Are you expecting or planning to start a family soon? Here’s what you need to know about your care:
Early and regular care during pregnancy is very important for the health of you and your baby. Typical prenatal care starts as early as 8-9 weeks and continues after delivery. Your initial visit will consist of getting to know you and the family you are growing, as well as completing your annual physical and any associated testing like your Pap smear. The typical routine is seeing a health care provider every 4 weeks until 28 weeks, every 2 weeks until 36 weeks, and then weekly until delivery. There will be increased care if your health or the baby’s health indicates so. Each visit will consist of listening to your baby, checking your baby’s growth, your weight gain, your blood pressure, checking your urine, and addressing any concerns or questions. There will be, at least, three times labs will be performed to ensure the most optimal health throughout the course of your pregnancy. There will be 2 ultrasounds, in a healthy pregnancy, which occur after your initial visit (to be ordered at your intake, not completed at your intake) and at approx. 20 weeks.
Here are a few things you can do now if you’re trying to conceive in the near future: You want to start a pregnancy as healthy as you can, so things like smoking cessation, regular exercise, and a healthy diet are very important. If you have chronic medical conditions, having regular follow-up is key to managing and optimizing your health. You should begin taking a prenatal vitamin with iron and folic acid at least 90 days before trying to conceive.
There are many situations in which you would be considered a “high risk” pregnancy. Please be sure to discuss any existing medical conditions, history of genetic conditions, or history with past pregnancy with your provider when scheduling your appointment. Having a discussion with your families regarding familial history of medical conditions or pregnancy complications prior to conceiving can optimize your medical care.