OBSTETRICS & GYNAECOLOGY
A woman’s physical and psychological well-being is of paramount importance, as it has implications not only on herself, but also on her child. The Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Kingsway Hospitals comprises of a team of expert obstetricians, gynaecologists, neonatologists, anaesthetists and a specially trained nursing staff who work to ensure that the journeyr through pregnancy starts on the right note and proceeds well till delivery.
In order to accomodate the various physical, mental and psychological changes that occur in a woman’s body during pregnancy, it is important to follow the essentials of maintaining good health. Following a healthy diet and a basic fitness regime can be beneficial in ensuring the well-being of the baby by keeping stress at bay and rejuvenating the body.
WHAT HAPPENS DURING A REGULAR OB-GYN APPOINTMENT?
An ob-gyn appointment usually starts with a regular health check-up where some preliminary checks such as height, weight, blood pressure tests, blood and urine tests are carried out. Some details such as personal and family health history, contraceptive use and periods are also recorded. It is very important for the patient to be completely honest in answering any questions that the doctor or the nurse asks them.
After the preliminary tests, a physical examination is carried out. The doctor will check fo any abnormalities or tumours in the breasts and under the armpits. Next comes the pelvic exam.Here, the area outside the vagina is examined. Then, using a device known as a “speculum”, the insides of the vagina and the cervix are examined. The patient might feel a slight pressure during this exam, but it will not be too painful. A PAP test is also carried out by removing a sample of cells from the cervix in order to checkfor cervical cancer. Finally, the doctor does the manual exam, in which she/he will insert gloved fingers inside the vagina, with the other hand placed on the lower part of the abdomen, to check for any abnormalities and feel the cervix, uterus,fallopian tubes etc.
TESTS CARRIED OUT DURING PREGNANCY
There are a variety of tests which are aimed towards making pregnancy safer and ensuring the well- being of both the mother and the child. The tests carried out are as given below:
- The blood group and the rhesus factor are ascertained in case the patient needs a transfusion.
- Haemoglobin levels and platelet count are checked to detect any signs of anaemia, i.e., low iron levels in the blood. If the patient is found to be anaemic, the doctor prescribes some iron-rich foods and supplements to treat it.
- The blood tests are aso carried out for detection of sexually transmitted diseases such as Syphilis, HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis B, Chlamydia, Gonorrhea etc. Antibiotics such as penicillin, and injections of vaccines and antibodies are administered if the presence of such disorders are detected.
Antenatal Urine Tests: The urine sample is colleced to detect any signs of protein or albumin, which might indicate an infection that needs to be treated.
After about 8 weeks of onset of pregnancy, tests for ascertaining the immunity towards Rubella virus are carried out, as a baby affected by measles might be born with birth defects such as sight and hearing abnormalities and congenital heart defects. Therefore, vaccination is recommended either before pregnancy, or after the birth of the child.
A fetal ultrasound and maternal blood testing is carried out to find the gestational age of the baby and detect any fetal abnormalities, if present; this is normally done at the 12th week of the onset of pregnancy. It also helps in planning pre-natal care and predicting the approximate delivery date of the baby.
A test known as Amniocentesis is done after 16 weeks of pregnancy for detection f any chromosomal abnormalities. It is especially recommended for women over the age of 35.
After about 20 weeks of pregnancy, blood tests for markers such as Alpha-fetoprotein screening (AFP), Estriol, Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG) are performed. Abnormal levels of AFP might be an indication of Down Syndrome, defects in the abdominal wall of the fetus, chromosomal abnormalities etc.
At around 28 weeks of pregnancy, glucose tests for gestational diabetes is done. This is a temporary condition affecting a small percentage of women. If the Glucose Challenge Test (GCT) result is positive, there is a 30% chance that the mother is affe ted with diabetes, and a Glucose Tolerance Test (GTT) is conducted. If the mother has developed gestational diabetes, the doctor prescribes a diet, exercise and insulin supplements.
After 36 weeks, Group B Streptococcus test is carriedout to find out if the mother is a Streptococcus B carrier, in which case, antibiotics are administered to minimize the risk of infection.
Aside from these pregnancy tests, our healthcare specialists also conduct tests to check for any signs of sexually transmitted diseases (STS) and breast cancer, such as mammograms, ultrasound, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI),
NEONATAL INTENSIVE CARE UNIT (NICU)
Kingsway Hospitals has a dedicated NICU and Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) with which combines advanced technology and trained healthcare professionals to ptovide specialized treatment for newborn babies. Equipped with state-of-the-art infrastructure and staffed with expert neonatologists and a dedicated, specially trained and qualifed team of nurses, this department endeavors to provide the top-of-the-line intensive medical attention to high-risk neonates, underweight babies and newborns affected by various other neonatal surgical problems.
A newborn baby is at a higher risk of getting admitted to the NICU if the mother is suffering from one or more of the following conditions:
- The mother’s age is less than 16 or greater than 40 years
- Drug abuse or alcoholism
- Sexually transmitted diseases
- Multiple pregnancy
- Abnormal amniotic fluid levels
Premature babies require extra medical care and attention to attain the normal physical development, which they would have otherwise obtained in their mother’s womb. The neonatal intensive care unit fulfils this function by providing the necessary support to the baby. A newborn would require to be admitted in the NICU in case of the following factors:
- underweight or oiverweight at birth
- birth defects
- breathing problems
- insufficient availability of oxygen at birth
- abnormal delivery
- cord around the baby’s neck
The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
(NICU) at Kingsway Hospitals is one of the best of its kind in the country, a specialized fetal medicine centre having all the updated facilities needed to provide optimal care to the babies, including incubators, monitoring equipments to measure the different parameters such as breathing rate, blood pressure, temperature, heart beats and oxygen levels, ventilators and intravenous drip facilities.