Pregnancy can be one of the most exciting times of your life, and it can also be a source of anxiety. Our obstetricians provide compassionate care before and during your pregnancy, so that you and your baby can stay as healthy as possible. Our goal is a safe delivery of a healthy baby.
If you are planning to get pregnant, an appointment with your Ob/Gyn can help you make sure you are maintaining healthy habits for the best possible outcome. Your physician will review your medical history and discuss any medications you are taking that may be harmful to a fetus.
For women who are having difficulty getting pregnant, we can help uncover any medical reasons that may be preventing conception. When necessary, we'll refer you to our Center for Women's Reproductive Care, one of the largest, longest-standing, and most successful fertility centers in the United States.
Compassionate Prenatal Care
One you have determined that you are pregnant, either with a home pregnancy test or at a visit to your obstetrician, you'll make your first prenatal appointment during the eighth week of your pregnancy. You'll see your obstetrician once a month after that if you don't have complications, and your obstetrician will monitor your baby's heartbeat, growth, and your health and well being. Beginning with week 28, your appointments will occur more frequently until your baby arrives.
When complications do occur, you can be sure that you will be referred to some of the best high-risk pregnancy specialists in the county. ColumbiaDoctors maternal-fetal medicine specialists are known for their expertise with a full range of issues that can occur during pregnancy, and we have dedicated centers that provide comprehensive care for women and babies with health issues.
Throughout your pregnancy, your obstetrician will monitor the health of the baby. Some of the tests your obstetrician may perform include:
- Ultrasound: High-frequency sound waves are used to create an image of the internal organs.
- Fetal echocardiography: Similar to ultrasound, this test is usually performed between weeks 18 and 24 to better see the structure of the fetus's heart.
- Maternal blood tests, including gestational diabetes screening which is performed about 28 weeks.
- Amniocentesis: A sample of the amniotic fluid that surrounds the fetus during pregnancy is taken to test for chromosomal disorders and open neural tube defects, such as spina bifida.
- Chorionic villus sampling (CVS): A sample of tissue is taken from the placenta to test for chromosomal abnormalities and certain other genetic problems.
- Fetal blood sampling: Fetal blood is taken directly from the umbilical cord or fetus and tested for signs of anemia and other blood problems.