If you are pregnant a gynaecologist and / or a midwife will take care of you and the foetus during your entire pregnancy. They will provide you with regular early screening check-ups. At the check-ups you can talk about any issues or problems you are having. You can ask everything you want to know about pregnancy and childbirth. You can also talk about the time after birth and about breastfeeding.
You will get a document called the Mutterpass (maternal health passport). All the important information about your pregnancy will be written down in the passport. You should always carry the maternal health passport with you during your pregnancy.
Regular early screening check-ups
This is what the doctor and / or the midwife will do:
- He or she will ask you questions about yourself, previous pregnancies, the date of your last menstrual period, your partner, both families, ... in order to learn more about your pregnancy.
- He or she will examine your weight, your urine, your blood pressure and your uterus.
- If necessary, he or she will perform an examination by entering through the vagina.
- He or she will inform you about tests that can be done to diagnose illnesses or abnormalities in the child (prenatal diagnostics). You can decide whether you would like to do the tests or not. You may have to pay for these tests.
The gynaecologist will perform at least three ultrasound scans,
- in order to determine the expected date of birth,
- to see if you are expecting one or more babies,
- to check the heart beat, the weight, the size and position of the foetus in the uterus,
- to check whether there are any abnormalities in the foetus,
- to check the position of the placenta and the amount of the amniotic fluid,
- and to determine the sex of the baby, if you would like.
In Germany, a midwife is not allowed to perform ultrasound scans.
There are a few emergency situations. Seek medical advice if you have
- fallen on your stomach,
- a lot of pain in your stomach,
- had a fever for several days,
- lost a lot of weight
- blood comes out of your vagina,
- you have a large amount of white vaginal discharge with a bad smell,
- amniotic fluid comes out of your vagina.
Partner violence during pregnancy
Partner violence is any form of violence between two people in a relationship. Partner violence is forbidden by law. The law protects you from violence, which means you have the right to receive support and help.
Partner violence during pregnancy can create health problems for the mother and the foetus. The problems can be physical or psychological. For example: anxiety, stress, blood loss, high blood pressure, premature birth, low birth weight, miscarriage.
If you experience partner violence during your pregnancy, ask a counsellor in a counselling centre or your primary doctor, a gynaecologist or a midwife to help you.