While we all hope that our pregnancies will progress normally and healthily, this does not always happen. And even if everything is fine and dandy, we tend to want to know about it and get some advice about how to deal with pregnancy signs and symptoms, which all pregnant women have. That is where prenatal care during pregnancy comes in. What can you expect from your prenatal care, whether you choose a midwife or an OBGYN?
- First things first, your prenatal care provider will confirm your pregnancy and establish an estimated due date.
- You can expect discussions about eating habits, recommendations for prenatal vitamins, and questions about your general lifestyle and health. If you smoke, you may be referred to someone to help you quit. If you are underweight or overweight, you may receive recommendations on how to deal with that.
- At some point during your pregnancy, you can expect a routine ultrasound. Most women go through several ultrasounds during their pregnancy to check if your pregnancy is developing healthily and for placental location. You may find out your baby's gender!
- Urine and blood tests are routine, as is the glucose test for gestational diabetes. These tests check whether you have any factors that could complicate your pregnancy, and will allow you to receive treatment if need be. The frequency of these tests depends on the individual tests and policies where you receive prenatal care.
- Your blood pressure will be checked regularly. This is important, as high blood pressure can be dangerous and even a sign of preeclampsia.
- In some cases, diagnostic prenatal testing will be offered, or you can request it. An amniocentesis gives a lot of information about chromosomal abnormalities, for instance.
- Your weight and general health, will normally be monitored.
- As your pregnancy progresses, the size of your belly and your baby, as well as its position in the uterus, will be monitored by your prenatal care provider.
- Finally, prenatal care constitutes a part of preparing for childbirth. Your health and your baby's will affect the birth choices you have.