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Examinations during pregnancy

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  • Helsinki
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Urine sample

A urine sample is taken from the expectant mother during each appointment at the maternity clinic. The sample is used to examine glucose and protein levels. Normally, glucose and proteins should not be found in the urine during pregnancy. A bacteria sample of urine is examined at the beginning of pregnancy. The examination is done to ensure that the expectant mother does not suffer from a latent urinary tract infection.


To monitor the haemoglobin level of the expectant mother, a blood sample is taken from a finger tip at least three times during pregnancy. Haemoglobin is the red colorant of blood that carries oxygen to the cells. The normal value of haemoglobin in women is between 117 and 155 g/l. If the haemoglobin level is below 115 g/l, an iron supplement is recommended.

The haemoglobin level is at its lowest during the midterm of pregnancy, as the amount of mother's blood increases, but the number of blood cells does not increase as much.

Blood pressure and weight

The blood pressure and weight of the mother are examined during the appointments at the maternity clinic. In the long term, the blood pressure should not exceed the value of 140/90. For a normal weight woman (BMI 20-25), the recommended weight gain is 11.5-16 kg. For an underweight woman (BMI 18.5-19.9), the recommended weight gain is 12.5-18 kg. If the BMI is 26-28, the weight gain should not exceed 7-11.5 kg. If the expectant mother is obese (BMI > 29), the weight gain during pregnancy should not exceed 6-8 kilos. During the initial pregnancy, the weight gain is quite low. During the midterm and the remainder of the pregnancy, the recommended weight gain is under 500 grams a week.

Blood type

The mother's blood type and Rh factor are examined during the first laboratory tests at the maternity clinic. The blood type and Rh factor need to be known, if blood or blood components have to be given to the mother, when she is giving birth.

The Rh factor is also very important for the child's wellbeing. If the mother is Rh negative, but the child has inherited the blood group of Rh positive from his/her father, the mother's immune system may start to develop antibodies towards the child's Rh factor during the pregnancy. The Rh antibodies of Rh negative mothers are examined with blood tests during pregnancy. The blood type of an Rh negative mother's foetus is also determined, and if the blood type is positive, the mother will be given Anti-D...

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Basic information

The service is provided byCity of Helsinki
Responsible for the serviceCity of Helsinki
Area Helsinki
Available languagesFinnish, Swedish
Text edited by: City of Helsinki
Updated: 7/5/2020