There’s a lot of tests that have to be done during pregnancy. When I found out I was pregnant I didn't go the the clinic, I went to see a private gynaecologist.
I wasn’t on medical aid but my boyfriend was on one of the commonly used medical schemes so it paid for these visits.
On my first visit the nurse checked the blood pressure and sugar levels. She also referred me to the blood test people (pathology lab) who did the HIV test. I only received the results on the next visit - which was a few weeks later. It was torture. I had done HIV tests before and we had been in a faithful relationship, but there’s always that ......“what if?” you know. I feared the test result. It was all I could think about for all those weeks. What if I was positive and my baby was being infected. What would I do? I’d have to research all sorts of stuff as to how to manage and bring her up in a healthy way.
The test came back negative. I should have just called for the results and not stressed for so long waiting.
Then we also did scans. Checking out the health of the baby, the heart beat and the size. I thought that part was the most special one because that’s when we first saw her moving around inside of me.
On the fifth month I was referred to another specialist for more tests. Fetal maturity, cardiac examination and film costs.
I would say the most significant thing about all these tests is that they were extremely costly. We did them off course because I wanted to ensure the safety and health of my baby, her being my firstborn and having no prior knowledge about such things. But friends of mine who went to the clinic had just as good treatment, and they didn't need all these extra tests.
When I visited the hospital I was to give birth in, I had to take more tests. HIV and high blood I think. They just wanted to be sure that the baby and I were still healthy and that there were no complications. Sometimes I did feel that the doctors were making money for nothing because the visits were short but fees were high…. But you can't really argue.
Don't wait until your next visit for your HIV results. If you are positive you will be put on ARVs to keep your baby safe. But every week counts.
Your clinic will do all the tests to make sure you and your baby are safe during the pregnancy and birth. Book a visit as soon as you find out you are pregnant so you can make sure you have a healthy pregnancy. If they pick up any complications you can be sure you will get the correct treatment.