Your first obstetrics visit to Louisiana Women’s Healthcare allows your doctor to determine your due date and review your general health and medical history. This information, along with the results of your physical and pelvic exams, allows your doctor to ascertain any pregnancy risk factors.
At that point, most women see their obstetrician once a month until they are 28 weeks pregnant. From there, the frequency of appointments increases to every two weeks and becomes weekly between 36 weeks and delivery.
During your prenatal care visits, your doctor at Louisiana Women’s Healthcare checks your weight and blood pressure, as well as sugar and protein in your urine. Your doctor measures your uterus to monitor the growth of your fetus. Beginning around week 12, your doctor also listens to your baby’s heartbeat.
During your last month of pregnancy, your doctor checks for signs of labor, including uterus thinning called effacement and opening called dilation. Discussions about labor and delivery also begin.
If your obstetrics doctor at Louisiana Women’s Healthcare determines that your pregnancy is considered high-risk for either you or your baby, you receive special monitoring throughout your pregnancy. High-risk pregnancy factors include:
If you fall into any of these categories or you encounter signs and symptoms like vaginal bleeding or cramping, severe headaches, watery vaginal discharge, or decreased fetal activity, your obstetrics doctor performs additional procedures, including:
Postpartum obstetric care is an ongoing process and not just a single visit. It’s best to contact your doctor at Louisiana Women’s Healthcare within the first three weeks. Additionally, within 12 weeks after birth, set up a visit for a comprehensive postpartum evaluation.
During your postpartum appointment, your doctor inquiries about your mood and emotional well-being. You should also expect to discuss contraception and how quickly you may have another child, and review information on infant care and feeding. Sleep habits and fatigue-related issues also get addressed during your physical exam to check how well your abdomen, vagina, cervix, and uterus are healing.
To ensure a safe and healthy pregnancy for you and your unborn child, call or make an appointment online today at Louisiana Women’s Healthcare in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.