Katy, TX doctor explains why obstetric care is important for a healthy mother and baby
Obstetrics is a medical specialty that focuses on the care of pregnant women, the health of the unborn baby, labor, and delivery, and care immediately following childbirth. Obstetric care is vital to help ensure labor and delivery without complications and in the case, that intervention is needed, that care is administered swiftly and safely. At Jenkins Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Medicine in Katy, TX, our staff can provide care to help women with their obstetrics needs.
When should you seek obstetric care?
While most women know when they need to see the gynecologist for well-woman check-ups, it’s not always known when to start seeking obstetric care. The field of Obstetrics deals with medical care for an expectant mother (otherwise known as prenatal care). However, it’s best to have your first visit with the obstetrician before you conceive. An Obstetrician can help you manage your health in preparation for pregnancy and continue that care throughout your pregnancy and delivery.
What is involved with obstetric care?
During a healthy pregnancy, you can expect to see your Obstetrician every four weeks through the 28th week of pregnancy, every two weeks until 36 weeks of pregnancy, and then once a week until delivery. During your prenatal check-ups, we will take and log your weight and blood pressure. Starting at around 22 weeks, we begin measuring the size and shape of the uterus to monitor the growth of the fetus and check for normal development. Urine samples may also be taken during certain visits to check for sugar and protein.
Gestational Diabetes Testing
Women who are at a high risk of developing gestational diabetes will receive a glucose screening around 12 weeks. This includes women with a family history of diabetes, women who are obese, or women who have had a baby that was above 9 lbs. at birth.
For everyone else, gestational diabetes screenings are done between weeks 24 and 28. During the gestational diabetes screening, you will be given a sugary beverage to drink and will be asked to wait for one hour before having blood drawn for a blood glucose test. If the results should show elevated sugar levels, further testing will be recommended to confirm the presence of gestational diabetes.
If you are diagnosed with gestational diabetes, part of your obstetrics care will be learning to manage the condition. This can include modifications to your diet, a plan for exercise, and potentially daily testing and medication.
Other pregnancy concerns
During your routine obstetric visits, you will also be monitored for other conditions such as pre-eclampsia and Rh incompatibility. While both conditions are serious, with proper prenatal care they can be managed successfully.
- Pre-eclampsia – A condition resulting in high blood pressure, swelling of the hands, feet, or face, and protein in the urine.
- Rh incompatibility – Individuals who don’t have Rh factor in the blood are considered Rh-negative. If you test Rh-negative and your baby is Rh-positive, there can be medical problems with the child’s blood cells entering your bloodstream.
Diet and weight gain
Proper nutrition and appropriate weight gain are an important part of a healthy pregnancy. On average, a woman who is healthy should gain about 25-35 lbs. during pregnancy, a woman who is overweight should gain about 15 – 25 lbs., and a woman who is underweight should gain about 25-40 lbs.
During your prenatal visits, your doctor will monitor your weight gain and discuss any concerns with you. While it’s advised to try and avoid gaining a lot of weight early in pregnancy, not gaining enough weight can also be a concern.
If you have questions about proper nutrition, additional calories, or vitamin intake, you can discuss them with your doctor during your visits.
Why obstetrics care is important for pregnant women in Katy, TX
When it comes to taking care of yourself during pregnancy, it’s important to stay consistent with your health care. By maintaining regular visits with your Obstetrician, you can be monitored for any health concerns, ask any questions you have about pregnancy or deliver, and ensure that you and your unborn baby are receiving the best care possible. Pregnancy is a wonderful, exciting, and often stressful time. Regular obstetric care can help minimize anxiety and support your pregnancy for a healthy mother and baby. To schedule a consultation, contact Jenkins Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Medicine in Katy, TX at 281-347-2600.