The importance of prenatal visits can never be underemphasized. It is a must that all pregnant mothers, regardless of social and economic strata, should receive adequate prenatal care for a successful outcome of the pregnancy.
I was once called to attend to a baby who was born premature at 36 weeks via emergency cesarean section due to uncontrolled maternal hypertension. The baby was having uncontrolled seizure despite the fact that the baby was already seen by a neurologist and on anti-convulsant. I requested some laboratory tests and results revealed that he has low sodium levels (hyponatremia) at a level that can trigger seizures.
Going back to the mother’s prenatal course, she didnt know she was pregnant then because of irregular menstrual cycle. There was a certain period when she noticed that she was having bipedal edema (swelling of both lower extremities). She was self-medicating with furosemide, to no avail. She consulted a nephrologist who noted that she too was having elevated blood pressure. Unknown to both of them, she was pregnant and this was not at all investigated. The mother too was a bit plump and she never noted abdominal enlargement until few days prior to delivery when the abdomen was already large enough to disregard. Furosemide was continued. Abdominal ultrasound revealed a singleton pregnancy. Because of the uncontrolled blood pressure, baby had to be delivered thus.
The mother’s prolonged intake of furosemide, a loop diuretic, lead her to have electrolyte imbalance, particularly sodium. This was reflected to the baby who also had low sodium levels at a level that could trigger seizure. Had she known she was pregnant, and had she been receiving prenatal care, this could have not happened to her baby. The effect of the seizure to the baby’s brain is another story.