. -Haemoglobin (red blood cell level). Red blood cells contain iron and carry oxygen; if their level is low, then you are said to be anaemic, and advised to eat foods with high iron content. It may also be suggested that you take iron supplementation, in the form of tablets. It is normal for a woman''s iron levels to fall slightly in pregnancy with the extra demands of the growing baby. Severe anaemia may make you very tired and affect the baby''s growth; if you bleed heavily in pregnancy or at delivery you don''t have much in reserve and may need a blood transfusion. Blood will also be taken to see whether or not you have had syphilis. This sexually transmitted disease is nowadays rare to find (as it is so easily cured) but if untreated, or not known about, could cause development problems and abnormalities of the baby in the womb. Hepatitis B (a liver disease) is often tested for and can be passed from you to the baby in pregnancy. If you have had the disease then the newborn baby will need blood tests and vaccination in the first year of life. Many hospitals are now offering ''opt out'' HIV tests. Knowledge of HIV status is especially relevant in pregnancy as certain measures can dramatically reduce the chances of the baby getting HIV infected from about 20% to less than 5%. Also, it allows you to have specifically directed treatment that hopefully will improve your health too. Immunity to rubella (German measles) is checked. If you catch it in early pregnancy, it will often lead on to blindness, heart defects and mental retardation in babies. As it is so preventable, and the consequences of catching it in pregnancy so severe, most schoolgirls are automatically vaccinated for it. Sickle cell disease (affects people of African and West Indian origin) and thalassaemia (those of Indian, Oriental, Mediterranean and African origin) are blood disorders which affect the way the haemoglobin contained in red blood cells is produced. You can carry these disorders without actually suffering from them, but there is a risk you might pass them on and cause the disease in your baby if your partner is also a carrier, so it will often be necessary to test him.
Urine Tests

You will be asked to provide a urine specimen, which is tested by a nurse or midwife to check for possible irregularities.

Glucose (sugar) More than a trace of glucose may be a sign of diabetes. You may need a blood test.
Protein When this is found in quantity in the urine, it may signal a bladder or kidney infection, or preeclampsia.
Ketones These are substances, that if present, mean that the body''s metabolic system is upset, probably because you haven''t eaten enough or have vomited.
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