The Importance of Pregnancy Care

It's natural for parents to want the best for their children. By getting proper pregnancy care, they can make sure their babies are off to a healthy start before they are even born.

At Habersham OBGYN in Demorest, Georgia, Dr. Thomas Hatchett, our midwife nurse practitioner Britteny Barron, and our top notch team provide individualized, integrative care for expectant mothers as well as gynecologic health support for all women, no matter the stage of their lives.

Importance of prenatal care

Following established pregnancy care guidelines for doctor visits and tests can help encourage a healthy pregnancy for both mom-to-be and baby. In fact, it can reduce the baby's risk of having a low birth weight three-fold and their risk of death five-fold.

Regular doctor visits and routine tests can aid in the detection of problems and allow them to be treated sooner. They may even prevent some issues from occurring in the first place. It is also an opportunity to make sure the mother-to-be is gaining the right amount of weight and that the baby's size and heart functions are on track. 

These appointments are an important time to get questions answered and discuss healthy habits like diet and exercise. Setting up a birth plan is also done during prenatal visits.

Appointment schedule

Many women will have a prenatal visit every four to six weeks through week 32. By week 33, appointments become more frequent with one every two to three weeks. Beginning at week 37, women are typically seen each week. Mothers-to-be who are older than 35 or who have a high-risk pregnancy may have more frequent visits.

At the visits

The initial prenatal appointment usually entails a full physical, including a pelvic and breast exam. Lab work is done and the woman's health and family histories are discussed. The due date is also calculated.

Subsequent visits include checking the mom-to-be's blood pressure and amount of weight gained along with the baby's heart rate, and measuring the abdomen to gauge the baby's growth as the pregnancy progresses. Questions are welcomed at all appointments.

Testing

Some tests are also advised during pregnancy, including 3D ultrasound imaging to ensure that the baby's growth is on target, a glucose test to check for gestational diabetes, and a blood test for a number of reasons, including to make sure the mother-to-be doesn't have anemia.

Depending on a woman's situation, other tests may be recommended, such as amniocentesis to check for birth defects or genetic problems, a nuchal translucency test to determine the chance of Down's syndrome or another genetic issue, and a fetal echocardiography to look at the baby's heart.

Receiving proper medical care and testing can play a crucial role in having a healthy baby. Whether you're seeking a midwife or an obstetrician, call our office at 706-229-4718 for an appointment today or book one online.

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