Must-have Tests When Pregnant in Singapore
There are a number of tests you will undergo when you are pregnant, to ensure that you and your unborn baby are as healthy as can be. Here’s what you can expect in Singapore.
Full Blood Count (FBC)
You are likely to hear your doctor, or friends who have been pregnant, talk about FBC tests. Your FBC is one of the first things doctors may want to know. A blood count will tell them whether you have an iron deficiency — and if so, they will recommend you take supplements or eat foods rich in iron. The FBC will also test your white blood count. If this is high, you could have an infection. Platelet level is also measured; this is an indication of the risk of bleeding.
Is your blood type O, A, B or AB? This is useful for your doctor to know, in case you need a blood transfusion during labour.
This examination of your urine can reveal if you have a urinary tract disease, diabetes and more.
Syphilis and HIV
As these two infections can cause serious problems for both mother and baby, it is common to be tested for them. If you think you have symptoms of any sexually transmitted infection, talk to your doctor as soon as possible.
Hepatitis B is a liver disease that some people may carry unknowingly. If you test positive, your doctor will help protect your baby by giving them an injection of hepatitis B immunoglobulin and hepatitis B vaccine straight after birth.
Other Common Tests
Other common pregnancy tests in Singapore include those that screen for Down syndrome and diabetes. Your doctor will also give you ultrasound scans at each trimester of your pregnancy, which will allow them to look for any physical abnormalities, check how your baby is developing, and monitor baby’s position before labour.
Pregnant and Scared of Needles? Here’s What to Do
This is the time of your life when you may undergo fairly regular blood tests. It’s understandable to want to avoid them if you have a phobia of needles, but it’s important not to neglect injections because they make you uncomfortable. Instead, try these tips to reduce your needle anxiety and discomfort:
- If you are prone to feeling woozy after an injection, try eating a light meal beforehand (unless told not to), and don’t jump out of the chair as soon as it is finished
- Let the doctor know that you are scared of needles! They will do everything they can to make you feel comfortable, and may even advise numbing the site before the injection, to minimise your anxiety
Remember, while it may seem like you undergo a lot of tests during pregnancy, it is a case of the more the better. Each test arms you and your doctor with information about yourself and your growing baby, helping to ensure a healthy pregnancy and a smooth labour.