Pregnancy can be wonderful, beautiful, and stressful all at once. It can be complicated to navigate prenatal care and learn which tests are common prior to seeing a pregnancy doctor near you. To help learn what type of care expecting mothers usually receive at offices like Meridian Obstetrics and Gynecology, here are the answers to a few frequently asked questions about prenatal care:

What is prenatal care? Prenatal care is the medical checkups and screenings that ensure mother and child are healthy throughout the pregnancy. It includes educational and counseling sessions about the different stages of pregnancy, as well as discussions about various issues. These can include healthy eating, exercising, screenings that they recommend, and more.

What does the doctor check for during the first visit? When you visit Meridian or a pregnancy doctor near you, they will test for a few different things, including your blood type, infections such as common sexually transmitted infections, if you are anemic, and if you are immune to things such as German measles and chicken box.

What are the most common prenatal tests? There are dozens of tests that are performed for different reasons during pregnancy, but here are a few of the most common:

Gestational diabetes screening: a test that can determine if a patient is likely to have gestational diabetes. This is usually done between 24 and 28 weeks. If abnormal, additional testing will likely be done to confirm.

First or second trimester screening: this screening is performed to identify the risk of chromosomal disorders such as Down syndrome as well as spinal defects.

Biophysical profile (BPP): test that is used to monitor the baby’s overall health, taken during the third trimester.

Group B streptococcus: this test is performed between 36-37 weeks to look for bacteria that has the potential to cause pneumonia or other infections.

Why might a pregnancy doctor near you suggest a certain test? It varies a lot depending on you, your health, and your medical history. Be sure to ask questions during this time, and discuss what tests results mean, and the associated risks. Even if screenings come back abnormal, there is not necessarily any issues with the pregnancy or baby. Your doctor will explain what everything means, and possible steps for the future.
Once you make an appointment with a pregnancy doctor near you, a lot of your burning questions will be answered in detail. Make sure that during this process, you are communicating with your doctor, and that they are addressing your concerns.

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