Pregnancy should be a joyous occasion. However, a healthy pregnancy requires commitment from the mother-to-be. Many would say you should consult after you have missed your second menstrual period by which time you should be eight weeks pregnant.
However, in some women who have certain medical conditions, for example high blood pressure, lupus, diabetes, ect. it would be ideal to consult before falling pregnant. In this way you can be examined and certain tests done before you fall pregnant, so when you do conceive you are in optimal health.
Women who are healthy prior to falling pregnant have healthier pregnancies and give birth to healthier babies.
Another advantage of booking early is that the pregnancy can be more accurately dated using an ultrasound; this has been shown to decrease the amount of babies born postdates (after due date).
Doing an early ultrasound (before twelve weeks) will also enable the doctor to tell you if the baby is growing in the correct position (which should be inside the uterus and not outside). In addition, by taking certain ultrasound measurements together with a few blood tests the risk of the baby having certain abnormalities can be calculated.
Ideally women who are planning a pregnancy should see their health care provider and those who are pregnant should consult as soon as possible.
News source: Mooivaal Media – Vaalweekblad