What is prenatal care?
Prenatal care is providing comprehensive health care, regular exams, and screening tests in order to help ensure a healthy pregnancy for both mother and baby. If you suspect you may be pregnant, we encourage you to schedule an appointment with one of our obstetricians in Dallas.
Why is prenatal care important?
We can’t stress enough the importance of prenatal care. Through proper prenatal care, you can dramatically reduce the chances of pregnancy complications. According to the U.S. Office on Women’s Health, women who do not have prenatal care are three times more likely to have children with a low birth weight.
Prenatal care is also vital because it helps us detect and treat any health problems early before they cause harm to your unborn child. These are some of the most significant aspects of what happens during a prenatal care office visit.
If you have a high-risk pregnancy, we can refer you to perinatology if needed.
When should I schedule a prenatal visit?
You should schedule your first prenatal visit around eight weeks after your last period.
We want to stress the importance of prenatal care—– ideally we want you to schedule an appointment with us when you’ve decided you want to get pregnant or when you’ve started trying. We can provide useful information that will help you, and even suggest prenatal vitamins and folic acid that are important to the proper development of your baby.
What happens during a prenatal care visit?
A typical prenatal care visit varies depending upon the stage of your pregnancy and any potential risk factors. During these visits we may:
- Complete blood tests
- Perform imaging tests (such as an ultrasound)
- Conduct a physical exam
- Calculate your due date
- Check the baby’s heart rate
- Take urine samples
- Check your weight
- Discuss any health problems
- Answer any of your pregnancy questions
Later prenatal visits are typically shorter than the ones earlier in your pregnancy. During these later visas we’ll measure your abdomen so we can carefully track your baby’s growth in addition to monitoring your weight gain.
How often will I have prenatal visits?
This may vary depending upon if you have a high risk pregnancy or if you’re more than 35 years old. Women who fall into these categories will have more frequent visits.
However, typically you’ll have prenatal visits:
- Once a month for weeks four through 28
- Twice a month for weeks 28 through 36
- Weekly from week 36 until the birth
Convenient Prenatal Care Near You
For your convenience, we have both in-office ultrasound/sonography services and an in-office laboratory. If you have had a Cesarean section before, and desire a vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC), we’ll work closely with you to help improve the likelihood of having a vaginal birth.
All of our deliveries—both vaginal and Cesarean sections—are conducted at Medical City Dallas Hospital.
We want to care for you through every stage of your pregnancy, from prenatal care through postpartum care.
If you have decided that you do not want to have any more children, we can perform a postpartum tubal ligation, which is sometimes referred to as getting your “tubes tied.”
Are You Pregnant? Schedule Your Prenatal Visit Today
Getting prenatal care as soon as possible greatly increases your chances of having a healthy baby and a pregnancy without complications. See why our experienced, compassionate doctors are the best in the region. Contact us for an appointment today.