If you are planning to become pregnant, it’s a good idea to schedule an appointment with us to discuss preconception care.
However, as soon as you have a positive pregnancy test, you should contact us to begin your prenatal care. We can help educate you and reassure you during this period.
What to expect in your prenatal visits
Prenatal appointments allow us to monitor your health and your baby’s progress. Your early prenatal visits will probably include the following:
- a detailed review of your health history
- physical exams
- ultrasound exams to view the baby and check the baby’s progress
- lab tests, including blood tests and checks for diseases and infections
- due date calculation
- prenatal care scheduling
- discussion of your questions or concerns
Later in your pregnancy, prenatal visits may also include:
- available prenatal testing – Prenatal Diagnostic Testing
- Glucola Instructions
- recommendations for childbirth education and newborn care classes
- development of a birth plan
Ways to lead a healthy life during pregnancy
A healthy diet
There are added demands on your body during pregnancy, so a healthy diet is especially important. We recommend a diet that is high in vegetables, fruits, and grains and low in fat, sugar, and cholesterol. In addition, we suggest prenatal vitamins and possibly supplements such as iron (to help make the extra blood your body needs during pregnancy) or calcium (to help build your baby’s bones and teeth). If you’re taking or considering any other medications or supplements at any point in your pregnancy, ask your doctor or midwife if it’s safe.
A healthy diet can also help you manage weight gain during pregnancy. Your own weight gain will depend on your body type and other factors. We can help you determine a healthy number of calories per day in your diet and how much weight gain will be normal for you.
Alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs should be avoided during pregnancy, as they can harm your unborn child. If your job or home exposes you to any hazards let us know so we can discuss safety concerns.
During pregnancy, exercise is particularly important because it can help strengthen muscles used in labor and delivery. Exercising for at least 30 minutes a day may also give you more energy.
While you are exercising, you should keep in mind that pregnant women tend to tire more easily and are at greater risk of falling. Relatively safe exercises include swimming and brisk walking. A prenatal exercise class may also provide a healthy, safe workout as well as training in Kegel exercises, which strengthen the muscles used in childbirth. In addition, you should drink lots of water, avoid getting overheated, and try not to lose your balance or get too tired.
Normal forms of travel are usually safe during pregnancy, but just let us know and we can make some suggestions to help keep you safe and comfortable.
Sex in Pregnancy
A healthy woman with a normal pregnancy can safely have sex up to the time of delivery. You and your partner may want to try different positions in order to be comfortable.
Physical changes during pregnancy
During pregnancy, your body will go through many temporary changes. We can let you know what to expect and sometimes suggest ways that you can ease discomfort. These changes include:
- nausea or “morning sickness”, especially during the first trimester
- enlarged, tender breasts and nipples
- frequent urination or the sensation of having a full bladder
- cavities and swollen or bleeding gums
- chronic pain in the abdomen, back, hip or thigh
- numbness and tingling in various parts of the body
- shortness of breath
- skin changes, including marks on the face and a vertical line on the abdomen
- leg cramps
- swelling of hands, face, legs, ankles or feet
- varicose veins
- emotional changes
While all these changes are normal, let us know if you have any concerns or if they feel like more than you can handle.