Obstetric Care at VPFW

Pregnancy can be an exciting time, but we also know it comes with its share of changes to your body. We’re here to help you navigate through them.

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Pregnancy & Prenatal Care

Pregnancy can be an exciting time for any woman, but this stage of life does come with its share of changes to your body. It’s important for you to get high-quality prenatal care during this time of your life. Here are some brief explanations of symptoms and what you can expect.

Early Pregnancy

Most women learn they are pregnant due to the absence of their period. They may also notice breast changes, fatigue, nausea, and mood swings. A pregnancy test is a good way to confirm that you are pregnant. A normal pregnancy lasts for 40 weeks, counting from the first day of your last period, and is broken up into three trimesters.

First Trimester

The first trimester includes week 1-12 of your pregnancy. This is when you should begin prenatal care with a provider you trust. Every woman is different, so the symptoms can vary widely. Even women who have been pregnant before may have very different symptoms for the next pregnancies. During your first trimester, your body is going through a lot of changes that may cause discomfort, but many of these symptoms will dissipate as you get closer to delivery. Pregnancy symptoms during the first trimester may include the following:

  • Fatigue
  • Sore, swollen breasts
  • Nausea, also known as morning sickness
  • Constipation
  • Frequent urination
  • Headaches
  • Mood swings
  • Abdominal cramping

You should call your physician if you experience cramps that are accompanied by vaginal bleeding, have cramps on one side of the abdomen only, have heavy bleeding, pass solid material, or are unable to keep liquids down due to vomiting.

Second Trimester

For most women, many of the symptoms during their first trimester improve during the second trimester. However, other changes will progress during this time, including starting to show and starting to feel your baby move. Pregnancy symptoms during the second trimester may include the following:

  • Body aches in your back, stomach, legs, or other area
  • Swelling in your ankles, hands, face, or other area
  • Congestion
  • Darkening of skin around your nipples
  • Stretch marks
  • Heartburn
  • Dizziness
  • Frequent urination
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Irregular contractions
  • Fetal movement
  • Itching on abdomen, feet, and hands

You should call your physician if you experience cramps that are accompanied by vaginal bleeding, have cramps on one side of the abdomen only, have heavy bleeding, pass solid material, or are unable to keep liquids down due to vomiting. Also call if you have itching associated with nausea, vomiting, jaundice, or fatigue and if you have sudden or extreme swelling.

Third Trimester

The third trimester, which starts at 28 weeks, is the home stretch. This is particularly exciting but also means that you are your biggest, which puts more pressure on your organs and can cause different symptoms. Pregnancy symptoms during the third trimester may include the following:

  • Backaches
  • Shortness of breath
  • Heartburn
  • Frequent urination
  • Spider veins and/or hemorrhoids
  • Contractions
  • Water breaking

Prenatal Care

Throughout your pregnancy, you’ll work with your obstetrician to make sure both mom and baby are healthy. You’ll undergo routine tests to check for infections, anemia, conditions such as gestational diabetes, cystic fibrosis, chromosomal abnormalities, and other conditions and factors that may contribute to you and your baby’s health. Your prenatal care will also include having ultrasounds, getting to listen to your baby’s heartbeat, and even finding out if it is a girl or a boy!

In addition to tests and exams, you’ll also partner with your physician to discuss nutrition dos and don’ts, discuss mental health, and get advice on what to expect during labor and delivery. It is also important to spend some time planning on where you will deliver and making sure that all necessary paperwork is complete.