At Fleur Women’s Health in Rancho Mirage, CA, we are obstetrics professionals. Our team is committed to providing you the best in obstetric care through your pregnancy, during labor, and after childbirth. We will talk you through the process, answer all of your questions, and provide you with technologically advanced and compassionate care as you grow your family. Pregnancy is a magical and meaningful time in your life, and we want to help you make it a positive experience.
When Should I See an Obstetrician?
It’s up to you when to first visit an obstetrics office. Most women schedule the first visit about 8 weeks after the first day of their last periods, but others may come in as soon as they realize they are pregnant. In some cases, you may want to see us before you become pregnant.
What Is Obstetrics?
Obstetrics is a field of medicine. Obstetricians care for women during pregnancy, through childbirth, and after delivery. When you are pregnant, it’s important to seek specialized care from a medical team with training and experience in pregnancy and childbirth.
What Does an Obstetrician Do?
Your obstetrician will oversee your health throughout your pregnancy and advise you on how to best care for yourself and for your baby. At Fleur Women’s Health, we are dedicated to keeping you as healthy and comfortable as possible while preparing you for successful childbirth. We will work with you to make sure you understand what is happening through each stage.
Some of the services we provide are helping you manage any uncomfortable pregnancy symptoms and advising you on your lifestyle choices while pregnant. We will screen for and treat any complications that arise and encourage and support you through labor. After childbirth, we’ll help you with postpartum mental issues and teach you how to care for your baby.
Your Pre-Pregnancy Appointment
Some women can benefit from consulting with us before pregnancy occurs. Sometimes your regular doctor will advise you to see an obstetrician when you are considering pregnancy. Some women who may wish to have a pre-pregnancy appointment are women over 35 and women who have had multiple miscarriages.
Certain health conditions may also cause you to want to see an obstetrician become pregnant. This includes conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, and chronic infections. If you are having issues with infertility, we can consult with you and refer you to a fertility specialist if necessary.
Signs of Pregnancy
Most women call us when they realize they are pregnant, which usually happens at 6 to 8 weeks. If you’ve had a positive result from an over-the-counter pregnancy test, you will want to see a doctor for a more accurate blood test and to begin prenatal vitamins and nutrition.
Some signs that you are pregnant include being unusually tired, missing your period, aversions to certain smells or foods, cravings for particular foods, nausea or vomiting at any time of the day, frequent urination, breasts that feel unusually heavy or tender.
Your First Prenatal Appointment
At your first appointment, we will talk to you about what to expect over the next few months and give you some important information about your pregnancy. We will determine an approximate due date based on the information we have, and we will talk to you about your medical history. We will need to know about any medications you are taking or any health issues you have experienced.
We will ask you about any previous pregnancies you have experienced, including miscarriages, and we will ask about your and the baby’s father’s medical histories. We will talk about testing that we recommend and give you a chance to ask any questions you might have. This is an exciting, but confusing, time and we want to be there to make it easier.
Routine Tests During Pregnancy
We will run a number of different tests to assess your health and possible complications for the baby. These will include a complete blood count, your Rh factor and blood type, a urinalysis, and a urine culture. You will also be tested for rubella, hepatitis B and C, HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases, and tuberculosis.
The reason we run these tests is to determine if you have any health conditions that may make pregnancy and childbirth more complicated or risky than usual. These tests can tell us if you are at risk for diabetes, high blood pressure, or certain other conditions that can affect the health of your baby. You can expect to have most of these tests repeated several times throughout your pregnancy.
Ultrasounds are exciting and important tests that are run in an obstetrics office during your pregnancy. During an ultrasound, we use high-frequency sound waves to see a picture of your baby, or babies, in the womb. From the ultrasound, we can get a more accurate idea of the baby’s due date, find out if there are multiple babies in the womb, hear the babies’ heartbeats, and make sure that your cervix and uterus are free of any problems. We can usually tell the baby’s gender.
A regular ultrasound is a 2-D ultrasound or sonogram. This allows us to see and hear the baby. We can also offer a 3-D ultrasound, which uses a variety of angles to build an image of your baby that looks more like a photograph. We also have the technology for a 4-D ultrasound, which shows your baby’s movements. You may have an image of your baby blinking or sucking a thumb.
Screening for Birth Defects
Your visits to the obstetrics office are also opportunities to screen the fetus for a variety of birth defects or health conditions. This ensures that your baby is growing safely and properly and allows us to address anything that might be a complication. During the first trimester, we will complete a test of your blood that shows us appropriate levels of pregnancy proteins that should be present in your blood if the baby’s chromosomes are normal.
During your first ultrasound, we will also check for any unusual fluid behind the baby’s neck. This can also indicate an issue with chromosomes or the baby’s heart.
There are a few more tests you can expect during the second trimester of pregnancy. We will run a blood test called a maternal serum screen. This test screens for chromosomal disorders like Down syndrome and other conditions by examining the levels of certain proteins in your blood. We will also run a fetal echocardiogram, which uses sound waved to listen for any unusual activity in the baby’s heart.
An anomaly ultrasound is run at about 18-20 weeks into your pregnancy. This will tell us the size of the baby and show us anything unusual about the baby’s development and growth.
If anything unusual shows up during the baby’s screenings, we’ll do a more in-depth ultrasound to get more information about what may be happening. It is called a Level II ultrasound and we can use it to see more details about the way the baby is developing. We can also look for clues that might indicate a genetic or chromosomal disorder.
Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS)
This test involves taking a closer look at the chorionic villus, a small piece of the placenta. We can use this to test the placenta for chromosomal abnormalities or signs of genetic disorders. Sometimes this test is recommended for high-risk pregnancies even if initial screenings don’t show anything unusual. It is typically done between weeks 10 and 12 in the pregnancy.
The amniocentesis is completed by studying a small amount of amniotic fluid that surrounds the baby. We can use this fluid to see the levels of certain proteins in the baby’s system. These proteins can indicate chromosomal and genetic issues as well as certain diseases like cystic fibrosis and Tay-Sachs disease. It is usually completed between weeks 15 and 18 of the pregnancy.
At your prenatal visits, we will talk to you about certain lifestyle guidelines you will want to follow while you are pregnant. These involve limiting or eliminating alcohol, avoiding smoking and recreational drugs, and avoiding certain over-the-counter medications. We will also talk to you about proper nutrition during pregnancy and foods to avoid.
Eating the right foods, and avoiding others, is one of the best ways you can keep your baby safe during pregnancy. Your baby depends on your for proper nutrition, and we can help you with an eating plan to make sure that you are both getting everything you need from the food you eat. You will want to avoid certain foods because of bacteria they can contain that can be harmful to the baby.
Preparing for Labor
Labor will be one of the most important experiences of your life, and being prepared will help you tremendously. We will give you advice about exercises and activities to keep your body healthy for labor. We will also talk to you about decisions you and your partner will need to make regarding the birth of your baby. These include the details like the type of environment where you give birth and whether you will want medication during labor. We will also talk to you about the possibility of a C-section or vaginal birth.
We will recommend classes that you and your partner can take to teach you breathing techniques and tips about how to help the birthing process go smoothly. Even if you have had a child before, you will want to refresh yourself. Each pregnancy is different, so it is useful to prepare for each one. You may also wish to take classes in newborn care.
Post Partum Care
Your final visits to our office will occur after the baby is born. We will check to make sure that your body is healing properly after the birth, whether you delivered vaginally or through a C-section. We will talk to you about newborn care and answer any questions you may have about your baby’s health and resources for subjects like breastfeeding or sleeping.
Postpartum depression is a serious condition that can occur after giving birth, and we will talk to you about the symptoms to look for. We will also help you find resources and treatment if you are experiencing postpartum depression in any form. There is no shame in feeling sad or angry after giving birth. It is normal, and we will be there to help you without judgment.
Visit Us Today
We want to offer you the benefit of our training, experience, and compassionate care as you go through this most important time in your life. If you believe that you are pregnant or would benefit from a prepregnancy consultation, please call us at Fleur Women’s Health in Rancho Mirage, CA, as soon as possible to schedule an appointment.