Pregnancy is exciting, but it can be overwhelming. Even with today’s medical advances, you still worry about whether your baby will be healthy, and whether your delivery will be “uneventful” (that’s a good thing!).
Prenatal care helps alleviate the stresses of pregnancy by ensuring that both you and your baby get what you need to minimize the risk of complications or birth defects. Prenatal visits may include:
- Physical exam
- Blood tests
- Urine tests
At Florida Woman Care of Jacksonville, our expert OB/GYNs Daniel McDyer, MD, FACOG, and Julian Stephen Suhrer, MD understand that each pregnancy is unique. Even if you’ve given birth before, you may have questions about your new pregnancy. We’re happy to answer all of them at our two offices in Jacksonville, Florida.
In the meantime, here are a few questions that you may want to ask at your next prenatal visit. Even though we’ve provided general answers here, please ask us follow-up questions or bring us concerns that we haven’t addressed.
How often do I come for my prenatal exams?
Your prenantal examinations are essential to your and your baby’s health. We monitor your pregnancy with exams, tests, and ultrasound to be sure your baby hits all of their milestones. We also keep tabs on your blood sugar and other signs of health to be sure you’re not at risk for gestational diabetes or other complications of pregnancy.
You come to our office more often as your delivery date approaches. If you have a normal pregnancy, you see us:
- Every 4-6 weeks until week 32
- Every 2-3 weeks from weeks 32-37
- Every week after week 37 until delivery
However, if you’re in a high-risk category because you’re older or have medical conditions, you may need to see us more frequently. We can also schedule specialized visits to test your baby for chromosomal or genetic abnormalities.
What should I eat?
Although you’re eating for two, pregnancy does not give you a greenlight to indulge in your favorite junk foods. In fact, it’s more important than ever to stick to a healthy diet filled with fresh, whole foods. Also stay hydrated with water, green tea, and other healthy drinks.
Focus on leafy greens, cooked vegetables, and low-glycemic fruits. Avoid junk food, processed foods, sugar, and trans fats. If you drink caffeine, let us know so that we can advise you about what amount is safe for you and your baby.
Also be sure to take the prenantal vitamins that we prescribed you daily. Your prenatal vitamin should contain 400 mcg of folic acid to minimize the risk of your baby developing neural tube defects that could lead to serious conditions, such as spina bifida.
How much weight should I gain?
How much weight you should gain throughout your pregnancy depends on your current weight and frame. We give you guidance throughout your prenatal care. As a general rule, however, follow these suggestions if you’re:
- Overweight — gain just 10 to 25 pounds throughout pregnancy
- Healthy weight — gain 25-35 pounds
- Underweight — gain 28-40 pounds
If you’re carrying multiples, of course, you need to gain more. Women of normal weight who are carrying twins should gain 37 to 54 pounds.
Should I continue to exercise?
In most cases, it’s important to exercise throughout your pregnancy. However, be sure to ask us if it’s appropriate in your case.
Cardiovascular exercise, resistance training, and stretching all help keep your body strong. Keeping active also minimizes the risk of back pain. However, avoid stressful or potentially dangerous activities, such as:
- Impact sports
- Horseback riding
- Scuba diving
- Hot yoga
- Hot pilates
If you're not sure if your current regimen is safe, or appropriate for all three trimesters, check with us. If you’ve never exercised before, let us know so that we can devise a realistic, safe, and fun regimen for you.
What are my delivery options?
You may dream of natural childbirth. Or you want a cesarean so you can skip the worst parts of delivery.
However, all delivery options may not be available to you. Depending on your health and your baby’s health, we may need to deliver by cesarean even if you prefer vaginal delivery. Conversely, we may advise vaginal birth even though you’d envisioned a C-section.
We discuss what delivery method is right for you during your prenatal visits. Our recommendations may change as you get closer to your delivery date.
Book your next prenatal visit by contacting our supportive team today. Call our Jacksonville, Florida, location nearest you or use our online appointment form.