Support, information and expertise to accompany you on the most important journey of your life, from pregnancy to post-delivery.
Prenatal care is primarily provided by a maternity clinic, which can be either public or private. The aim of maternity clinics is to support the health and well-being of the expectant mother, the unborn baby and the entire family, as well as provide information about the social security aspects of pregnancy and parenthood. The clinics also aim to identify high-risk pregnancies and any pregnancy-related problems.
The doctor or nurse refers you to the maternity hospital if anything unusual is found or if you are exceptionally worried about giving birth. Mothers with a serious medical condition, such as diabetes or epilepsy, or a family history of genetic disease, are also referred to a specialist, as are a number of mothers who have had problems in previous pregnancies.
Pregnancy is one of life’s milestones, which can trigger surprising emotions in the expectant mother. If you’re experiencing feelings of anxiety and depression, it’s a good idea to speak to a professional as early as possible.
Regular visits throughout your pregnancy
According to prenatal care recommendations, those expecting their first child should visit a maternity clinic at least 9–10 times at regular intervals, while those expecting additional children should visit at least 8 times. This involves seeing a doctor twice, while the rest of the visits are check-ups with a midwife or a nurse. Prenatal care can be provided either by a maternity clinic or a private healthcare clinic.
You should contact a clinic by week 10 of your pregnancy to discuss your prenatal visits. Your visits will be scheduled at approximately every four weeks, with more frequency through the final month before delivery.
Careful monitoring of the mother and baby’s well-being
Your first visit includes routine prenatal blood tests, for example to determine your blood type. Every visit will involve the following examinations: checking your blood pressure and weight, testing your urine for glucose and protein, and monitoring the foetal heart rate. The fundal height will be also measured after week 20. RhD negative mothers will be given the protective anti-D immunoglobulin injection between weeks 28 and 30. The maternity clinic tests and examinations, glucose tolerance tests and anti-D immunoglobulin injections are available at Femeda, too.
Prenatal visits are essential to screen for pre-eclampsia, the symptoms of which include high blood pressure, protein in urine, and sudden swelling, as well as anaemia, urinary tract infections and foetal growth problems. Most expectant mothers will also undergo a glucose tolerance test to screen for gestational diabetes (link).
There are two prenatal screening tests: the first between weeks 11 and 13, and the second between weeks 18 and 21.
Continued support after delivery
Within a week of your delivery a nurse or a midwife either visits you at home or meets the family at the maternity clinic. The purpose of this visit is to discuss your birth experience and recovery, how you are coping emotionally, as well as breastfeeding and your baby’s health. The official postnatal health check takes place at 5-12 weeks after delivery at the maternity clinic or a healthcare clinic. This will comprise a physical examination, as well as taking your blood pressure and routine blood and urine tests. If you suffered, for example, from high blood pressure or gestational diabetes during your pregnancy, the doctor will assess your healthcare needs going forward. After the postnatal health check, you will be given a certificate to send to Kela, the Social Insurance Institute of Finland, for claiming parental allowance.