What is Obstetrics?
Obstetrics is the field of medicine in which the primary focus is on preconception, pregnancy, and postpartum care. Your obstetrician follows the development of your fetus and helps you plan your delivery. They are available to answer questions regarding your pregnancy and delivery and also perform various screenings at certain times.
Northwest Women’s Center is a leading obstetrics and gynecology practice in Houston, TX. Our team of experienced physicians and nurses provides comprehensive care, including the ongoing obstetrics care you need during your pregnancy. Contact us at 281-444-3440 for your appointment today.
What is the difference Between Obstetrics and Gynecology?
While your gynecologist is a specialist who provides services that pertain to your reproductive health, it is an obstetrician who will see you through your prenatal, pregnancy, and postpartum time.
Should I Make an Obstetrics Appointment if I'm Trying to Become Pregnant?
Generally, it is recommended that an appointment is made with a healthcare provider before pregnancy occurs. You may choose to see your primary care physician, your gynecologist, or an OBGYN (obstetrician-gynecologist). A preconception appointment can be extremely informative. During this visit, you receive medically-accurate information from a physician whom you can trust. The benefit of seeing an OBGYN for your preconception visit is that you will consult directly with the type of doctor who specializes solely in pregnancy and childbirth. This means that you can feel confident that your doctor will bring up the important topics that deserve discussion before you become pregnant, such as how to assess your fertility and how to plan your healthiest pregnancy based on your personal medical history. Talking to a doctor before you become pregnant may enable you to enter into your pregnancy feeling more empowered and peaceful about the journey ahead. This peace of mind can stem from getting insight into anything you don't fully understand or about which you would like to know more.
What Should I Expect During My Regularly Scheduled Obstetrics Visits?
When you begin to receive obstetrics care, you can expect to see your doctor quite a lot! Generally, starting at week eight or 10 of pregnancy, you will attend monthly visits with your obstetrician. Beginning around week 28, your visits will increase to twice a month. After week 36, your obstetrician will see you weekly. At various times in between these routine visits, you may have others depending on your health and the health of your pregnancy. The purpose of each prenatal visit is to observe your baby's development. You may have a urine test at each visit. Your weight is checked, as well as your blood pressure, and the doctor will listen to your baby's heartbeat. They will measure your belly and discuss how you are progressing. Your doctor will also take time to answer any questions or concerns you have and to discuss any upcoming screenings you need to schedule.
What Nutritional Considerations Will I Have While Pregnant?
During your pregnancy, your body may need additional calories to support proper fetal development. Your doctor will discuss the number of calories that may be ideal for you based on your medical history and current health. Generally, pregnant women are encouraged to maintain a healthy, well-balanced diet that is low in salt and sugar and high in lean protein, healthy fat like nuts and avocado, and lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. A nutrient-rich diet may be supplemented with specific vitamins and minerals, as well, such as folic acid, to optimize vital tissue formation throughout pregnancy. The consumption of sugar is especially important to limit during pregnancy due to the risk of gestational diabetes and the adverse effects that elevated blood sugar can have on both mother and baby. Finally, it is imperative that you stay adequately hydrated during your pregnancy. Your doctor may encourage you to consume more than the average 64 ounces a day, sipped over the course of several hours.
Should I Be Taking Prenatal Vitamins?
If you are currently trying to get pregnant, you may start taking prenatal vitamins. These are intended to keep you and your baby healthy throughout your pregnancy. Some of the common nutrients that are encouraged during pregnancy include:
- Folic acid, which aids in neurological development.
- Calcium and vitamin D, which support fetal bone development.
- Iron, which supports your additional blood volume during pregnancy and helps maintain the baby's oxygen supply.
- Vitamin A, which supports eye development.