The Pregnancy Journey
Prenatal care is the care a mother-to-be receives during her pregnancy.
Good prenatal care during pregnancy increases an expectant mother's chance of having a healthy baby. If you think you might be pregnant, we encourage you to schedule a visit with your PCP, OB/GYN or midwife as soon as possible to confirm your pregnancy and start your prenatal care. If you are not already taking folic acid, ask if you should begin to take it to help prevent brain and spinal problems in your baby.
Congratulations! You’re Pregnant!
During your first prenatal care visit with your doctor or midwife you should:
- Provide your doctor with your family’s medical history and information on your current lifestyle. Include details about any chemicals you use on the job or at home, such as cleaning solutions, hair dyes and photo processing solutions.
- Tell your doctor about any prescribed, over-the-counter, herbal or street drugs that you are using. Even prescribed medications may cause harm during pregnancy and may need to be changed.
- Talk with your doctor or midwife about the types of foods and exercise that are best for you.
- Get a prescription for prenatal vitamins with folic acid.
- Ask your doctor about the different tests that are recommended as part of routine prenatal care.
- If you are smoking, ask you doctor or midwife to recommend ways to quit or call 1-866-NY-QUITS (1-866-697-8487) to find help in your area.
- If you drink alcohol, speak with your doctor about quitting. Alcohol, even in small amounts, can do damage to a developing baby.
- You will need to see your doctor or midwife often during your pregnancy. You will visit the obstetrician once a month during the first 28 weeks of pregnancy. From week 29 through week 36, you will see the doctor every two weeks. From week 36 until you deliver your baby you will visit the doctor once a week.
- After you have your baby, you will see the doctor once or twice for postpartum (after delivery) visits to be sure you are healing well.
- If your pregnancy is high risk, your doctor will want to see you more often throughout your pregnancy to be sure you and your baby remain healthy.