So you just found out you’re pregnant. You’re probably ecstatic about your positive pregnancy test, but maybe also a little overwhelmed. What do you do next? The answer is pretty simple: Make an appointment with your OB/GYN. Prenatal care is vital to your health and your baby’s health throughout your pregnancy journey.
That’s where our team comes in. Dr. John Paul Roberts is a skilled and caring OB/GYN who can help you with all of your pregnancy needs. Whether it’s your first appointment after a positive test, or you’re nearing the birth of your baby, he can provide top-notch prenatal care.
What to expect at prenatal appointments
Even before you get pregnant, you start planning for your baby. This may include seeing your doctor, monitoring your menstrual cycle, and mentally preparing for a tiny human to grow inside of you. So after you become pregnant, it only makes sense to continue good habits by getting prenatal care.
Prenatal care is simply the care you receive during your pregnancy to ensure you and your baby are as healthy as you can be. You should make an appointment with Dr. Roberts as soon as you find out that you’re pregnant. He’ll want to do blood work to confirm pregnancy, among other things.
Here’s what you can expect at your initial appointment:
- A review of your medical history
- Blood work
- An estimation of your due date
- A physical exam
- An overview of good lifestyle habits
Dr. Roberts may also offer testing for fetal abnormalities. These tests may include blood work and ultrasounds to detect conditions such as Down syndrome. He also goes over some of the mild discomforts that you’ll experience during your first trimester, such as nausea and breast tenderness.
How many prenatal visits will you have?
Not every woman has the same amount of prenatal visits as every other woman. There are a lot of factors that go into your prenatal care schedule. For example, if you’re over 35 years old and have a potential for complications during your high-risk pregnancy, Dr. Roberts may want you to come in more often than normal to monitor your progress.
However, if you’re between ages 18 and 35 and you’re at low risk for complications, your schedule might look something like this:
- The first 32 weeks: appointments every 4-6 weeks
- Weeks 32-37: appointments 2-3 weeks apart
- Week 37 until the baby arrives: weekly appointments
Things can come up during pregnancy, which may alter this schedule if you need more frequent appointments. This is something you can discuss with Dr. Roberts, as he wants the best for you and your baby.
Why prenatal care is so important
Prenatal care is so important, not only for your baby’s health, but for your health as well. Your body goes through so many changes during pregnancy, which can sometimes lead to conditions that you wouldn’t normally have if you weren’t pregnant.
Some of the common problems that you may experience include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Gestational diabetes
When you come in for routine visits with Dr. Roberts, he can help ease these symptoms. He helps monitor any issues to get them under control to keep you on the road toward having a healthy baby.
At your visits, Dr. Roberts also discusses important information for your health such as:
- Medications that are safe to take
- The importance of folic acid and other nutrients
- Proper diet and exercise
Dr. Roberts also discusses the potential harm to the baby from things such as alcohol, tobacco use, and secondhand smoke. These can be harmful to your baby, so making sure you stop smoking and drinking alcohol during your pregnancy is important.
Another important aspect of prenatal care is Dr. Roberts’ ability to keep an eye on your baby’s progress during your pregnancy. He does this through ultrasounds during certain weeks, where he’s able to see any abnormalities in your baby’s development. This also allows him to treat anything that he can while your baby is still developing.
If you’re pregnant and are in need of prenatal care, call our office in Plano, Texas, to make an appointment. Or you can request a prenatal appointment using our online booking tool.