Caring For Your Pregnancy
Whether you’ve been trying to conceive for months or your little bundle of joy is a surprise- prenatal care is vital to ensuring a healthy pregnancy.
Prenatal care starts with your OBGYN at Texas Healthcare. During regular appointments and routing testing, your OBGYN will monitor you and your baby’s health throughout the pregnancy. Expect office visits every four to six weeks until your 32nd week of pregnancy, then every two to three weeks until your 37th week, followed by weekly appointments until delivery. If your pregnancy is considered high-risk, you’ll likely see your obstetrician more often.
Let’s Get Started
Your first appointment will probably be your longest one. It starts with a complete history, physical exam and blood test. Screening for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and other diseases like diabetes and hepatitis B gives your obstetrician insight into potential challenges for your baby’s development.
Prenatal tests like ultrasounds and amniocentesis can verify the healthy development of your baby and identify potential birth defects. Your obstetrician will recommend at least one ultrasound to estimate the due date and evaluate the size, position and health of your baby. An amniocentesis- where a small sample of amniotic fluid is tested for chromosomal defects- is sometimes used in high-risk pregnancies or if you have a family history of genetic conditions.
You Are What You Eat
During the first appointment, your Texas Healthcare OBGYN will also talk to you about your diet and lifestyle. A well-balanced diet with lots of fruits, vegetables and water is important when you’re expecting. Avoid certain foods, like lunch meats and some seafood, to decrease your risk of listeria, toxoplasmosis or mercury exposure.
Prenatal vitamins, like folic acid and iron, are recommended even before you conceive to increase the likelihood of a healthy pregnancy. And you should tell your obstetrician if you’re taking any medications because some may be harmful to your unborn child.
What’s Up, Doc?
These appointments are not just one-way conversations. They are great opportunities to ask your obstetrician any questions you may have about all of the changes you’re experiencing. From fluctuating hormones to bewildering physical transformations- your Texas Healthcare OBGYN can help you navigate your pregnancy.
Talk to your Texas Healthcare OBGYN about prenatal care if you’re expecting or trying to conceive.