Antenatal care should begin as early as when you are planning for a baby. It is important to take care of your health before and during your pregnancy as it can have a lifelong impact in your baby’s health.
Your first visit will ideally take place when you are about six to eight weeks pregnant. Our team of experienced obstetricians will carry out a thorough assessment including a physical examination and understanding more about your medical and family history.
Your antenatal visits will depend on your individual needs. In general, most women will require between eight to ten visits until they deliver their baby, while others may require additional visits and tests to monitor the well-being of mother and baby.
- Blood tests
- Urine test
Fetal Screening Tests
These are available for parents, especially those in the high-risk group such as increased age and an extensive family medical history. The majority of structural or chromosomal abnormalities may be detected by fetal screening tests, including chromosomal abnormality, genetic diseases, infections, major structural abnormalities especially those involving the brain and the heart, and growth disorders.
We conduct antenatal classes at Raffles Hospital. These antenatal classes include topics on labour and delivery, maternal nutrition, exercise, as well as provide practical advice on how to care for your baby in your journey to parenthood.
First Trimester Screening (FTS) at 11-13 weeks of pregnancy
Also known as the One-Stop-Clinic-For-Assessment-of-Risk (OSCAR), this screening is a prenatal test that offers early information about the baby's risk of certain conditions. This include a blood test to measure levels of two pregnancy-specific substances in the mother's blood and an ultrasound exam to measure the size of the clear space in the tissue at the back of the baby's neck (nuchal translucency).
- Common chromosomal abnormalities
- Early structural abnormalities
- Severe pre-eclampsia
There are alternatives to FTS. However, both do not screen for early structural abnormalities pre-eclampsia or intrauterine growth restriction.
Triple Test at 15 to 20 Weeks of Pregnancy
This blood test allows the detection of 60 to 70 per cent risk of Down syndrome.
Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing (NIPT) from 10 Weeks of Pregnancy
This uses modern technology to detect fetal DNA in the mother’s blood. It is highly accurate for the screening of Down syndrome, Edward syndrome and Patau Syndrome (to a lesser degree), and the sex chromosomes.
Fetal Anomaly (FA) Scan at 18 to 22 Weeks of Pregnancy
This screening helps to assess your baby's chances of having certain genetic diseases and birth defects, and helps you determine if you require advanced fetal diagnostic tests and care such as chronic villus sampling (CVS), amniocentesis, fetal surveillance and fetal therapy.
- Major fetal structural anomalies.
- Soft tissue markers
- Low-lying placenta
- Uterine artery waveforms
- Cervical length
Growth Scan at 30 to 34 Weeks of Pregnancy
This test is normally performed to determine if the growth parameters of the fetus are appropriate. Fetal weight may be estimated within 15 per cent of the actual birth weight. Waveforms of the uterine arteries are performed to assess circulation adequacy in the feto-placental unit. Waveforms of some fetal blood vessels would be assessed to determine the well-being of the fetus. A survey of some structural abnormalities will be performed, which may allow the detection of some late-onset structural abnormalities.
3D / 4D Scans at 26 to 30 Weeks of Pregnancy
Some parents may request to view 3D / 4D images of their fetus. This is an optional scan that may help to promote bonding between parents and fetus. The quality of such scan is very dependent on the fetus position and the amount of amniotic fluid in front of the targeted area.
- Routine antenatal screening blood tests
- Screening for chromosomal abnormalities including Down syndrome
- Ultrasound scan for nuchal translucency (NT), nasal bone (NB), structural abnormalities, Doppler studies of the uterine artery and mean arterial pressure:
- FTS / OSCAR