Thank you for choosing Southern OB/GYN to assist you through your pregnancy. Good prenatal care is important for the health of both mother and baby. We strive to provide care keeping that in mind. Your initial Obstetric visit allows us the opportunity to answer concerns and to individualize your care. Our office staff will help answer any insurance and financial questions you may have.
Southern OB/GYN provides comprehensive care, from routine checkups to high risk pregnancies.
Obstetrical pre-natal visits are scheduled on a monthly or weekly basis, depending on how far along you are in the pregnancy.
If you require an urgent or unexpected visit when your physician is unavailable, we will ensure your medical needs are taken care of immediately with one of our trusted team members onsite.
While every pregnancy is different, the following are some general guidelines and tests which you can anticipate over the course of your care.
Please contact our office when you discover that you are pregnant. You will be scheduled to meet with our prenatal nurse educator for a consultation. During this visit, your gynecologic and medical history will be reviewed extensively and you will have the opportunity to ask questions.
For week-by-week information about your pregnancy including fetal development, you may want to visit the Pregnancy Calendar provided by About.com as a helpful online resource.
We encourage your first visit to be by at least 8 weeks. Please note that your first visit (prenatal workup) will be the busiest and generally includes:
- General orientation to the practice
- Physician examination (pap smear if due)
- Assigning a due date
- Discussing prenatal vitamins
- Discussing any concerns
- Routine prenatal blood work
You will have an ultrasound to establish the due date and viability of your pregnancy. You will also have routine laboratory studies drawn and meet with our financial counselor.
Normal symptoms include fatigue, breast tenderness and nausea. While spotting and occasional cramps are not unusual, persistent cramping or bleeding should be reported.
Your next visit will be with one of the OB physicians during which a complete physical and pelvic exam will be performed. Your physician will also provide counseling specific to you and answer any questions you may have. The first trimester screen will be offered to you between 11-14 weeks. This test involves blood work from you and an ultrasound to measure the thickness of the baby’s neck. This is an optional screen for Down syndrome, Trisomy 13 and Trisomy 18.
Normal symptoms include some uterine ligament stretching and typically, an ending of nausea and fatigue as you enter your second trimester. Typically, most women begin to feel some fetal movement between 16 and 20 weeks.
We check for fetal heart tones at every visit from 12 weeks.
At 16 weeks, you will have the opportunity to have your blood drawn for the AFP or Quad Screen. The AFP only is an optional test which screens for spina bifida. The Quad Screen screens for Down syndrome, Trisomy 18 and Spina Bifida.
At approximately 18 weeks you will have another ultrasound of your baby. This ultrasound is used to ensure that there are no major problems with your baby’s growth and anatomy. If you wish to know the gender of your baby, we can usually tell you at this time. Further ultrasounds may be indicated later in the pregnancy should any complications arise.
Normal symptoms include uterine round ligament stretching and occasional tightening of the uterus (Braxton-hick contractions).
During this time, we will measure uterine growth at every visit and listen to the fetal heart beat.
At approximately 28 weeks, you will take the screening blood test for Diabetes in pregnancy. We usually schedule this visit in the morning. You will have a fasting blood glucose level drawn, a sugary drink administered, and another blood level drawn an hour later. If this screening test is positive, we then administer a more accurate and more involved 3 hour Glucose tolerance test another day.
For women who are Rh- (Ex: A ‘negative’ blood type like A-, B-, O- and AB-), you will receive your first Rhogam injection (to decrease the chance of building up antibodies against future pregnancies) at 28 weeks; the second injection will be administered after delivery.
Also 28 to 36 weeks is typically the best time to view your baby using the latest 3D 4D Ultrasound technology.
As you enter your third trimester, we will give you registration information for your hospital. You can sign up for classes, obtain more information on epidurals, childbirth and breast feeding. During this time, we typically see our patients more frequently, every 2-4 weeks.
Normal symptoms during this time include uterine cramping (braxton-hicks contractions), back pain, and heartburn. If you have more than six contractions per hour that are persisting and increasing despite rest and fluids, please notify us.
We increase your visits to weekly, and discuss delivery management plans. You’ll have weekly cervical checks for dilation, effacement and baby’s positioning. Repeat Cesarean sections are typically scheduled at approximately 39 weeks.
Normal symptoms include lower abdominal pressure, contractions and fatigue. As your cervix thins, you may have some vaginal spotting. If you have any vaginal bleeding, a sudden gush of fluid (possible rupture of the membranes), or your baby is not moving, call us. Labor varies from person to person. If you have contractions increasing in frequency to every 5 minutes apart, lasting longer each time, with increasing intensity for at least 1 – 2 hours, then please call us.
Typically around 35-37 weeks, we will do a Group B streptococcus Culture. This a vaginal culture to screen for fairly common vaginal bacteria that can cause serious infections in newborns (ex: pneumonia). If positive, we will treat with I.V. antibiotics during labor.
It is fairly common for patients to go past their due date. We will increase antenatal surveillance by performing tests (non-stress tests, biophysical profiles by ultrasound) to evaluate fetal well being. We will further discuss labor and delivery management plans, including possible induction.
Pregnancy can be unpredictable and the above guidelines can change depending upon your particular situation. The professional staff and doctors at Southern OB/GYN Specialists are available to answer any questions you may have.