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Routine Obstetrical Care
Routine obstetrical care at our practice is what we call the care we give to the mother and developing baby. However, we are acutely aware that each pregnancy and baby is special to the parents-to-be, and we make every effort to make your experience smooth and stress-free.
Obstetrical care usually includes:
- One visit per month, until 32 weeks. At that point, we will see you every two weeks, and at 36 weeks, your practitioner will want to see you once a week.
- Several routine tests done to assess the health of you and the baby, including:
- Standard blood pregnancy profile
- Pap smear
- Cultures at your first visit
- Blood tests for diabetes, anemia, and syphilis in the third trimester
- Nuchal translucency screening at 12-15 weeks to screen for Spina Bifida and Down's syndrome
- Vaginal culture for Group B beta strep at 35-36 weeks
- Genetic screening, including Cystic Fibrosis, Ashkenazi Jew (Tay-Sachs) Amniocentesis will be offered as needed for women 35 or over; or for any woman who has other risk factors for genetic abnormalities
- Obstetrical ultrasounds - routine screening sonogram at 18-22 weeks. (Your insurance may not cover this test. Please check with your plan.)
- Referrals for childbirth and baby care classes
How should I take care of myself during pregnancy?
We encourage you to take care of yourself during the pregnancy; that means a balanced diet, regular exercise and an average weight gain of 20-35 pounds for women with an ideal pre-pregnancy weight. It also means no smoking or illegal drug use. No alcohol intake is the safest advice. If you have problems in any of these areas, we are happy to help you. Unfortunately, violence and abuse is all too common in women's lives, especially during pregnancy. Please bring this to our attention if it is a part of your life.
The following substances seem to be safe throughout pregnancy:
- Caffeine - the equivalent of 2 caffeinated beverages per day
- Claritin and chlorpheniramine - all antihistamines, dextromethorphan - cough suppressant, Tylenol and most cough drops
- Hemorrhoid medications, stool softeners - such as Colace
- Zantac, Pepcid, and antacids (Tums, Rolaids, Mylanta)
- Antibiotics such as penicillin, cephalosporins, erythromycin, Bactrim, Macrodantin, Zithromax
- Antifungals (Monistat, Gyne-Lotrimin, and Mycelex)
- Novacaine and codeine in small amounts
- Dental X-rays with abdominal shielding
The following substances seem to be safe after 12 weeks of pregnancy:
- Hair dyes and permanent waves
Please check with us first before using any other medications.
Can I travel while I am pregnant?
Travel is certainly feasible during pregnancy but please discuss travel plans with us and check with your insurance company about coverage.
What kind of classes should we take?
Childbirth and breast-feeding classes are very helpful for first-time parents. There are lactation consultants in the hospital and they are available for home visits and consultations. Plan to start classes by two-three months before your due date.
What else should we do to prepare?
- Please be sure to pre-register at the hospital. Click here for the on-line pre-registration form for Howard County General Hospital. Formulario de registro previo para obstetricia for HCGH.
- Choose a pediatrician by the 8th month.
- Bring a newborn car seat to the hospital on the day of discharge.
- If you would like your son circumcised, the doctor on-call that day can perform the circumcision the day after birth. Please feel free to discuss this with us or your pediatrician, as it is an elective procedure and your insurance may not cover it.
After you go home, please feel free to call with concerns or questions and be sure to keep your appointments for your six-week postpartum check-up.
Call immediately to schedule your six-week postpartum appointment so we can find an appointment time that works for you.