The first appointment is usually around 8 weeks of your pregnancy and takes about 45 minutes. We will make an ultrasound and discuss the prenatal testing options with you. An appointment is also made for the second ultrasound, around 10 weeks, during which the gestational age is determined by measuring the baby at the term ultrasound. You will also receive information about nutrition, smoking, folic acid, maternity care, etc..
After the second ultrasound, the intake also takes place. This appointment takes approximately 45 minutes. We will ask you questions about your physical and mental health and about diseases and/or congenital abnormalities that run in your family. You will be given a form for the standard blood test that is done on every pregnant woman at VieCuri hospital. In addition to all checks, this data is recorded on the pregnancy card in our digital file. It is possible to view this file anytime and anywhere via the Pregnancy Portal app.
Furthermore, the following checks are carried out at every appointment: measuring blood pressure, checking the growth of the uterus and the baby, and listening to the baby's heartbeat. We will also check your weight a few times during the pregnancy. From about 28 weeks we can also determine the position of the baby. There is also time for answering questions and/or explaining complaints.
Instead of individual check-ups during pregnancy, care is offered in nine sessions to a group of approximately 8-10 pregnant women with approximately the same gestational age. To attend the centering pregnancy sessions you must speak and understand the Dutch language.
During these sessions, pregnancy check-ups are combined in a fun and informal way with information, interactive learning methods and conversations about what concerns you and your fellow pregnant women during pregnancy.
The group sessions start with the medical check-ups. You measure your blood pressure and weigh yourself and record this in your pregnancy book. Shielded from the group, the obstetrician conducts the external examination; feel your belly and listen to your baby's heart with the doptone! We continue in groups; in a creative way we discuss one or more topics that match the phase of your pregnancy. Your partner is welcome to join the sessions during the first half hour and the two partner sessions that focus on childbirth.
A regular pregnancy check-up takes 15 minutes. After measuring blood pressure and listening to your baby's heart, there is not much time left to provide information and answer questions. At Centering Pregnancy, a session lasts two hours. Because all dates are recorded in advance, this can often be planned very well in your agenda. During the session, several topics can be discussed. Because of the group dynamic you get a lot of information and experiences from the group.
You will be more extensively informed and therefore, look forward to the birth with even more confidence. Over time, when you know each other better and are familiar with the group, the group also offers a lot of support.
Research in America has shown that the outcomes for pregnant women who participate in Centering Pregnancy are better than for pregnant women who opt for the traditional form of pregnancy check-ups.
An ultrasound is offered every time during the check-ups. In the first two check-ups, it is important to measure the baby. The first ultrasound is called the ‘vitality ultrasound’ and the second ultrasound in our practice is called the ‘term ultrasound’. Your final due date is determined during the term ultrasound.
Furthermore, it is sometimes necessary to monitor the growth of the baby with growth ultrasounds. These are also made at our own practice and every office location has an ultrasound machine. You will receive photos on a free USB stick.
The ultrasounds at our practice are made by all midwives. Ingrid also works as an ultrasound technician at CVONL. If preferred, she can make your 13- and 20- week ultrasounds there. After your term ultrasound has been made, we will send a referral and the assistant at the ultrasound centre will contact you to schedule an appointment.
Every pregnant woman also receives an ultrasound at around 36 weeks to check in which position the baby is lying in.
You may like to know the baby's gender or have a 3/4D ultrasound made? Judith makes these fun ultrasounds at Pretecho Centrum Noord-Limburg, where they work with the latest HD Live technology.
Consultation for listening to the baby's heart
Do you think the period between check-ups is too long and you would like to hear your baby’s heart with the doptone? You can!
If you are between 13 and 26 weeks pregnant, you are very welcome at the heartbeat consultation hour. This is every Friday in Blerick between 8.30-9.30 am.
You do not need to make an appointment for this, and you will be seen in the order of arrival. You can come as often as you like and there is no charge.
The heartbeat consultation hour is not intended for when you feel your baby is moving less after 26 weeks of pregnancy, or for discussing physical complaints etc.. In these instances, please contact our assistant or the midwife on duty.
During pregnancy you will receive more information about various tests that are available. The three examinations in question are the NIPT, 13-week ultrasound and the 20-week ultrasound.
The NIPT tests the mother's blood for the presence of chromosomes from the baby's placenta. These chromosomes are usually identical to those of the baby itself. The test is intended to see if there are abnormalities on chromosomes 13, 18 and 21 (including Down syndrome). The test is reliable, but is not 100% sure. The NIPT will be fully compensate from 1 April 2023. It can be determined as an extra blood test with a blood tube if you have the routine blood test carried out on route 11 (blood collection department) in VieCuri. An appointment is required for each blood test call 077-3205555 of mijnviecuri.nl. More information about NIPT: pns.nl/nipt.
The use of alcohol during conception, during pregnancy and while breastfeeding can have serious consequences for the development of the baby. For this reason, it is recommended not to drink alcohol during this period. All alcohol consumed by the mother reaches the unborn child directly through the placenta. However, the child is not yet able to break this down properly, therefore it remains in the body longer. The exact consequences of drinking alcohol during pregnancy are difficult to predict, however, there are indications that consumption of less than one glass per day can already have negative consequences for the baby. This can be in the form of miscarriage, premature birth, fetal alcohol syndrome and even death. Problems in the development of the child can also arise after birth.
The use of drugs is strongly discouraged during pregnancy because it may have harmful effects on the development of the child. For caregivers of a pregnancy, it is important to know whether the mother has used drugs in the past, or during the pregnancy.
Smoking can reduce the chance of getting pregnant. Smoking and second-hand smoke during pregnancy can also have a harmful effect on the development of your child. Cigarettes contain harmful substances that reduce blood flow to the placenta and therefore, a reduced oxygen supply to your child.
As a result, the growth of the baby may lag behind and the physical condition may be impaired. Childbirth can be extra difficult for these children. It is therefore vital to stop smoking, preferably before and otherwise as soon as possible during pregnancy. Smoking less is good, but quitting is better. Smoking during pregnancy increases the risk of miscarriage, premature birth and even stillbirth. After the birth, it is also important to not smoke near your baby. If this does happen, your child has a greater chance of cot death, asthma and behavioural disorders, among other things. The urgent advice to both parents-to-be is therefore to stop smoking. Quitting smoking can be very difficult, especially the first two weeks. Quitting tools, techniques or telephone coaching can be useful here.
Paracetamol (500 mg, without codeine) can be used incidentally up to a maximum of 8 tablets per day. Always consult with your midwife or doctor for all other medication. Inform your doctor and pharmacist about your pregnancy. A local anaesthetic for treatment at the dentist is not a problem.
Do not use the sauna or tanning bed in the first three months of your pregnancy. There is a possibility that prolonged heating in the embryonic stage could affect development. We do not recommend the infrared sauna during the entire pregnancy. Even after the first three months, it is important that you take changes in your body into account. Drink plenty of fluids and take breaks on time.
Exercising is healthy – especially when you are pregnant. During pregnancy, your body changes, which means that your body also responds differently to sports. Pregnancy causes the ligaments to become a little looser, which increases the risk of spraining or overloading the joints and muscles. The uterus enlarges, causing the centre of gravity of your body to shift. This can change your sense of balance. Your body also absorbs carbohydrates faster. Exercise can speed up this absorption, which can lower your blood sugar level. Because you have accelerated breathing, you may get out of breath a little faster.
It is therefore very important to listen to your body during pregnancy. If you have abdominal pain after exercising, this is a sign that you have done too much. A few more tips:
- Drink enough before, during and after exercise;
- Provide a moderate effort so that you do not become exhausted or out of breath;
- Do not engage in any sport where there is a risk of abdominal injury, falls or strain on the joints;
- Exercise is very healthy and prepares you well for the effort involved in giving birth. So keep moving and go for a walk, for example, if you don't do sports.
What to arrange in pregnancy?
It is important that you register for maternity care, preferably before 16 weeks of pregnancy.
The maternity nurse assists us during a home birth and helps you and your partner at home during the first week of maternity with the care of the baby and yourself, even after a hospital birth.
- She offers (physical) care to mother and child.
- She carries out checks on mother and child.
- She provides information.
- She offers help and advice in feeding the baby.
- She does light housework.
- If the maternity nurse identifies problems, she will consult the midwife.
You can register at one of the following maternity offices:
If you are not married, the biological father is not automatically the official father of your child. He must therefore acknowledge the child. You can do this at the Civil Registry of the municipality where you live.
In addition to acknowledging the child, it is often also desired that the father is given parental authority over the child. With parental authority, the father can make decisions about the upbringing and care of the child. He may also perform 'legal acts' in the name of his son or daughter. For example, signing his signature or conducting legal proceedings.
The father can acknowledge the child at the following times:
- During the pregnancy. A deed is made acknowledging that he is the father. The mother must always be present. The most convenient time is during pregnancy.
- At the birth registration. If this is your first child, the mother must be present when the declaration is made. Since a birth registration has to take place within 3 days after the birth, it can be quite burdensome for the mother to go to the town hall.
- At any time after birth. If the father has not acknowledged the child during the pregnancy or the birth registration, this can also be done later. A separate deed is then drawn up in which the father is recognized as the official father of the child. We do not recommend this because the mother has to go with the father to the municipality within 3 days after birth.