Prenatal care is a type of preventive healthcare with the goal of providing regular check-ups that allow doctors or midwives to treat and prevent potential health problems throughout the course of the pregnancy while promoting healthy lifestyles that benefit both mother and child. Prenatal care is an important part of a healthy pregnancy. Regular prenatal visits can help your doctor monitor your pregnancy and identify any problems or complications before they become serious.
Today GVM International offers a special Prenatal care program for pregnant women. It includes a list of laboratory assessments, instrumental methods of examination and consultations by all specialists, which can identify pathological conditions that can impair the physiological course of pregnancy. In addition, during the course of the entire program, from the 8th until the last week of pregnancy, the woman is under the supervision of an experienced obstetrician-gynecologist, who personally controls all the check-ups and consultations passed.
As soon as you think you're pregnant, schedule your first prenatal appointment. Set aside ample time for the visit. You and your health care provider have plenty to discuss! You might want to include your partner in the appointment as well.
Your health care provider will ask many questions, including details about:
Few women actually give birth on their due dates. Still, establishing your due date — or estimated date of delivery — is important. An accurate due date allows your health care provider to monitor your baby's growth and the progress of your pregnancy, as well as schedule certain tests or procedures at the most appropriate time.
To estimate your due date, your health care provider will use the date your last period started, add seven days and count back three months. The due date will be about 40 weeks from the first day of your last period. Your health care provider will use a fetal ultrasound to help confirm the date.
Your health care provider will check your weight and height and use this information to calculate your BMI. He or she will use your BMI to determine the recommended weight gain you need for a healthy pregnancy.
Your health care provider will measure your blood pressure, heart rate and breathing rate and do a complete physical exam. He or she will check for any undiagnosed medical conditions.
Your health care provider will also examine your vagina and the opening to your uterus (cervix). Changes in the cervix and in the size of your uterus can help confirm the stage of your pregnancy. You might need a Pap test to screen for cervical cancer as well, depending on how long it's been since your last screening.
At your first prenatal visit, blood tests might be done to:
Prenatal tests can provide valuable information about your baby's health. Your health care provider might offer ultrasound, blood tests or other screening tests to detect fetal abnormalities.
Your health care provider will discuss the importance of proper nutrition and prenatal vitamins. Your first prenatal visit is a good time to discuss exercise, sex during pregnancy and other lifestyle issues. You might also discuss your work environment and the use of medications during pregnancy.
If you smoke, ask your health care provider for suggestions to help you quit.
You might notice many changes in your body early in your pregnancy. Your breasts might be tender and swollen. Nausea with or without vomiting, called morning sickness, also is common. Talk to your healthcare provider if your morning sickness is severe.
Other first trimester visits
Subsequent prenatal visits — often scheduled about every four weeks during the first trimester — will probably be shorter than the first. Your health care provider will check your weight and blood pressure, and you'll discuss any concerns.
Near the end of the first trimester — by about nine to 12 weeks of pregnancy — you might be able to hear your baby's heartbeat with a small device that bounces sound waves off your baby's heart (Doppler).
Remember, your health care provider is there to support you throughout your pregnancy. Your prenatal appointments are an ideal time to discuss any questions or concerns — including things that might be uncomfortable or embarrassing.
Also find out how to reach your health care provider between appointments. Knowing help is available when you need it can offer precious peace of mind.
During the second trimester, prenatal care includes routine lab tests and measurements of your baby's growth. You might consider prenatal testing, too.
The goal of prenatal care is to ensure that you and your baby remain healthy during your entire pregnancy. Prenatal care should start as soon as you think you're pregnant. Your health care provider will ask you to schedule prenatal care appointments about every four weeks throughout the second trimester.
Here's what to expect at your second trimester prenatal appointments.
Review the basics
Your health care provider will check your blood pressure and weight at every visit. Share any concerns you might have.
Then it's time for your baby to take center stage. Your health care provider will:
Consider prenatal testing
During the second trimester, you might be offered various prenatal screenings or tests:
The second trimester often brings a renewed sense of well-being. Morning sickness typically begins to dissipate. You begin to feel the baby move. Your belly becomes more noticeable. There's a lot happening.
Tell your health care provider what's on your mind, even if it seems silly or unimportant. Nothing is too trivial when it comes to your health — or your baby's health.
During the third trimester, prenatal care might include vaginal exams to check the baby's position.
Prenatal care is an important part of a healthy pregnancy, especially as your due date approaches. Your health care provider will ask you to schedule prenatal care appointments during your third trimester about every 2 or 4 weeks, depending on your health and obstetrical history. Starting at 36 weeks you'll need weekly checkups until you deliver.
Your health care provider will continue to monitor your blood pressure and weight gain, as well as your baby's heartbeat and movements. A urine sample might also be tested for the presence of protein or infection. As always, share any symptoms of concern.
Your health care provider will ask you to keep track of how often you feel the baby move on a daily basis — and to alert your health care team if the baby stops moving as much as usual.
Expect to be screened for group B streptococcus (GBS) during the third trimester.GBS is a common bacterium often carried in the intestines or lower genital tract that's usually harmless in adults — but babies who become infected with GBS from exposure during vaginal delivery can become seriously ill.
To screen for GBS, your health care provider will swab your lower vagina and anal area. The sample will be sent to a lab for testing.
If the sample tests positive for GBS — or you previously gave birth to a baby who developed GBS disease — you'll be given intravenous antibiotics during labor. The antibiotics will help protect your baby from the bacterium.
Near the end of pregnancy, your health care provider will estimate the baby's weight and check to see if your baby is positioned headfirst in the uterus. You might also have an ultrasound to confirm the baby's position and determine the level of amniotic fluid around the baby.
If your baby is positioned rump-first (frank breech) or feet-first (complete breech), it's possible that he or she could still turn headfirst before you give birth. However, your health care provider might try to turn the baby to improve the chances of a vaginal birth. To do so, your health care provider will apply pressure to your abdomen (external cephalic version). If your baby remains in a breech position, you might need a C-section delivery.
As your due date approaches, your health care provider might do a pelvic exam to detect cervical changes. As your body prepares for birth, your cervix will begin to soften, open (dilate) and thin (efface). Progress is typically expressed in centimeters (cm) and percentages. For example, your cervix might be 3 centimeters dilated and 30 percent effaced. When you're ready to push your baby out, your cervix will be 10 centimeters dilated and 100 percent effaced.
You will likely have plenty of questions as your due date approaches. Is it OK to have sex? How will I know when I'm in labor? What's the best way to manage the pain? Should I create a birth plan? Ask away! Feeling prepared can help calm your nerves before delivery.
Also, be sure to discuss symptoms that should cause you to call your health care provider, such as vaginal bleeding or fluid leaking from the vagina, as well as when and how to contact your health care provider once labor begins.
Today Prenatal care program in GVM International is, perhaps, the only alternative to conventional observation by an obstetrician-gynecologist in one of prenatal clinics. And, in comparison with the latter, it has significant advantages:
GVM International provides complete prenatal care from conception through delivery. Our clinic is staffed by Maternal Fetal Medicine doctors (also called perinatologists). Our staff also includes ultrasound specialists, nurses, genetic counselors, medical assistants, and a great office staff to take care of you during your pregnancy. Having a variety of experts on-site allows us to diagnose, treat and care for expectant mothers and their unborn babies. Close connection with additional specialists allows for coordinated care and peace of mind for expectant parents. Prenatal care in GVM International can be provided by various medical professionals, including the following: