MY MEDICAL CHECKUPS in France
A MONTH-BY-MONTH APPOINTMENT CALENDAR:
BEFORE THE END OF THE THIRD TRIMESTER:
- First prenatal exam
- First sonogram
- Optional blood draw to test for Down’s syndrome
- Second prenatal exam
- First birth and parenthood planning session
- Third prenatal exam
- Second sonogram
- Fourth prenatal exam
- Fifth prenatal exam
- First of seven birth and parenthood planning sessions
- Sixth prenatal exam
- Third sonogram
- Consultation with the anesthesiologist (even if you don’t opt for an epidural).
- Seventh prenatal exam
Medical checkups that are fully covered by your insurance!
SEVEN PRENATAL EXAMS:
In the first trimester, you will have an initial checkup with your primary care physician (PCP), OB/GYN, or midwife.
Then every month after Month 4, your healthcare professional will ensure your pregnancy is going well by checking things like your weight, blood pressure, the baby’s growth and heartbeat, etc. Contact your doctor or birthing center if you have any questions, have a fever, or feel pain. Remember to keep records of your visits and the sonograms in your file.
The best people qualified to prepare you for the birth are your OB/GYN and midwife. If you live far from your birthing center, your PCP can perform your examinations while conferring with midwifes and sonographers. It is recommended that you get examined in the birthing center in your third trimester.
You can also be examined by your PCP, and see an OB/GYN every three months.
ADDITIONAL MEDICAL EXAMS: They are routine during pregnancy.
When you go in for your first medical visit, your doctor will order a blood panel to determine your Rhesus factor (Rh) to see if there are any genetic incompatibilities between you, your partner, and the baby. It will also tell you if you are immune to certain diseases that you could pass on to your baby, such as toxoplasmosis, hepatitis B, rubella, HIV, syphilis, etc. But don’t worry; if the results are positive, your doctor will treat you.
THE RECOMMENDED THREE SONOGRAMS Monitoring the growth of your baby.
Month 3: The first sonogram is to determine your stage of pregnancy, and verify the number of embryos. This is the first opportunity to see a whole image of your baby.
Month 5: The sonographer analyzes the morphology and growth of the fetus. You will only be able to view parts of the baby.
Month 8: This sonogram is to check how the fetus is presenting and where the placenta is. You also have a choice between doing a 3D or 4D sonogram. Healthcare professionals recommend not exposing the fetus unnecessarily to ultrasounds, and prefer only doing this exam for diagnostic purposes.
YOUR HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONALS:
Your primary care physician: This doctor has all your health information on file and can give you any advice or guidance.
Midwife: Midwifes are now authorized to conduct all the mandated pregnancy monitoring exams, except for the first one, which should be done by a physician. Midwifes prepare you for labor and birth. They perform the postnatal exam and, if needed, two postnatal follow-up visits.
Obstetrician/gynecologist (OB/GYN): Your OB/GYN monitors all pregnancies, especially at-risk pregnancies that require special medical attention, such as hypertension or diabetes, multiple pregnancies, and possible premature births.
Find a prenatal coach to enhance your well-being: Prenatal coaches are there to guide moms/parents through the pregnancy and into the baby’s first few months. They help new parents welcome their baby into the world, answer their questions, and provide any information they need because the medical staff rarely has time to tell them everything. They make sure the pregnancy and the baby’s first few months are as stress-free as possible by offering invaluable advice and all the reassurance needed.