Prenatal Visits

If your chosen physician offers prenatal visits, you may choose to meet him/her before your baby is born. This meeting could be useful in learning more about our Memphis offices, getting to know your physician, and asking questions about newborn care.  We offer prenatal visits in any of our offices, including Collierville, Germantown, Bartlett, and Arlington. 

What is Prenatal Care?

Prenatal care is defined as checkups from a doctor, nurse, or midwife throughout your pregnancy. This can be done with your doctor or in some instances your growing baby’s pediatrician. If your chosen physician does prenatal visits, you may choose to meet him/her before your baby is born. 

In addition to prenatal care with your chosen pediatrician, it’s also important to attend prenatal visits with your obstetrician. 

Why Is Prenatal Care Important?

The main goal of prenatal care is to monitor your health and your baby as you progress through your pregnancy. These checkups can ensure your growing baby is hitting all of their growth milestones, and addressing any concerns that may arise. 

What Does Prenatal Care Involve?

Prenatal care is primarily used for ensuring your baby is meeting developmental markers, but it is also important for the following:

  • Collecting your medical history
  • Evaluating your lifestyle and recommending changes to better suit your changing body
  • Tracking your and your baby’s health
  • Provide counseling for nutrition
  • Prescribing medication or supplements
  • Perform screenings
  • Using ultrasounds to track your baby’s development

Every pregnancy and pregnant mother is unique, and our pediatricians recognize this. Your prenatal appointments will be determined by you and your baby’s specific needs and what your doctor deems important to focus on. 

Prenatal Appointments by Trimester

As soon as you believe you are pregnant, you should visit your doctor for your first appointment to confirm your pregnancy. After your pregnancy is confirmed, you will attend a series of appointments throughout your three trimesters.

First Trimester Prenatal Appointments

Your initial prenatal appointment should include an extensive health exam and testing that can ensure a healthy start to pregnancy. This appointment should include a confirmation of the pregnancy by pelvic exam and an estimated due date based on your last cycle or through an ultrasound. All women should be screened for HIV since this virus can be passed from you to your baby. If you test positive, your doctor can prescribe medication to reduce the chances of your baby being born HIV positive. Prenatal visits during the first trimester can also help to address unhealthy lifestyle habits that can negatively affect your pregnancy. 

Second Trimester Prenatal Appointments

Each prenatal appointment will consist of a weight check and blood pressure ready to monitor your pregnancy’s progress. In this frame of time, you should be able to hear your baby’s heartbeat as well as begin to feel their movement and kicking. A Doppler can also project the baby’s movements as sounds. In addition to checking your baby’s growth, your doctor should run routine lab tests as well as fetal ultrasounds. During this time in your pregnancy, pelvic exams will cease unless there is a concern. 

Third Trimester Appointments

In your last few months of pregnancy, prenatal visits are of utmost importance. Your doctor will not only want to monitor your baby’s final stages of development but also make sure you are on track for a healthy delivery. They may also request that you track your baby’s movements and call them immediately if they seem to be moving less than normal. Pelvic exams will resume so that your doctor can monitor your baby’s position and any changes to your cervix. Your baby’s head should begin to point downward toward the lower abdomen as your due date approaches. 

Things to Keep in Mind During the Third Trimester

The third trimester always seems like a mad dash to prepare for your coming baby, but there are a few things you should be aware of as you approach your due date. You may find that you’re becoming increasingly uncomfortable, less mobile, and begin to experience the following:

  • Swelling of the ankles, hands, and face due to retained fluids
  • Increase in leg cramps
  • Braxton-Hicks contractions, or false labor
  • Stretch marks on the stomach, thighs, and bottom area
  • Excess hair growth on arms, legs, and face due to increased hormone stimulation

What to Know About Newborn Care

We are so excited to meet your new baby! Pediatrics East offers 16 highly knowledgeable and qualified pediatricians, 5 locations in the Greater Memphis area, and appointments all 7 days a week. We have various resources available to you as you navigate parenthood, whether this is your first child or your fifth.

For New Parents

Prenatal Visits at Pediatrics East

Although Peds East does not offer thorough prenatal visits, we encourage you to find a healthcare provider that can guide and monitor you throughout your pregnancy. Some of our physicians do, however, offer prenatal visits to learn more about our offices, meet your physicians, and ask questions about newborn care. 

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