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In a normal pregnancy, the fertilized egg enters the uterus and settles into the uterine lining where it has plenty of room to divide and grow. If you suspect, or know, that you are pregnant, we hope you have already visited your doctor! Presuming that you have confirmed your suspicions and that this is your first child, or that you wish to take better care of yourself during pregnancy than you did during your other pregnancies; you have made a great choice! Our goal is to give you all the information you will need to care for your health and the health of your unborn child during your pregnancy.
To do that, we believe it is important for you to understand pregnancy, and what is happening to your body as your baby develops and nears term. Therefore, all the information we give you about taking care of yourself will be clarified with information about what is happening to your body and why it is important to follow the recommendations and advice of your doctor. First, and foremost, it is important to consult a doctor and to get on a schedule of visits and testing to accommodate every stage of your pregnancy.If you are healthy and expect a normal pregnancy, you have some options for health care during your pregnancy:
Obstetrician/Gynecologist (OB/GYN) – these doctors have a speciality in pregnancy and women’s health.
Family General Practitioner or Internist – doctors who provide standard medical care to all men and women and in some cases will provide obstetrical care. Although, malpractice insurance for this type of medical care has sharply increased, so in many cases, general practitioners (GPs) and internists no longer deliver babies, or treat women during the pregnancy term. So, many of these doctors will no longer care for a pregnant woman, but instead will refer you to an OB/GYN.
Nurse-Midwives – these health care professionals specialize in women's health and follow a pregnant mother through prenatal care, and labor and delivery.Nurse/Midwives need a doctor ‘on call’ for the delivery in case there is a problem during delivery. They also provide post partum care for normal pregnancies, referring women to an OB/GYN for complications or specific health related issues. Be sure your midwife is certified, and fully trained!When you visit your doctor for the first time, he/she will perform blood tests and a pelvic exam to confirm your pregnancy, and estimate a due date.