Receiving a positive on a pregnancy stick test is the scariest, most exciting moment for most women. Whether the baby was planned or not, a lot of women would go through a phase of panic. This is especially seen in first-time mothers. The next step is usually the confirmation of pregnancy as pregnancy test kits can sometimes produce false positives. If you do not have a doctor and would like to see an obstetrician in Manhattan, visit us at 67th Street OB/GYN- Total Women’s Health Care to find a location close to you and schedule an appointment today. After it is confirmed that you are pregnant, your first official prenatal visit is usually scheduled anywhere from 6 weeks to 11 weeks from your last menstrual period1. At your first visit, a complete medical and family history would be requested depending on familiarity (that is, are you a new patient or already a patient). After this, your doctor would run a battery of tests to establish your current physical health and might request for blood samples from the father of the baby if available. Finally, your doctor would have a lengthy conversation with you about your lifestyle, what you should and should not eat, prenatal vitamins, possible discomforts (morning sickness) and expected due date2. Being pregnant is one of the most special and emotional times for a mother, hence having a doctor you can completely trust is key.
Unless your pregnancy has been classified as high risk, you will see your doctor once every four weeks for the first 28 weeks. During this period you and your baby’s health will be monitored closely to mitigate any complications that may arise. From 9-12 weeks, the doctor should be able to hear your baby’s heart beat2. Blood/ urine samples would be taken during visits to measure your risks of gestational diabetes, anemia and to screen for other infections that may be harmful to you and your baby3. At 20 weeks, an ultrasound is advised to measure growth, fluids, placental abnormalities, and image the baby’s internal organs for possible abnormalities4. At your 28 week appointment, your doctor would ask you to start paying attention to your baby’s movement during his/her active period and to be immediately informed if you notice a drastic change. From 28-36 weeks you will be asked to come in every 2 weeks and both you and your baby’s health would be closely monitored. During the final 4 weeks, the baby gains a lot of weight. As such, you will be asked to come in weekly until the birth of your child.
Prenatal tests throughout pregnancy
From the first trimester, your doctor would start testing for possibilities to avoid complications that may arise during your pregnancy. Below is a list of a few of the tests your doctor might request depending on your medical history.
- Rh (Rhesus) factor test- your doctor would need to monitor you if your blood comes back negative and the child’s father it Rh positive2.
- Hemogoblin Measurement- to check for signs of anemia2.
- Anmiocentesis- can detect Down syndrome, spina bifida, cystic fibrosis3. It is usually done between weeks 14-20 during gestation.
- Biophysical Profile (BPP)- done during the third trimester and used to determine the overall health of the baby and whether he/she should be delivered early3.
- Nonstress test- used monitor your baby’s health and is performed after 28 weeks3.
- Group B streptococcus- screen for bacteria that causes serious infections in new born babies.
- Glucose Challenge Screening- determine mother’s gestational diabetes risks.
There are dozens of tests carried during the entire duration of pregnancy to ensure the safety of both mother and child. This is why it is exceeding important to not miss a single prenatal visit as these tests are essential for the wellbeing of you and your child.
Ultrasound examination (Sonograms)
An ultrasound examination is performed by radiating energy in the form of sound waves through your body and a transducer is used to turn echoes receive from your body into images5. These images can then be viewed as pictures or video (sonograms). Though ultrasounds are considered safe, is not advisable to pay independent companies to produce videos of your child during pregnancy. Ultrasound examinations are not meant for entertainment and are used only to determine the health of your child. You will usually be given a sonogram regardless of if you ask during your ultrasound examination at your prenatal visits.
At 67th Street OB/GYN – Total Women’s Health Care, we specialize in every stage of development in the female body. From puberty to pregnancies to menopause, we have counselors and specialized OB/GYNs in Manhattan who treat and can care for the female mind/body at every stage. Visit us today.