Congratulations! You just found out you are expecting. This is such an exciting time in a woman’s life. Of course, one of the most important things you can do for yourself and your child is to make sure that you are getting prenatal care from a qualified OBGYN throughout your pregnancy. Here’s what you should know about prenatal care and why it’s important for all mothers-to-be.
Why Moms Need Prenatal Care
Once you suspect you are pregnant or get a positive pregnancy test you should schedule your first prenatal visit with your OBGYN. These visits are incredibly important no matter how healthy a mom is. That's because these routine checkups allow our medical team to monitor the development of your unborn child, along with detecting health problems in you or your baby early on. This gives us the chance to treat the problem right away. Women who don’t get prenatal care are seven times more likely to deliver a premature baby. It doesn’t matter whether this is your first or fourth child, these prenatal checkups are for all expectant mothers.
Your Prenatal Care
The first prenatal visit is essential as it confirms the pregnancy. Depending on how far along you are in your pregnancy this may also be baby’s first ultrasound, which will allow your OBGYN to be able to check the health and development of the fetus, as well as provide you with a projected due date. This first checkup is incredibly important as you and your doctor will discuss different lifestyle changes that you will need to make to your home, diet, exercise routine, and more. If you have any questions about do’s and don’ts during pregnancy, these prenatal care checkups are the perfect time to ask.
You will visit your OBGYN about once a month from weeks 4 through 28. Once you reach week 28, you will visit the doctor biweekly until week 36. Once you reach week 36 and until birth you will visit your doctor weekly. Women who are over 35 years old or have a high-risk pregnancy should see the doctor more often.
Along with monitoring you and your baby’s health, certain tests are performed throughout your pregnancy to check for everything from diabetes and anemia to STIs and certain genetic tests. Following a schedule is incredibly important for you and your baby throughout your pregnancy.
Whether you suspect that you might be pregnant, or you have questions about the prenatal services we offer, don’t hesitate to call our OBGYN practice to schedule an appointment.