Prenatal care is important for your health and the health of your baby. As soon as you think you are pregnant, please call for an appointment. We can confirm your pregnancy and begin talking about how to take good care of yourself and your growing baby.
What happens during my prenatal visits?
During prenatal visits we monitor your health and that of your baby. Tests are performed to assess any potential risks, to treat complications, and to keep an eye on the growth and development of your baby. In addition, counseling and guidance are provided regarding various aspects of pregnancy, including weight gain, exercise, nutrition, and overall health.
The First Office Visit
The first appointment may take longer than other visits. We’ll review your medical history, do a physical exam and perform some lab tests related to pregnancy and your general health. Blood tests are especially critical since they tell us a great deal about your medical history, which could have an effect on you or your baby’s well-being. Depending on special needs or individual medical problems, other testing may be done. We’ll also calculate your due date if possible although only 1 in 20 babies deliver exactly on the calculated day. Most are born within 10 days of the expected date.
Follow up visits are much shorter but just as important. Some tests such as monitoring your weight, urine specimens and blood pressure and measurement of uterine growth will be done at every visit. Other tests will be done at different stages of your pregnancy such as ultrasounds and a glucose tolerance test to determine if you have gestational diabetes.
Typically you can plan on these visits:
- Monthly through your sixth month
- Every two weeks seventh and eighth month
- Weekly during the last month
This schedule may vary depending on your personal medical condition. Additional prenatal care may be necessary if you have any pre-existing medical conditions such as diabetes or if complications arise.
How do you diagnose genetic disorders that might hurt my baby?
“Will my baby be normal?” That is the question that all parents ask. For genetic testing and counseling, we partner with Ascension/St. Vincent Center for Maternal Fetal Health Medicine in Indianapolis. Genetic testing is done for all women who will be 35 (or older) when their baby is due. Depending on your health and the family health history of both parents, other testing may be done even on younger women.
When can I know if my baby is a boy or a girl?
At 20 weeks we’ll do an ultrasound in our office. The ultrasound lets us know your baby is developing in a healthy manner. And if your baby cooperates (not all of them do) we can most likely determine your baby’s sex. Depending on your preference, we can let you know at that time or give you an envelope with the information. We’ll also print the first photo your baby will ever have for you to take home.
When will we discuss the type of delivery and pain control I want to have?
We are very flexible in trying to meet your individual preferences and special requests. At any time you can begin asking questions and talking with your physician about plans for your baby’s birth and the type of pain management you prefer. You will have a variety of options including relaxation, visualization and breathing techniques, medications, epidural anesthesia and anesthesia for Cesarean section.
The Stork’s Nest Program at Henry Community Health will help you finalize your BirthPlan, answer your questions, register for classes and meet some of the nurses who will care for you and your new family. At around 35 weeks, please contact Chante to arrange for your private appointment. You can reach her at 765.599.3193 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.