Giving Your Baby a Healthy Head Start
At the first sign of pregnancy, it’s important that you begin a routinely scheduled prenatal care plan for your child. This allows the optimum knowledge base for you as a mom-to-be, as well as provides for the opportunity to spot any nutritional deficiencies or issues such as gestational diabetes, which could adversely affect you or your baby’s health. At Woodlands OBGYN Associates, we understand the importance of this level of care, so we’re committed to developing a prenatal care plan designed specifically with you and your baby in mind.
Developing an Individualized Prenatal Care Plan
Together, we will work to develop a carefully constructed individualized prenatal care plan to address all of the aspects of OB care, but which are tailored to your specific medical needs. We will start by implementing standard care practices such as regularly scheduled visits. From there, we will adjust the frequency of your visits based on how your baby is progressing, and the results of any diagnostic testing that may be completed.
How often will I be seen during my pregnancy?
For women who are not experiencing any medical issues during pregnancy, prenatal visits are scheduled every four weeks until 32 weeks gestation, then every two weeks from 32-36 weeks gestation and then once weekly until you deliver. If you experience any complications or illness during pregnancy, or are having twins, you should expect to be seen more frequently. Your doctor will visit with you about your individualized prenatal care plan and will instruct you about the proper dosage and daily ingestion of prenatal vitamins, issues related to diet and weight gain and many other topics throughout your pregnancy.
What routine tests will be performed?
At your first visit, your general health is assessed in a number of ways.
First, a blood test will be done to verify that you are, indeed, pregnant. Upon confirmation of pregnancy, we will identify your blood type and Rh factor. We will also look at your red blood cell count to check for anemia (a low red blood cell count is an indicator for anemia). We will check for rubella to check for exposure to German Measles and we will perform tests for syphilis, hepatitis B, and HIV.
Second, we may also perform a pap smear test and test for gonorrhea and chlamydia at this time. Other tests may be performed at this time as well, based on your medical, obstetrical, or family history.
Between weeks 24 and 28 of your pregnancy, your blood count test for anemia will be performed again and you will be screened for gestational diabetes with a one-hour glucola test.
If results from your Rh factor come back as negative, then you will receive a shot of Rhogam at 28 weeks so that your blood type does not “fight” with your baby’s blood type during pregnancy and delivery. Your doctor can explain more to you about Rh factor and the use of Rhogam during a scheduled in-office visit. At 32 weeks, you will be rescreened for HIV.
In addition, as part of your Individual Prenatal Care Plan, when you are 36 weeks along in your pregnancy, we do a vaginal culture to look for Group B Strep. Group B Strep is a bacteria that many women carry in the vagina. It is usually asymptomatic and does not cause any problems, but has the potential to cause an infection in babies during vaginal delivery. If this test returns positive results, you will be treated with IV antibiotics during labor.
Will I have routine ultrasounds?
Yes, you will have routine ultrasounds during your pregnancy. We understand how exciting it is to see your baby on ultrasound and to share this wonderful experience your family. Unfortunately, insurance companies often have limited coverage as to the number of ultrasounds we can perform. Ultrasounds beyond the number your policy allows can be performed and paid for directly, should you desire additional ultrasounds during your pregnancy. Visit our Ultrasound page to learn more about routine and optional ultrasounds that are available to you.
You are an individual and your pregnancy is unique. Your Individualized Prenatal Care Plan reflects how much we believe this to be true.