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Prenatal care is the health care you get during pregnancy. Take care of yourself and your baby by:
Ensure the best health of your baby and yourself.
I will need to know all about you in order to give you and your baby the best care possible! Do not feel afraid or embarrassed to talk about personal things. I will ask lots of questions about you, your partner and your families. Your medical information and anything you tell me is confidential, which means I can not share this information with anyone without your permission.
So don’t be afraid to tell me about things that may be uncomfortable or embarrassing, like if your partner hurts or scares you or if you smoke, drink alcohol, use street drugs or abuse prescription drugs.
Most pregnant women can follow a schedule like this:
If you have complications during pregnancy, I may see you more often.
Your partner or support person (a friend or someone from your family) is welcome at your prenatal checkups.
Prenatal care helps decrease risks during pregnancy and increases the chance of a safe and healthy delivery. Regular prenatal visits can help your doctor monitor your pregnancy and identify any problems or complications before they become serious.
– I will check the pelvic organs (uterus and ovaries) to make sure they’re healthy.
– For the Pap smear, I will collects cells from your cervix to check for cancer and for infections, like chlamydia and gonorrhea.
– It’s safe to get a flu shot any time during pregnancy. But some vaccinations are best at certain times and some aren’t recommended during pregnancy.
– We use your LMP (first day of your last menstrual period) to figure out your due date.
– But you may get an early ultrasound to confirm that you’re pregnant and help your provider figure out your baby’s age. An ultrasound uses sound waves and a computer screen to show a picture of your baby inside the womb.
This is a multivitamin made for pregnant women. Your prenatal vitamin should have 600 micrograms of folic acid in it. Folic acid is a vitamin that every cell in your body needs for healthy growth and development. If you take it before pregnancy and during early pregnancy, it can help protect your baby from birth defects of the brain and spine called neural tube defects (also called NTDs), and birth defects of the mouth called cleft lip and palate.
Later prenatal care checkups usually are shorter than the first one.
At your checkups, you will tell us how you’re feeling. There’s a lot going on inside your body during pregnancy and we can help you understand what’s happening and help you feel better if you’re not feeling well. Between visits, write down questions you have and ask them at your next checkup.
At later prenatal care checkups we will:
Check your weight and blood pressure. You also may get urine and blood tests.
This happens after about 10 to 12 weeks of pregnancy. You can listen, too!
Measure your belly to check your baby’s growth, starting at about 20 weeks of pregnancy
Later in pregnancy, she also feels your belly to check your baby’s position in the womb
Give you certain prenatal tests to check you and your baby.
– For example, most women get an ultrasound at 18 to 20 weeks of pregnancy you will beable to tell if your baby’s a boy or a girl from this ultrasound, so be sure to tell your provider if you don’t want to know!
Later in pregnancy, we may use ultrasound to check the amount of amniotic fluid around your baby
Between 24 and 28 weeks, you get a glucose screening test to see if you may have gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy)
At 35 to 37 weeks, you get a test to check for group B strep. This is an infection you can pass to your baby
Ask you about your baby’s movement in the womb. If it’s your first pregnancy, you may feel your baby move by about 20 weeks. If you’ve been pregnant before, you may feel your baby move sooner. We will ask you to do kick counts to keep track of how often your baby moves.
Give you a Tdap vaccination at 27 to 36 weeks of pregnancy. This vaccination protects both you and your baby against pertussis (whooping cough). Pertussis spreads easily and is dangerous for a baby.
Do a pelvic exam. Your provider may check for changes in your cervix as you get close to your due date.