Pregnancy is a joyous blessing, but it also can be stressful because it is a time of great physical and emotional change. A pregnant woman’s body must adapt to the needs of the baby growing inside her.
In order to make sure you have a healthy baby, here are the five things you need to know:
1. Find yourself a good doctor. Physicians who treat pregnant women are called Obstetricians.
2. Make an appointment with that doctor as soon as you discover you are pregnant.
3. Keep all of your prenatal appointments.
4. Take your prenatal vitamins.
5. Get your prenatal labs and ultrasounds done as scheduled.
Typically, your doctor will want to see you between the 9th and 14th week after your last period. Prenatal care is vital to ensure your baby is healthy when he or she is born. Keeping your regular appointments with your doctor will allow you to monitor your baby’s growth and health. These visits will also keep you healthy during this physically challenging time.
We will screen you and your baby to ensure you are both healthy and we will determine your due date. At your first prenatal appointment, you will be tested for glucose (sugar) and albumen (protein) to help evaluate you for diabetes and blood pressure problems.
We will then take your medical history and perform a physical exam. This will include listening to your heart and lungs and conducting an ultrasound of the baby. A Pap test will also be done if you have not had one for a year or more. We will also answer any questions you might have at that time, including what activities you can engage in and how to manage morning sickness.
Finally, we will order blood work to assess your blood type, an antibody screen, immunity to childhood illnesses (rubella and chicken pox), STI testing (hepatitis, HIV, syphilis), and a CBC (blood count). You will also be given an opportunity to have Genetic Screening and Cystic Fibrosis screening added to these blood tests. We will set up regular appointments with you until the baby is born to help you and the baby remain healthy throughout the pregnancy.