Becoming a mother is a milestone that most young women look forward to with excitement and anticipation. When the time finally comes, expectant mothers want to be comfortable, confident and fully prepared for the process that lies ahead. With roughly 14 visits (more depending on age, risk, and other factors) between a positive pregnancy test and delivery, parents will want to choose a doctor they like,trust, and whose expertise puts them at ease. Likewise, they will want to know what to expect along with each phase of the journey.
What to Expect During the First Trimester
During the earliest visits, patients can expect some blood tests and a pap smear as well as urine samples collected at every appointment. The OB will also schedule an ultrasound around 10 weeks to confirm a safe and viable pregnancy. At this stage, appointments will only occur once each month. This is the time to ask questions and prepare for the months ahead. Inquire about prenatal vitamin options, dietary restrictions, physical activity, and any other important dos and don’ts.
What to Expect During the Second Trimester
Much like the first trimester, second trimester visits typically occur monthly. A urine sample will still be collected at each visit, and the doctor will continue to monitor patient vitals and weight gain. Additionally, a mid-pregnancy ultrasound may also be scheduled to keep up with the baby’s progress. It is during this time period that tests such as the glucose screening to monitor for gestational diabetes will be performed.
What to Expect During the Third Trimester
Visits increase in frequency in the third trimester, eventually going to once per week in the final month of pregnancy. During this time, the OB will also begin exams to check for changes in cervical position and dilation. These factors will help determine how soon labor may be approaching. The third trimester also marks the time when more concrete plans may be made. These may have been discussed before, but now there will need to be a definite idea of the birth plan and, if applicable, factors such as induction or c-section dates.
High Risk Pregnancies Create Exceptions
High-risk pregnancies represent a unique set of challenges and mothers-to-be who find themselves in this position must be especially vigilant. Under these circumstances, patients will need to spend more time with their OB, going in for more frequent appointments, testing and ultrasounds.
High-risk pregnancy may be the result of pre-existing health conditions or new ones that develop during gestation. These cases will require the care and guidance of a knowledgeable physician and may include:
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Being over or underweight
- Past fertility problems
- Gestational diabetes
- Placenta Previa
Prenatal Care in Zachary
At our Zachary location, Lane OB/GYN is home to four board-certified obstetric physicians. Each of our doctors are skilled in the care of both normal and high-risk pregnancies and are backed by our team of professionals and a comfortable, fully equipped labor and delivery ward at Lane Regional Medical Center. To learn more about any of our physicians or services, click the button below.