You probably have a lot of questions:
1. What will happen at my first visit?
At your first appointment, a comprehensive history and physical exam will be done, including a pap smear and cervical culture. Your doctor may do an early office ultrasound to establish your due date. You will get prenatal lab work drawn. Your doctor may order other tests based upon your individual history
2. When will I have an ultrasound?
An ultrasound is done between 18 - 20 weeks to confirm your due date, ensure your baby is growing properly, and to screen your baby for birth defects. Most of the time, the technician can tell you if your baby is a boy or a girl. Other ultrasounds may be done before or after 18 weeks if medically necessary.
3. Other than an ultrasound, what tests will you do to see if my baby is normal?
Testing for birth defects is optional and does not identify all babies with an abnormality. There are non-invasive screening tests which are usually recommended for low risk women under 35 (First trimester screen and quadruple marker screen) and invasive tests (CVS and amniocentesis) which are usually offered to women over 35 who are at a greater risk of having a baby with a chromosomal abnormality. Cystic fibrosis carrier testing is also available. For detailed information on your testing options, please refer to the ACOG pamphlets Screening for Birth Defects and Diagnosing Birth Defects.
4. Will my doctor deliver my baby?
While our doctors strive to deliver as many of their own patients as possible, you may be delivered by any one of our five doctors, who are all women. We make an effort to ensure you have an opportunity to meet all 5 doctors during your prenatal care. Regardless of which doctor is there for your labor, your baby will be delivered by a board-certified obstetrician. On average, our doctors deliver 80% of their own patients.
5. I had a cesarean section with my first baby and want to try to deliver vaginally (VBAC). Do any of the doctors do VBAC?
All of the doctors at BWH offer VBAC to appropriate candidates. For more information on VBAC please refer to the ACOG pamphlet Vaginal Birth After Cesarean Delivery.
6. What is your Cesarean Section rate?
If it is appropriate for you to have a vaginal delivery and you have not had a prior cesarean section, you have a 90% chance that you will deliver vaginally. Some reasons that a woman may not be good candidate for a vaginal delivery are placenta previa, breech lie, previous cesarean section, and a twin gestation with an abnormal lie.
7. What other test will be done during my pregnancy?
At 26 - 29 weeks you will have a glucose screen to test for gestational diabetes and a blood count to test for anemia. For information on gestational diabetes, refer to the ACOG brochure Diabetes and Pregnancy. Between 35 - 37 weeks a vaginal/rectal culture will be done to screen for Group B Streptococcus (GBS). To learn about GBS, please refer to the ACOG pamphlet Group B Streptococcus and Pregnancy.
Of course, your doctor will be happy to discuss these or any other concerns you have during your first visit. As questions arise during your pregnancy, we encourage you to refer to our site Common Questions, as well as the Legacy Health's guide to Maternity, Childbirth & Gynecology.