Too many harmful preventive checkups during pregnancy

Too many harmful preventive checkups during pregnancy / Health News
Study: Pregnant women have too many tests done
Today's modern medical examination methods allow relatively close observation of the unborn child during pregnancy, and numerous potential impairments can be detected even before birth. Therefore, according to a recent study by the Bertelsmann Stiftung, 99 percent of all pregnant women receive more examinations than the Maternity Guidelines (MSR) provide, regardless of whether it is a risk pregnancy or a completely unremarkable pregnancy course.

With the check-ups during pregnancy, a wide range of potential developmental disorders can be diagnosed early, but many of the studies offered are not part of the service catalog of the statutory health insurance and the women have to pay from their own pocket. According to information from the Bertelsmann Foundation, 80 percent of expectant mothers had to make additional payments for the examinations that were used. But more is not necessarily better, explains the health expert of the Bertelsmann Foundation, Uwe Schwenk. "There is a clear oversupply during pregnancy," continues Schwenk.

Pregnant women usually have too many checkups done. (Image: oneblink1 /

Preventive care in the Maternity Guidelines
A total of 1,293 mothers who had given birth in the previous year were interviewed on the results of the current study. Significant deviations from the Maternity Guidelines (MSR) are observed in almost all pregnant women, reports the Bertelsmann Stiftung. The MSF determine which measures should be carried out in the context of antenatal care. Here are, for example, blood tests, weight, urine and blood pressure controls and three basic ultrasound examinations to control the child's heart sounds and uterine growth called. Ten to twelve appointments for such medical examinations during pregnancy are provided in the MSR. In addition, however, many pregnant women carry out further investigations in which the benefits are at least partially controversial.

Examinations as in a risk pregnancy
According to the Bertelsmann Stiftung, for example, a CTG (cardiotocography, recorded heart sounds of the child and labor pains of the mother) is performed on almost every pregnant woman today - even if the pregnancy is inconspicuous. Also, 49 percent of women with normal pregnancies would receive more than five ultrasound scans. There are hardly any differences between high-risk pregnancies and normal pregnancies. "The exception risk pregnancy has become the rule," says Uwe Schwenk. According to the Bertelsmann Stiftung, the excessive check-ups were independent of the age, income or education of the pregnant women.

Fears of pregnant women are stoked
Although the majority of women felt that the physicians were very well or well advised during pregnancy, this does not refer to the effect of individual measures. On average, only half of the respondents felt very well informed about the meaningfulness or effectiveness of a measure, reports the Bertelsmann Stiftung. For example, 95 percent of women believed that a CTG is one of the routine measures of pregnancy, although it is not included in the Maternity Guidelines. Study author Rainhild Schäfers from the University of Health in Bochum assesses the excessive carrying out of the check-ups quite critically, because the oversupply of examinations stating "the fear of women before birth and possibly their desire for a supposedly safe caesarean delivery." (Fp )