During your pregnancy, you should have frequent checkups. The medical care you receive during pregnancy is known as prenatal care, and it’s important for your baby as well as yourself.
Prenatal care has three main goals: To provide you with the information you need to make the best health decisions for you and your baby, to help you prepare yourself for delivery and motherhood, and to catch any problems early, when they’re easiest to manage or treat.
At Albany Obstetrics & Gynecology, our care providers are dedicated to providing the highest quality prenatal care. With that in mind, we’d like to share some important information with you about why prenatal care is so important.
Checking for problems
During your prenatal care visits, we check various health markers, such as your weight, blood pressure, and blood sugar. These tests give us important information about how you and your baby are doing.
Factors such as high blood sugar, high blood pressure, or off-target weight gain can alert us to complications that could impact you and your baby. These include potentially serious conditions such as gestational diabetes or preeclampsia.
At our practice, you may see a doctor, a midwife, or a nurse practitioner for prenatal visits.
An opportunity for answers
Your prenatal visits are also a wonderful opportunity for you to talk with us about making the healthiest possible choices during pregnancy. Be sure to ask any questions you may have about medications, food, exercise, weight gain, mental health, safety at home or work, and any worries you may have about being pregnant, giving birth, or becoming a mother.
And be sure to tell us if you are experiencing any symptoms, such as pelvic pain, bleeding, headache, abdominal pain, swelling, vaginal discomfort, contractions, or changes in your baby’s movement levels.
Your prenatal care schedule
We recommend that you schedule your first prenatal care visit as soon as you know you’re pregnant. Then, we suggest the following schedule for prenatal visits for women having healthy, uncomplicated pregnancies:
- First 28 weeks of pregnancy: every 4 weeks
- Weeks 28-35: every 2 weeks
- Week 35 and beyond: every week
In addition, we may recommend certain screening tests to check on your baby’s health. For example, our practice offers ultrasounds to evaluate your baby’s growth and development beginning at week 12.
Under some circumstances – for example, if you are carrying more than one baby, you have certain health conditions, or if you’re experiencing or at risk for certain pregnancy complications – we may recommend that you come in more often.
You should keep all of your prenatal care appointments, even if you feel fine.
Give your baby the gift of good prenatal care
To schedule your prenatal care appointments, call our office in Albany, New York, or use our contact form to get started.