First Trimester (1st-3rd Month)
Modern home pregnancy tests are extremely sensitive and may detect a pregnancy days before the expected period – and even weeks before the first signs of pregnancy will be verifiable via ultrasound. A healthy expecting mother with no serious complaints is advised to schedule her first medical check up about 4-6 weeks after conception. The first sonographic signs of pregnancy may appear as early as 1-2 weeks after the first day of a missed period – in shape of a small black void in the womb, representing the amniotic cavity. Usually, the first heartbeat will become detectable about one week later.
On your first visit, a transvaginal ultrasound scan will be performed to check if the pregnancy is developing as expected. Blood tests will be sent off to verify your blood group and rhesus factor, as well as hormone levels and immune status for certain infectious diseases. Two weeks later, you will be issued your „Mutterpass“ – an official “medical passport” used to document all further exams. We will take time to discuss all issues that may be on your mind at this early stage: nutrition, lifestyle changes, travel recommendations, potential risks and antenatal testing options. The Mutterschaftsrichtlinie recommends 3 fetal scans and no specific genetic testing unless requested (genetic testing must be offered to all expecting mothers over 35). Since more detailed screening is possible (s. prenatal diagnostics), many expecting mothers choose to bring along their partner as we discuss the complex topic of test significance, risks and limitations.
Depending on the extent of antenatal fetal testing chosen, visits to the office will then be scheduled every 2-4 weeks.
The first detailed fetal scan is recommended around 10 weeks of pregnancy (“Erstes Screening”). This scan is aimed to verify that early pregnancy is developing as expected, to determine the expected date of delivery and to check for – or rule out – multiples.
If you are expecting to deliveryour baby in Munich, you may want to call up the hospital of your choice and inform them of the expected due date, as well as find a midwife for home visits during your first days postpartum out of hospital. (back to top)
Second Trimester (4th-6th Month)
Things usually „settle down“ as the 2nd trimester commences. The most critical phase is over. The baby is now officially a “fetus”, all organs in place. The negative “side effects” of the early weeks – nausea, exhaustion, moodiness –disappear (or at least become more tolerable), the most critical antenatal tests have been passed. Soon, you will be able to feel the first fetal movements and kicks. Routine check-ups will be scheduled every 3-4 weeks. Around 20 weeks, we will recommend an appointment for the second detailed fetal scan (“ Zweites Screening”). At the end of the second trimester, an oral glucose screening test is recommended to rule out early gestational diabetes. (s. gestational diabetes) (back to top)
Third Trimester (7th– 10th Month)
From 30 weeks on, routine check-ups are scheduled every 2 weeks. Every visit, we will monitor the baby’s heartrate and rule out preterm contractions via CTG. German law grants maternity leave 6 weeks prior to the expected delivery date, leaving time for last minute preparations. In the office, a vaginal smear to exclude GBS colonization will be taken as close to the EDD as possible. If labor does not set in by the EDD, monitoring will be transferred to the outpatient clinic of the delivery hospital of your choice. (back to top)