Pregnancy Questions and Answers
You're having a baby!
Congratulations, and welcome to our practice. We are committed to providing the best possible care to you and your family during your pregnancy. If you should have any questions or concerns regarding this care, we encourage you to express them with our physicians, nurse practitioners or nursing staff.
Below are a few details about our practice and what to expect during your prenatal care.
When to Call
Our clinics are open from 8am-5pm Monday through Friday. Telephone triage is available during these times by your physician’s nurse. After hours and on weekends, the physician on call is available by calling your clinic.
It is appreciated if routine questions are handled during office hours, but you should not hesitate to call if you have a serious accident or illness, questions regarding possible labor or any of the following:
- Vaginal bleeding at any time during the pregnancy
- Severe nausea or vomiting for more than 24 hours
- Extreme swelling of the feet, hands or face
- Chills or fever over 101 degrees
- Pain or burning with urination
- Severe or continuous abdominal pain
- Leakage of fluid from the vagina
- Contractions more than four per hour before 36 weeks
- Lack of fetal movement (less than eight fetal movements in two hours) after 28 weeks
Your Clinic Visits
At your initial prenatal visit, a review of your medical and obstetrical history will be obtained, and a complete physical exam, including a breast and pelvic exam with pap smear and routine cultures, will be performed. An ultrasound to establish fetal well-being and to confirm your estimated due date also might be performed.
You will also select or be assigned a primary doctor who will order your lab tests and develop a plan of care for your pregnancy. You may choose to schedule all of your following visits with that doctor, or choose to see any of our doctors or nurse practitioners (scheduling conflicts may at times require this).
At subsequent visits, your weight, blood pressure, fetal heart tones and uterine growth will be assessed. After 30 weeks of pregnancy, you will give a urine sample at each visit, which is checked for protein and sugar.
These visits also provide time for you to ask questions and share your concerns. Typically, you will be seen every four weeks until approximately 30 weeks of pregnancy, then every two weeks until 36 weeks. After that, you will be seen weekly until delivery. Any complications may necessitate more frequent visits.
Routine Testing During Pregnancy
During the course of your prenatal care, different tests to ensure the health of your baby will be offered if needed. At your initial visit, in addition to an ultrasound, pap smear and cultures, a series of blood tests will be drawn.
Early in the pregnancy, between eight and 16 weeks, various genetic tests or screens (first-trimester screen, cystic fibrosis screening, chorionic villus sampling, amniocentesis, quad screen) may be offered to you; each of these will be explained in detail by our staff if appropriate for you.
At 20 weeks, an ultrasound to check for fetal anatomy and growth will be offered. At 26 to 30 weeks, a blood sample to screen for diabetes of pregnancy and anemia will be ordered. After 35 weeks, a vaginal culture for group B streptococcus is performed. Other testing may be discussed based upon your pregnancy.
Who Will Deliver Your Baby?
Our group assigns one doctor to be on call at the hospital on a rotating basis for 24-hour shifts. This physician is responsible for all deliveries and emergencies during his or her shift. This system helps to ensure that our office runs as close to schedule as possible and that the physician delivering your baby has no other responsibilities.