Pregnant women may be cared for by an Obstetrician, a licensed physician educated to care for women during pregnancy, labor, delivery and post-delivery [postpartum]. These physicians are also trained to perform cesarean [surgical] delivery. Pregnant women may also be cared for by a licensed Family Practice Physician, or Certified Nurse Midwife, and staff registered nurses. A Family Practice Physician may care for the woman during pregnancy, labor, delivery and postpartum, and also provide pediatric care for the infant. The Certified Nurse Midwife is a registered nurse with advanced education, certification and licensure to care for a woman during pregnancy, labor, delivery and postpartum.
- Offering the most advanced healthcare for women
- What to Expect from Pregnancy Doctors aka OB/GYNs
- Thinking about fertility treatment
- Options for Low or No Cost Prenatal Care
- Pregnancy Planning, Prevention & Evaluations
- What Type of Practitioner Is Right for Your Pregnancy?
- High-risk pregnancy and the roles of an Ob/Gyn and MFM specialist
- Medical Care During Pregnancy
Offering the most advanced healthcare for women
Prenatal care is health care that a woman gets while pregnant. Going early and regularly for prenatal care can help moms-to-be — and their babies — stay healthy. Regular care lets doctors find and deal with any problems as soon as possible. It's important to start prenatal care as early as possible — ideally, before a woman even becomes pregnant. Any of these care providers is a good choice if you're healthy and there's no reason to expect problems with your pregnancy and delivery.
However, nurse-midwives do need to have a doctor available for the delivery in case a C-section has to be done. Your health care provider may refer you to a doctor with expertise in high-risk pregnancies if you:. Even if your pregnancy isn't high-risk, this may still be a good time to make a change in health care providers if you're not comfortable with your current doctor. You should call to schedule your first checkup during the first 6 to 8 weeks of your pregnancy, or when your period is 2 to 4 weeks late.
Many health care providers will not schedule the first visit before 8 weeks, unless there is a problem. If you're healthy and have no complicating risk factors, you can expect to see your health care provider:. At each checkup, your weight and blood pressure are usually recorded. The size and shape of your uterus may also be measured, starting at the 22nd week, to see whether the fetus is growing and developing normally. During one or more of your visits, you'll provide a small urine pee sample to be tested for sugar glucose and protein.
Glucose screening usually takes place at 12 weeks for women who are at higher risk for gestational diabetes. That includes women who:. All other pregnant women are tested for diabetes at 24 to 28 weeks. They'll drink a sugary liquid and have blood drawn after an hour for a blood glucose test. If the blood sugar level is high, more testing can confirm whether it's gestational diabetes.
Many parents-to-be choose to have prenatal tests. These can help health care providers find things like a birth defect or a chromosomal problem in the fetus. Prenatal tests are done in the first , second , and third trimesters. Some prenatal tests are screening tests that can only reveal the possibility of a problem. Other prenatal tests are diagnostic tests that can accurately find whether a fetus has a specific problem.
A screening test sometimes is followed by a diagnostic test. These can include blood tests, amniocentesis , CVS , and ultrasound exams. Some women worry about medical conditions they already have, such as diabetes, and how they could affect a pregnancy. It's important to talk with your doctor, who may recommend a change in medicines or treatments that could ease your concerns. These conditions are serious but manageable.
So it's important to learn about them and discuss them with your health care provider. Many pregnant women wonder about weight gain. Generally, women of normal weight should gain about 25—35 pounds during pregnancy. For women who start their pregnancy overweight, total weight gain should be closer to 15—25 pounds. Those who are underweight should gain 28—40 pounds. Controlling weight gain is harder later in a pregnancy, so try to avoid gaining a lot of weight during the first few months.
However, not gaining enough weight can cause problems too, such as poor fetal growth and premature labor. Pregnancy is not a good time to start a diet, but it is a great time to enjoy healthier foods. Doctors recommend that women add about calories to their daily intake to help nourish the developing baby. Protein should supply most of these calories, but your diet also should include plenty of fresh fruits, grains, and vegetables. Your health care provider may prescribe a prenatal vitamin to make sure you get enough iron, calcium, and folic acid.
It's also a good time to get regular, low-impact exercise. For your baby's sake and yours, it's important to take especially good care of yourself during your pregnancy. Follow these basics:. Over-the-counter medicines are generally considered off-limits because of their potential effects on the fetus. Most doctors recommend not taking any OTC medicines if possible, but might offer a list of those they think are safe.
Be sure to discuss any questions about medicines including natural remedies, supplements, and vitamins with your doctor. When you're pregnant, it's also important to avoid foodborne illnesses, such as listeriosis and toxoplasmosis , which can be life-threatening to an unborn baby and may cause birth defects or miscarriage. Foods to steer clear of include:. Also avoid eating shark, swordfish, king mackerel, marlin, orange roughy, tuna steak bigeye or ahi ,and tilefish.
Fish and shellfish can be an extremely healthy part of your pregnancy diet because they contain beneficial omega-3 fatty acids and are high in protein and low in saturated fat. But these types of fish may contain high levels of mercury, which can damage the developing brain of a fetus. Your doctor may recommend a couple of vaccines during pregnancy. The flu shot can curb flu-related problems for expectant moms, who are at higher risk of problems from the illness.
Pregnant women should only get the shot, and not the nasal spray or mist form. The Tdap vaccine against tetanus , diphtheria , and pertussis is now recommended for all pregnant women in the second half of each pregnancy, regardless of whether they've gotten it before or when it was last given. This is because there's been a rise in pertussis whooping cough infections, which can be fatal in newborns who have not yet had their routine vaccinations. Pregnancy can cause a number of uncomfortable but not necessarily serious changes, including:.
If you have any of these changes, you're not alone! Talk to your doctor about ways to ease your discomfort. When your body is going through physical changes that may be completely new to you, it isn't always easy to talk to your health care provider. Maybe you're wondering whether you can have sex or what to do about hemorrhoids or constipation, or maybe you're feeling feeling worried about the delivery. You might feel embarrassed to ask these or other questions, but it's important to do so — and remember, your health care provider has heard them all before.
Keep a running list of questions, and take it with you to each visit. Reviewed by: Armando Fuentes, MD.
What to Expect from Pregnancy Doctors aka OB/GYNs
Medical students fulfill rigorous education and training requirements before they're considered baby doctors, including eight years of schooling and between three and eight years as an intern or resident. According to the Council of Pediatric Subspecialties, doctors who mainly focus on infants after birth may specialize in areas including pulmonary or emergency medicine, infectious diseases, neurology, endocrinology, allergy and immunology, critical care or cardiology. Others, like certified nurse midwives and certified professional midwives, offer pregnancy and after-birth care to babies and mothers. OB-GYNs specialize in women's health issues, pregnancy, childbirth and the reproductive system. They treat and advise patients throughout their pregnancies and are usually the doctor of choice when it comes to delivering babies.
Anesthesiologist - treats chronic pain syndromes; administers anesthesia and monitors the patient during surgery. Cardiologist - treats heart disease.
For most women, pregnancy healthcare is a total unknown. Your GP will also be involved when they give you your six-week check after you have the baby. This check involves talk through how you are feeling physically and mentally, checking any stitches or caesarean scar and talking about issues like contraception NHS, a. Ah, the emotional part. Not one that most people will see but they may come in if you have gestational or normal diabetes.
Thinking about fertility treatment
Obstetrics and gynaecology is concerned with the care of pregnant woman, her unborn child and the management of diseases specific to women. The specialty combines medicine and surgery. Many have a major special interest in a particular area, such as high-risk obstetrics, fertility care or minimal access surgery. A smaller number of consultants work as sub specialists, with all of their work concentrated in a specific area of practice. This is a varied specialty, mostly dealing with healthy women, where unexpected challenges can present themselves on a daily basis. Work includes a large number of hands-on procedures, both in obstetrics and gynaecology. In gynaecology, patients range from those who have chronic disorders which are not life threatening but interfere significantly with quality of life , to those where an acute emergency presentation is the first indication of a gynaecological problem.
Options for Low or No Cost Prenatal Care
Sometimes pregnancy occurs and you are not ready. This can often mean the lack of quality prenatal care. This lack of prenatal care can be dangerous because you do not have anyone to help you figure out the ins and outs of pregnancy or to pick up on the rare serious complication. In essence, without prenatal care, you have no lifeguard. Also known as Obamacare, this law passed in includes prenatal care as a covered benefit for the vast majority of health insurances. This says that women who have health insurance will have free coverage for their birth and prenatal care. If you don't have insurance you may qualify for your state's version of Medicaid see below. The reason that this is now covered is that it falls under a blanket of preventative care.
Pregnancy Planning, Prevention & Evaluations
If you are having a baby, you might see a lot of different healthcare professionals. Most women have a choice whether to see a general practitioner GP , a midwife, an obstetrician or a combination of those. It depends on what you want, and where you want to give birth. GPs are doctors trained in many different aspects of healthcare. You would normally see a GP when you find out you are pregnant.
What Type of Practitioner Is Right for Your Pregnancy?
The Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes, Evaluation and Prevention Program at NYU Winthrop Hospital on Long Island provides multi-faceted services for women who have experienced adverse pregnancy outcomes in the past or are pregnant or planning to get pregnant again. An adverse pregnancy outcome is an event which reduces the chance of having a healthy baby such as:. Other conditions related to pregnancy loss such as a clotting disorder antiphospholipid antibody syndrome or a genetic thrombophilia. Couples experiencing adverse pregnancy outcomes may be at risk of having other adverse outcomes in future pregnancies. Your first contact is a telephone call to an experienced obstetrical clinical nurse specialist at the APO offices. She will explain the service to you and document your reproductive and general medical history. You are mailed a detailed questionnaire concerning your medical and reproductive history, along with forms for obtaining various medical records. After completing the questionnaire and returning it to us, a consultation appointment is scheduled within two to three weeks after your information is received. At the time of your consultation, a course of treatment and a plan will be presented to you and a letter summarizing this plan will be sent to your doctor.
High-risk pregnancy and the roles of an Ob/Gyn and MFM specialist
Obstetricians also called obstetrician-gynecologists or OB-GYNs are sometimes called pregnancy doctors. They're specially trained to take care of pregnant women, to manage high-risk pregnancies, and to deliver babies. Obstetricians can also perform C-sections Cesarean sections and other gynecological surgeries. Many women will choose an obstetrician to care for them during their pregnancy. Some family doctors are also trained to care for pregnant women. And some women prefer to see a midwife instead of, or in addition to, a doctor. You can read a LoveToKnow article about midwives by clicking here. If you choose a family doctor or midwife and then develop a problem with your pregnancy, your health care provider may refer you to an obstetrician for more specialized care. If you choose an obstetrician to care for you during your pregnancy, make sure the doctor has the right credentials and a good reputation.
Please sign in or sign up for a March of Dimes account to proceed. There are many kinds of fertility treatment that can help women get pregnant.
Medical Care During Pregnancy
Being pregnant is an exciting, amazing thing, and you want nothing more than the best for this growing life inside of you. Most of us understand a healthy lifestyle is important to ensure a healthy pregnancy, but it also takes regularly scheduled appointments with excellent prenatal care. Whether you have a high- or low-risk pregnancy, your provider will continually monitor and watch your baby grow and develop to ensure her health and safety. But many women are left wondering how do they know if a pregnancy is high risk? A high-risk pregnancy occurs when there are potential complications that could affect the mother, her baby or both. These conditions may be preexisting or develop during pregnancy. A pregnancy could be considered high risk for the mother if she has a pre-existing medical condition, such as diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure or an autoimmune or kidney disease. In addition, problems may develop during pregnancy, such as early labor, bleeding or pre-eclampsia, that could denote high risk. A history of miscarriage, problems with previous pregnancies or genetic disorders, such as cystic fibrosis, also can cause a high-risk pregnancy. In addition, they treat infections, screen for cancer and perform surgeries for pelvic organ or urinary tract problems.
Florida Medical Clinic On: June 9, Mothers-to-be have many choices to make during the course of their pregnancy: One of the biggest questions that a future mom needs to decide is what kind of care provider she will visit during pregnancy. There are several different types of care providers a woman can visit during the course of her pregnancy. She can choose to seek care from one or all of the below, depending on her preference and her situation. An obstetrician is a medical professional who provides all-in-one care for an expecting mother. They are experienced in low-risk and high-risk pregnancies, and have the capability and resources to provide medical intervention during childbirth should the need arise. An OB-GYN can prescribe medication, offer health advice, and answer many questions future parents may have. A family physician has a wide scope of knowledge in many fields, including pregnancy.
Now that you've conceived, the next challenge is to pick who you want on your pregnancy team. The person s you choose will play a big role in your pregnancy and how your baby is brought into the world. This guide can help you to assess your options so you can decide what type of practitioner is right for you. First and foremost, reflect on your priorities. Having a clear picture of what you want out of your pregnancy and birth experience is important in helping you to pick a practitioner. A few points to consider:. Once you've answered these questions, your next step is to learn a little more about the doctors who can offer the best solutions for your needs. That's in addition to any non-pregnancy female needs, such as pap spears, contraception and breast exams. Because your OB-GYN can function as your primary care physician, he or she can make an excellent partner even after baby arrives. And if you are among the one in three women who wind up requiring a C-section , OB-GYNs are able to perform one for you. But keep this in mind: OB-GYNs are more likely than midwives to use surgical or technological interventions during labor. A one-stop shop for all your medical needs, a family physician is trained in primary care, maternal care and pediatric care. A family physician might be right for you if