Overview

Prenatal Care

Mother holding newborn babyPrenatal care is important for both you and the health of your unborn baby. If you're considering getting pregnant, your Northwestern Medicine OB/GYN physician can provide a preconception exam to assess your total health, find and manage risks that could complicate pregnancy, help you adopt a healthy lifestyle and add vitamins critical for a baby’s development.

Appointments with your physician are essential; these visits are an ideal time to ask questions and ensure you’re well prepared for and confident about the journey ahead. After your initial visit, your appointments may be scheduled once a month, then more frequently as you approach your due date.

A complete medical history and physical exam may be performed to determine your current state of health as well as a pelvic (vaginal) exam to confirm your pregnancy and to estimate the size of your pelvis. Blood tests may be done to confirm your pregnancy, determine your blood type and Rh factor, and test for anemia (to see if you need more iron) and infection.

Your blood may also be tested for immunity to German measles, for gestational diabetes and for HIV. Your physician will discuss other topics, such as nutrition, exercise, work and travel. Remember that pregnancy is usually a healthy time in a woman’s life. If a concern arises, speak with your physician.

If you have certain risk factors for genetic disorders, you’ll have access to leading-edge genetic counseling. Board-certified genetic counselors help you learn about inherited disorders, identify your risks and guide you through a personalized plan for your pregnancy.


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