Prenatal care, or maternity care, is health care a woman receives throughout her pregnancy. It helps moms-to-be and their babies stay healthy and helps identify and deal with problems as soon as possible. The amount of maternity care you and your baby will need depends largely on your overall health, your goals and family history.
What amount of maternity care do I need?
If you are healthy and do not have any complicating risk factors, you will most likely see your OBGYN once every four weeks until your 28th week of pregnancy, and then once every other week between 29 and 36 weeks. After that, maternity care visits will continue once a week until delivery.
Alternatively, you may decide group-based prenatal care is a better fit for you and your family. OB Centering is a community approach to care that replaces traditional one-on-one prenatal appointments. You will come together with experienced midwives and other moms-to-be whose babies are due near the same time as yours. The proven benefits of OB Centering include decreased rate of preterm and low-weight babies, increased breastfeeding rates and lasting friendships among group members. If you have complicating risk factors however, OB Centering may not be right for you or your baby. Your OBGYN may recommend additional one-on-one prenatal visits to ensure your health and the health of your baby.
If you are having a high-risk pregnancy, talk to your OBGYN to find out how often you should attend prenatal checkups. Maternity care must be tailored for your unique needs and the unique needs of your baby.
Who is considered high-risk for pregnancy?
A high-risk pregnancy means a woman has one or more health issues that increase her (or her baby’s) risk for health problems or preterm delivery. A woman’s pregnancy might be considered high-risk if she meets any of the following criteria:
- Aged 17 or younger
- Aged 35 or older
- Underweight or overweight before becoming pregnant
- Carrying twins, triplets or other multiples
- Has high blood pressure, diabetes, depression or other health problems
- Had issues with prior pregnancy (e.g., preterm labor, genetic issues or birth defects)
At Adriatica Women’s Health, our board-certified physicians will provide the extra level of maternity care needed for high-risk pregnancies. We’re experienced doctors—and moms—and we’re proud to provide you with the advanced, compassionate obstetric care you need. Call 972-542-8884.