Families beginning prenatal care with us will have an opportunity to become familiar with our staff of nurse-midwives and physicians during 11-14 routine visits during your 40 weeks of pregnancy. Your appointments will rotate between those who will be supporting you through labor and birth. Most blood draws and ultrasounds are conveniently offered in our office. Below is a sample schedule of the prenatal care we offer.
8 weeks (from last menstrual period)
This hour long visit allows time for us to hear your vision for your pregnancy and birth, review your health history, perform a physical exam and, if desired, an ultrasound. Options for genetic testing will be discussed and conveniently collected in our office.
During each of your “routine visits” your midwives monitor your physical and emotional wellbeing as well as provide guidance for health promotion. Your baby’s heartbeat is now strong enough to be heard with a hand help Doppler at each appointment. First Screen Genetic testing may be done in our office if desired.
QUAD genetic testing is offered
An ultrasound is done to assess the anatomical well being of your baby and the location of the placenta. The gender of your baby is usually visible during this visit.
Routine Visit with blood draw to assess for anemia, gestational diabetes and in accordance with Texas law, repeat the HIV test in the third trimester.
Routine Visit with Group Beta Strep (GBS) testing. The vagina and anus are swabbed to determine if you are a carrier of group beta strep. If your body is colonized with this bacteria, IV antibiotics are recommended for labor and are administered while at the birth center.
If you are still pregnant, an ultrasound and fetal monitoring will be done to assess the health of the placenta. Your cervix may be assessed for dilation.
41 ½ weeks
The majority of women go in to labor on their own by 41 weeks gestation. If your baby is requiring a bit more patience from you, another ultrasound and fetal monitoring are done and natural methods for encouraging labor are discussed. It is our responsibility to help develop a safe plan for induction at the hospital at 42 weeks. The induction can easily be canceled if labor starts on its own.
If time and natural induction methods have not been successful, your birth team will assist you with an induction at St. David’s North Austin Medical Center. Inductions are not one-size-fits-all, but are catered to the individual with medicated and non-medicated options at each stage. If medication is necessary, their safe use requires continual monitoring of contractions and the baby’s heart beat (and this method is not available outside of the hospital).