Healthy Pregnancy, Healthy Birth: Taking Care of Yourself and Your Baby

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Prenatal care is very important to you and the life of your baby. Prenatal care should begin around 8-10 weeks of pregnancy and should continue until the birth of your baby. Prenatal care is very important to you and the life of your baby.  Prenatal care should begin around 8-10 weeks of pregnancy and should continue until the birth of your baby.  You may not feel or look any different in the beginning, but growing inside of you is a tiny baby who needs the best care possible.  Listed below are some things to consider when looking for good prenatal care.

Finding a Doctor

Finding a doctor that you are comfortable with is essential because this is a very personal and important event in your life.  Depending on the size of the area where you live, different options for prenatal health care providers are available.

Prenatal Providers

  • Obstetrician /Gynecologist (Ob/Gyn) – A gynecologist is a doctor devoted only to reproductive care while an obstetrician devotes their concern on women during and shortly after pregnancy.  Most modern Gynecologists are also Obsterticians.
  • Doctor of Osteopathy (DO) – Same training as an Medical Doctor (MD) need to be licensed to practice, how they differ is that they have a holistic view to medicine.  They view body as mind, body & spirit.
  • Certified Nurse-Midwife (CNM) – CNM’s work with women with low-risk pregnancies, covering all aspects of prenatal, labor and delivery. They also counsel new moms and many times work alongside gynecologists.
  • Family Medicine (FP or GP) – FP’s are trained in ALL areas of medicine. One doctor can care for your entire family. They can be your doctor through pregnancy, labor and continue to see you/your child into adulthood.

When trying to decide which one will work best for you, look for recommendations from trusted friends or family or make an appointment to meet the doctor and do an interview. Ask questions like: what is your routine for prenatal visits or do you have any vacation plans during my estimated time of delivery? 

First Doctor Visit
The first doctor’s visit will be the longest and most intense of all of them.  While there, they will ask a lot of questions dealing with your past and present health history, draw blood, take a urine sample, and even do a physical exam where they will check your height, weight, and blood pressure.  They will also check of your reproductive organs for changes in your cervix and the size of your uterus.  This may seem overwhelming, but it is important because it can help ensure the health of you and your baby.

After Initial Visit
After your initial visit, the following visits will generally be shorter. These visits will include checking your weight and blood pressure, measuring your stomach to see how your baby is growing, and listening to the heartbeat of your baby.  If everything goes as scheduled, your doctor visits will be as follows:

  • 1st visit through 28 weeks – once a month.
  • 28 weeks to 36 weeks – every two weeks.
  • 36 weeks to delivery – once a week

If there are any complications, you will probably be asked to come in more often.

Taking care of yourself and your baby is the most important thing you can do during your pregnancy. If you have any questions or are interested in taking our lessons on prenatal care, call 507- 637-2534, text 507-589-4272 or please stop by our office at 231 E 2nd Street in Redwood Falls, MN. Choices Pregnancy Center is located on the north side of the building, lower level.

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