Congratulations on your pregnancy! We know this is an exciting time in your life and we are pleased that you have chosen our team to share it with you. This handout has been given to you at the beginning of your pregnancy. It includes a brief overview of our policies, tests offered in pregnancy, common ailments that may arise in pregnancy as well as a list of safe medications and remedies. Please keep this packet as a reference throughout your pregnancy. This information is also available on our website at WomensCare.com.
Our obstetric practice consists of physicians, midwives and a support staff of RNs, LPNs and Medical Assistants. We are here to assist you in any way we can. Please ask questions and tell us how you are feeling from visit to visit.
General Obstetrical Information
We would like your pregnancy to be as happy and healthy for you as possible. Our goal is to provide you with quality care and to assist you throughout the pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum process, as well as to advise and assist if there are any problems.
You may have many questions, especially if this is your first pregnancy. Answers to most of your questions can be found in this information packet. We recommend a few books:
- Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn by Penny Simkin
- The Complete Pregnancy and First Year by The Mayo Clinic
- What to Expect When You’re Expecting by Heidi Murkoff, Arlene Eisenberg and Sandee Hatuawag
- ACOG’s Pregnancy Handbook
The first visit is the most comprehensive of all your visits. A complete history will be obtained including:
- Obstetrical & Gynecological History: menstrual history, date of last menstrual period, history of previous pregnancies, labor and deliveries and any complications
- Medical History: past illnesses, health problems, surgeries, medications and allergies
- Family & Genetic History: general health of family members and genetic screen (includes history of neural tube defect, Down Syndrome, intellectual disability, Tay-Sachs, cystic fibrosis or other inherited genetic or chromosomal disorders)
- Social History: age, occupation, family support, smoking, alcohol, drug use, diet and exercise
Your first visit will also include an assessment of general and obstetrical health through a comprehensive physical examination. Routine tests include:
- Urinalysis for detection of infection, protein or sugar
- Blood tests to determine blood type and Rh factor, to screen for anemia, syphilis, hepatitis B, HIV and immunity to rubella
- Pap test for cervical cancer, if indicated, and cervical cultures for sexually transmitted infection
- First trimester dating ultrasound to verify due date – more extensive ultrasound at 20 weeks
In addition, the initial visit will include information about exercise, nutrition, pregnancy precautions and allow time for questions.
At each visit your questions and concerns will be addressed. The baby’s growth, position and heartbeat will be assessed. Your urine will be checked for protein and sugar and your weight and blood pressure will be checked. Pelvic examinations and lab tests will be performed when necessary throughout your pregnancy.
Cervical exams are often necessary as you approach the end of your pregnancy. You will be seen about every four weeks until 28 to 32 weeks, then every two weeks until 36 weeks and then weekly until your baby is born. If the need arises, the frequency of visits will be adjusted.
Again, feel free to ask questions at each visit.