Are you looking for Frequently Asked Questions about Prenatal Care?
Please visit our Prenatal Care FAQ page.
Welcome! We would like to congratulate you on the new addition to your family and thank you for allowing us to participate in your care. We’ve prepared this document to help you understand what lies ahead.
Until 28 weeks of pregnancy (about 7 months), most healthy women will be seen in the office every 4-5 weeks. These visits are important, and we recommend that you keep them. After 28 weeks, we will meet with you more frequently, so that by the last month of pregnancy (37-42 weeks), we will be seeing you weekly. If problems or questions arise between visits, you can schedule an appointment with us at your convenience. In the event of a medical emergency, you can reach us at any time by calling the number you use to schedule appointments (our office number) or directly through the on-call answering service. The direct line to the answering service is 516-692-3738.
At your first visit, we will perform all relevant blood work and specific genetic testing, in addition to performing a Pap smear and screening for certain sexually transmitted infections. You will also receive an informational packet–which will help you to prepare for the remainder of your pregnancy–as well as a prescription for prenatal vitamins and calcium/vitamin D, if needed.
Sonograms will be performed early in pregnancy in order to confirm your due date and the status of your pregnancy. Sonograms before 12 weeks of pregnancy are performed internally, using a vaginal probe; the process is not painful and not harmful to the baby. Around 12 weeks, you will have a “Nuchal Translucency” or “NT” test, which screens for genetic problems like Down Syndrome. The NT test is special kind of internal sonogram, which is interpreted together with a sample of your blood, obtained by fingerstick. Other genetic tests may be offered or recommended; please be sure to discuss any relevant family history with us during early pregnancy.
By 15 weeks, we can usually hear the baby’s heart beat using a special device. We will be checking the baby’s heart rate in subsequent visits. If you would like your partner or children to hear the baby, feel free to bring them along to your scheduled visit.
At 16-18 weeks of pregnancy, we will offer you the option for further genetic testing which may be obtained through bloodwork, or if necessary, by amniocentesis (collection of fluid from inside the womb). These blood tests are used to screen for defects of the baby’s spine (spina bifida) and genetic problems like Down syndrome. We will counsel you about these tests during early pregnancy.
A sonogram is usually performed at 20-22 weeks to check your baby’s development. This sonogram is called a “level II” or “anatomy sonogram” and is performed both externally (over your belly) and internally. These sonograms may be performed by specialized providers either in our office or at another facility. At 24-28 weeks, many women will have a glucose tolerance test, or GTT. This test helps us to screen for gestational diabetes, and consists of fasting overnight and a simple blood test performed in the morning while fasting and 1 & 2 hours after drinking a sugary solution. In addition we will be informing you about cord blood and tissue storage options.
At approximately 30 weeks, you will be having a follow-up sonogram to assess how the baby is growing.
From 30 weeks until delivery, most new mothers find it helpful to enroll in hospital tours and childbirth education classes at the Long Island Jewish/Katz Women’s Hospital. Classes on newborn CPR and breastfeeding are also available. You can register for these classes online or call 1-855-824-BABY (824-2229) for more information.
After 35 weeks we will begin performing internal exams at your visits. In addition, we will spend some time during your visit discussing labor and delivery. Blood work and a vaginal culture will also be performed in preparation for labor. If you’d like to arm yourself with more information, you can read about signs of labor and the labor process.
At approximately 37 weeks a sonogram will be performed to estimate the baby’s weight and ensure that he or she is positioned properly.
If you reach 40 weeks or your “due date” and have not delivered, don’t panic: The due date is just an estimate. About 15% of pregnant women are still pregnant on their due date. We will follow you closely if you go past your due date. If you reach one week past your due date, we usually start discussing planning your delivery by inducing labor.
Most women have a lot of questions during pregnancy. Writing down your questions and bringing them to your visits will help you to remember them. We look forward to making this pregnancy a happy and healthy experience for you, your family, and your expectant baby.
May We Help You?
Would you like to find out more about our treatments and services? Are you looking for a second opinion on a diagnosis or treatment recommendation you received at another practice? The experienced team at The Woman’s Health Pavilion is happy to help. Just let us know how and when you’d like to hear from us.