Qualification: NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma for the Early Years Educator
Unit: Unit 1.6: Understand the needs of the mother and baby during pre-conception, pregnancy and the first year of life
Learning outcome: Understand development from conception to end of gestation
Assessment criteria: Describe antenatal developmental checks
Antenatal developmental checks are medical checks that are performed during pregnancy to improve the health of the mother and baby, provide them with support, and facilitate the early identification of any issues.
The first check is usually performed after the mother finds out she is pregnant and makes contact with health professionals. They will provide advice about lifestyle choices and what can be expected during pregnancy.
Within ten weeks, screenings for sickle-cell disease and thalassaemia should be offered. These tests help identify potential problems early on so that treatment can be given if necessary.
A dating scan is usually performed between 8-14 weeks to estimate the due date, check on physical development, and screen for conditions such as Down’s Syndrome.
At 18-20 weeks, another scan is generally performed to check development and screening for HIV, syphilis and hepatitis B. You will also be offered the whooping cough vaccine
Between 25-40 weeks, regular checks are performed every 2-3 weeks to measure blood pressure and the size of the uterus. These appointments offer an opportunity to check in with health professionals and ask any questions that may have arisen final checks are performed in the weeks leading up to the birth and focus on preparing both the mother and baby for labour and delivery.
Overall, antenatal developmental checks provide important information that can help keep both mother and baby healthy during pregnancy and after birth.