Things to know if you are pregnant or planning to.
Back in September 2012, I wrote an article to share my knowledge about important information related to getting married in Mauritius, in an aim of helping other Mauritians to find answers to their questions. Earlier this morning, I had the thought of extending this idea into a series of “Things to know” blog posts. So, let’s see how it goes on!
Placing the order
Since our childhood, we were all told of the stork story in which storks (‘Cigognes’ flying over roof tops to deliver babies, wrapped in a white cloth). Let me re-assure you. Nothing has changed. In fact, things got even easier.
When Dhaneesha complained about getting tired because of her heavy workload more than a year ago, we found it normal at the start, even though she showed other visible signs of her fatigue as days went on. For example, her feet started to get swollen. At no moment, we felt that good news were on the way until one of my childhood friends (who is now a doctor) advised me to make her do a pregnancy test.
As revealed in one of my posts, we learnt about the good news on my birthday. One of the best gifts ever! She immediately did a blood test and upon confirmation of the good news, we then paid a visit to a gynecologist. However, we kept this a secret for at least two months to three months before announcing to anyone.
Being first-time to-be-parents, we learnt quite a lot of things from our numerous visits to the gynecologist. For example, many couples often get the services of a gynecologist to help the lady to get pregnant. I’m not talking about advanced treatment for fertilization or insemination techniques to get pregnant but rather simple capsules to help her regulate her menstruation to increase the chances of being pregnant. But if attempts to get pregnant remain unsuccessful, it might also be advisable for the man to pay a visit to a specialized doctor in order to do find any problems through the necessary tests.
Before moving to the next chapter, let me remind my readers that if she gets pregnant before 16 years old, it is an offense punishable by law. And if she is between 16 to 18, it might be acceptable and an agreement found if both parties get married. Unfortunately, only he needs to face justice, even if both parties agreed to have an intercourse. Finally, abortion is illegal in Mauritius except for a few cases (For example, in cases of abuse or when the mother’s life is in danger). We had a lengthy discussion on this topic here.
Tracking the shipment
Once the order is placed and confirmed, there’s a long journey ahead, both for the parents and the baby, whose sex is unknown until the 4-5th month milestone. Advances in technology has not only enabled the medical science to provide more ways to monitor the growth of the fetus but also, to detect any issues with the pregnancy. I’m not talking about personalized mailing lists which send you regular mails to give you an idea of how her pregnancy is going on in terms of picture and videos or the to-do and not-to-do things. However, I must admit that we did subscribed to BabyCenter.com.
Today, some gynecologist use modern equipment to display colored visualizations of the future baby as well as estimated size and weight. They compare the actual size of the foetus with established measurements to keep an eye on its growth progress. The frequency of visits might vary but it is usually a visit monthly and perhaps more regularly when the delivery date gets nearer or when the pregnancy requires special attention. I still remember that as the delivery date got closer, we were even able to get an idea of the baby’s nose and it’s shape!
In the first visits, the gynecologist will determine the estimated delivery date from data obtained from the blood test but also, from the last mens date. And then, for each of the future visits during the pregnancy, the gynecologist will use the actual measurements of the foetus to determine the delivery date again. As long as these delivery dates coincide with the initial delivery date, it is a good sign that the future baby is growing well. But however, if the delivery date determined during each of the monthly visit is further away from the initial delivery date, it might be signs that the baby is not growing as expected. Reasons might vary but just to give you some examples, there might not be enough amniotic fluid (water) or an excessive loss in proteins through the mum deprives the baby from the necessary proteins to ensure its growth. The foetus can also be affected by high blood pressure or sudden diabetes condition of the mum during the pregnancy. These non-fatal situations are quite common and fortunately, they can be treated if monitored closely.
Handle with care
Now, coming to the mother, she must be very careful during the whole duration of her pregnancy. To strengthen her body and provide her with the necessary nutrients to aid the baby to grow, the doctors will usually prescribed drugs and supplements, for example Folic acid. It is very important for the future-mother to note any unusual changes in her health and report them to her doctor. In cases where high blood pressure is noted, the doctor can recommend complete bed rest and issue an health report for the employer to allow the mum to go on pre-maternity leave. It is interesting to note that the current government will be presenting a bill in the national assembly to increase this maternity leave from the current 12 weeks to 14 weeks, if I’m not mistaken.
While some future-mothers might have nausea only a few couple of times, others might have to bear with this inconvenience for months, I’m hereby talking about up to the 5 to 6th month.
Something very important :
Never compare pregnancies. Each pregnancy might be different.
As for food carvings, it all depends on pregnancies. Some mothers can complain of being unable to eat what they wish for because of nausea and later on, they are compelled to follow a strict diet because of high blood pressure or pregnancy diabetes.
The delivery center
When the pregnancy reaches around 6 months, some mothers might already feel something moving in their womb. While these movements might be rare, more regular kicks can be felt later at around 7 months. The weight gain will be highly visible on some mothers while you will barely notice it in some other mums. Pregnancy signs such as swollen legs can appear again.
These pregnancy signs might probably show that it is time for the new parents to choose where they want their special item to be delivered. For those who opt to go in a private clinic, they can already visit those clinics to see what they offer. Normally, gynecologists have their own medical team which comprises of several members including an anesthetics and a pediatrician. So, it is good to see with your private gynecologist do practice in the chosen clinic.
Other facilities and services to inquire when choosing a private clinic are :
- Different packages available
- Number of days of the stay
Normally 1 night or 2 for a normal delivery and up to 4 days for a CS.
- Whether the clinic offers an extra bed free of charge.
- Visiting hours
- Clinic policy
- Food and beverages (Is it an all-inclusive, like hotels? :P)
Just to give you an idea, for indicative purposes:
- A normal delivery can cost around Rs50, 000 while a cesarean section is around Rs80,000. Price of the gynecologist is usually included in the clinic package and his fees are usually in the range of Rs20,000 to Rs30,000.
- Practically all private rooms in Apollo Bramwell have a sofa bed, free of charge, which can be used by the patient’s family member during the stay.
- According to Apollo Bramwell’s policy, natural flowers are not allowed inside, so don’t be surprised if they kindly ask your visitors to keep the flowers at the reception or in your vehicle.
It is good to know that in case of ultimate emergency, some gynecologists might go for a cesarean section (often referred as cs) as from the 5th month of pregnancy. As you can guess, the baby will need to be given special care in highly modern equipment for quite some time. Some private clinics and hospitals are fully equipped, for example, Apollo Bramwell or Victoria Hospital (Candos). However, doctors will do their maximum to maximize the delivery date to enable the baby to grow inside the womb and put on some weight.
Again for indicative purposes, a baby delivered at around 6 months can weight around 700 to 800 grams and a baby delivered at its 8th month can weight from 1kg to 1.5 kgs. Just to give you an idea, the new princess born ( that of Kate Middleton and Prince William) through normal delivery weights around 3.5 kgs
In case your future baby needs special care, your doctor will already inform you and ask you to choose whether you will have the delivery in a private clinic or a public hospital. The mother can also deliver in a private clinic and then transfer the baby to a public hospital for financial reasons. Again, for indicative purposes, a stay in Apollo Bramwell’s Neo Natal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) can cost up to Rs 125,000 for a 10 day stay, depending on the various equipment used and tests performed.
Medical insurance covers
If you are covered by a medical insurance (Read this), then you should make the most of it. The majority of medical insurance policies cover pregnancies but however, you must inquire with the insurance company to make sure about the policy applicable to you. Most insurance policies will cover the totality of the delivery charges. Some medical policies also allow you to book an insurance cover for your future baby in advance so that he / she is automatically covered upon birth.
In this case, you should also ask your doctor a medical notice in which he / she gives a short report of the pregnancy and also, the expected delivery date and location. You should then forward this notice to your medical insurance so that they take the necessary actions to inform the private clinic of your insurance cover.
If you are planning to subscribe to a new medical insurance policy, please read the terms and conditions well. For new subscriptions, insurance companies sometimes do not cover existing pregnancy or pregnancies up to 9 months from the date of subscription. However, let’s say that your company decides to subscribe everyone to a new medical scheme, the insurance company can decide to take charge of everyone, even for existing pregnancies.
Some last words…
I hope that my lengthy article does provide some useful information regarding pregnancies, especially for those couples having a first child. However, I advise everyone to consult their doctor for more precise details because as I said earlier, each pregnancy is unique. After all, I’m not a doctor, just a blogger writing about our first experience as a couple.
Any suggestions and additional information are the most welcomed. Also, if you find any information above incorrect, please let me know.
Good luck to future parents and keep tuned to the blog for the next post on the “Things to know” series 🙂