prenatal care in my area

pregnancy carePrenatal Care

If you just found out you’re pregnant, we would like to offer our sincerest congratulations! We know how much of a whirlwind this time of life is and we are here to help you get your feet back on the ground. At Creekside Center for Women, we focus on making those first steps, and every step along the way, simple and informed. Prenatal Care is incredibly important and we will be with you throughout this exciting time in your life.

First appointment

After you find out you are pregnant, your first prenatal visit will be scheduled for 8 weeks into your pregnancy. During this first visit you will meet with a dedicated prenatal nurse.

First Prenatal Visit: You can expect your nurse to:

Ask about your health history including diseases, operations, or prior pregnancies
Ask about your family’s health history
Check your blood pressure, height, and weight
Calculate your due date
Take your blood and urine for lab-work
Answer your questions
Select your pregnancy provider
At the first visit, plan to spend at least an hour and make sure to ask questions and discuss any issues related to your pregnancy. Find out all you can about how to keep you and your growing baby healthy. It helps to come prepared with questions about how your lifestyle will change during and after pregnancy. If this is not your first pregnancy, and you had problems in a previous pregnancy, it’s important that you discuss with your doctor. Together you can plan out whether any special precautions should be taken.

You will also have some routine tests. Some tests are suggested for all women, such as blood work to check for anemia, your blood type, HIV, and other factors. Other tests might be offered based on your age, personal or family health history, your ethnic background, or the results of routine tests you have had.

Second appointment

Your next appointment will be at 12 weeks. During this appointment you will meet with your chosen pregnancy provider and can even hear the heart tones of your baby.

Second Prenatal Visit: You can expect your doctor to: 

Perform a complete physical exam. This includes a pelvic exam and pap test
Review medical and family history
Check your blood pressure, height, and weight
Calculate your due date
Answer remaining questions


Early monitoring

Early monitoring and on-going care during pregnancy is vital for a peaceful birthing experience. Before and during pregnancy, you’ll meet with your doctor to maintain your physical and mental wellbeing. These checkups help to prevent preterm delivery, anticipate difficulties and complications at delivery, and assist you and your partner in preparation for parenting.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, experts suggest you see your doctor: 

1x/month: 4-28 weeks gestation
2x/month: 28-36 weeks gestation


Weekly: 36 weeks gestation till birth

If you are older than 35 or if your pregnancy is high risk, your doctor will more than likely suggest frequent visits. While most women in their late 30s and early 40s have healthy babies, health risks do go up for women who become pregnant later in life.


Monthly Prenatal Visits: Going forward, prenatal visits will most likely be shorter since most of your information has already been collected. Your doctor will check on your health and make sure the baby is growing healthy and as expected.  Most prenatal visits will include measuring your weight, checking your blood pressure and checking the baby’s heart rate.

Full-term Visits: Around 36-38 weeks, your doctor will work with you to anticipate any problems. The doctor will check for the position of the baby to see if a C-section is necessary. With your preferred birthing routine set, you will also finalize the place for the delivery. This is also a good time to clear up any discussions and questions between you and your caregiver.

Prenatal Care


Your baby is growing quickly and changing every day. It’s both breathtaking and important to know what stage of growth your baby is in during each month.

First Trimester:

During your first trimester, your body will notice many changes. It is important to know what is normal for pregnancy during this time and what is not. Early in the pregnancy, light spotting is common however, if you have significant bleeding, or sharp pain in your abdomen, call your doctor. These could be signs of a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy. Sore breasts are one of the earliest signs of pregnancy and are triggered by hormonal changes preparing your body to nurse. As your body works hard to support a growing fetus, it is important that you rest when you need to throughout the day. While your body might start craving food you don’t usually eat, make sure you are still giving your body its proper nutrients to support you and your baby. Heartburn and nausea are also very common pregnancy symptoms during this time.

Month 1: After 4 weeks, a home pregnancy test would show as positive. Your baby is developing the structures that will eventually form the face and neck. The heart and blood vessels continue to grow as the lungs, stomach, and liver start to develop.

Month 2: Between the first and second month, your baby’s heart will begin to beat as your baby now measures a little over half an inch in size. As eyelids and ears are forming, you begin to see the tip of the nose. At this point the arms and legs are well formed and digits such as fingers and toes grow longer and more distinct.

Month 3: At this time, your baby is now 2 inches and will start to move in the womb. Some women start to feel movement at the top of their uterus.

first trimester of pregnancy
second trimester of pregnancy

Second Trimester:

For many women, the second trimester is the least difficult three months during the pregnancy. During the second trimester, your baby is growing quickly and your energy will be restored. Between your 18th and 22nd week of pregnancy you’ll have an ultrasound where you can check on the health and even learn the sex of your baby. Other common symptoms during this time include headache, backache, breast enlargement/tenderness, constipation, discharge, hemorrhoids, skin changes, hair growth, spider veins and weight gain.

Month 4: Your baby now measures a little bigger than 4 inches and weighs about 3.5 ounces. The baby’s eyes can blink and the heart and blood vessels are fully formed. The smaller details are falling into place as your baby’s fingers and toes develop fingerprints.

Month 5: Your baby should weigh about 10 ounces and is a little more than 6 inches long. Here is where your baby starts to show personality. At the fifth month of pregnancy, your baby can suck their thumb, yawn, stretch and make faces. When you hit the 20-week mark, your caregiver will typically call you back in for an ultrasound. Your doctor will then make sure that the placenta is attached normally and that your baby is healthy and growing properly. Now, this is the really exciting part. At 20 weeks, your doctor can usually find out the sex of your baby!

Month 6: The baby should weigh about 1.4 pounds at this point. Your baby will also start to respond to sounds by moving around in the womb or showing an increase in his pulse.

Third Trimester:

Your third trimester is where you will see rapid growth of your baby and you could even start to feel mild contractions, which are just warm-ups to prepare your uterus for the real labor to come. These contractions are known as Braxton Hicks contractions. Other common symptoms during this time includes shortness of breath, swelling, and continued weight gain.

Month 7: The baby weighs about 2.6 pounds and changes position often. At month 7, there is a good chance that a premature baby would survive. Ask your doctor about preterm labor warning signs.

Month 8: The baby weighs almost 4 pounds and is moving around often. The baby’s fat starts to form under the skin helping with weight gain. Between now and delivery, your baby will gain up to half his birth weight. Most women go to the doctor every two weeks at this stage of pregnancy.

Month 9: Babies differ in size and every pregnancy is different and unique to the individual experiencing it. Your baby’s size could change depending on many factors, such as gender, the number of babies being carried, and size of the parents. On average, a baby at this stage is nearing 18.5 inches and weighs close to 6 pounds. As your baby’s brain develops rapidly, their lungs near being fully developed and their head usually positions down into the pelvis to prepare for birth. A baby is considered at ‘term’ when he is 37 weeks. Early term babies include those born between 37-39 weeks, at term babies include those born at 39-40 weeks and late term includes any children born after that time.

third trimester of pregnancy

Diet During Pregnancy

diet while pregnant


All pregnant women should be very careful with everything they choose to put in their body. While most women know that drugs and alcohol are a very serious mistake during pregnancy, not as many women know that even medicines should be reviewed and approved by a doctor. Whether prescribed or over-the-counter, all medicine needs to be discussed with your caregiver.


During pregnancy, it is important to make sure you and your baby are receiving proper amounts of vitamins and minerals. Folic acid is a primary ingredient in most prenatal vitamins. A caregiver can suggest which prenatal vitamin is right for you so that you can make sure you are getting enough folic acid.


Your diet during this time is a crucial factor in maintaining a healthy pregnancy. Remember to keep a variety of food groups in your diet to ensure proper nutrition for you and your baby. Folic acid can be found in leafy greens, citrus fruits, bread and beans. Meat and other sources of protein like eggs and poultry provide B vitamins and iron needed during pregnancy. Protein become increasingly important as your baby develops, especially in the second and third trimesters.

Related Blog Posts

Maternal Mortality – How You Can Protect Yourself

Let’s start with the good news: Infant mortality has reached an all-time low. While this is cause for celebration, a recent analysis by the CDC found that mothers in the United States have a higher rate of dying after giving birth than many other developed countries....

read more

Before Pregnancy: 11 Important Ways to Prepare

What can you do to be ready for your little one? Take care of you! Before you even begin trying to conceive, you can take important steps to prepare your body and your life for a new baby. Planning for Pregnancy 1. Eat Right: Months before you begin eating for two,...

read more

Curious About How a Hospital-Based Midwife Works?

If you are curious about how a hospital-based midwife works, we recommend that you read a great article from the American College of Nurse-Midwives about how certified nurse-midwives care for patients. Following is an excerpt from the article: "When three midwives...

read more

10 Tips on What to Expect Before Your First Mammogram

Mammograms are able to detect early signs of breast cancers, catching the cancer when it’s more treatable. Many doctors recommend that women begin mammograms at age 40 and have a mammogram every single year. According to the American College of Radiology, there’s a...

read more

What is an Ectopic Pregnancy?

An ectopic pregnancy occurs outside the womb, often in one of the fallopian tubes. To become pregnant, the ovaries release an egg into the fallopian tube on the fourteenth day of a woman’s menstrual cycle. If sperm fertilizes the egg, the egg travels from the...

read more

Could My Pregnancy Test Be Wrong? Six Reasons Why

Home pregnancy tests are 99% accurate. However, even the most reliable test can give the wrong result when some other factors interfere with it. If you’ve taken a pregnancy test and are confused, read about six reasons why the pregnancy test may have been incorrect....

read more

Hepatitis C Infections Double in Pregnant Women

Doctors have noticed an increase in Hepatitis-C infections in pregnant women, according to a study from Vanderbilt University Medical Center. In five years, from 2009-2014, the number of Hepatitis-C infections in pregnant women has almost doubled. Researchers say it’s...

read more

If I live in the U.S. should I be concerned about Zika?

Although it’s not been featured recently in the news, Zika is still a concern for women in the U.S. and U.S. Territories. A recent report stated that 10% of women in the U.S. with Zika infections gave birth to a baby with virus-related birth defects. In the U.S., from...

read more

How can your blood’s Rh factor affect your pregnancy?

While healthcare providers try to screen and treat as many women as they can, 5,000 babies develop Rh disease in the U.S. every year. What do you need to know? The majority of women are Rh (Rhesus) positive—85% of Caucasian women, 90% of African-American women, and...

read more

Can I Breastfeed When I’m Sick?

Many new moms ask if they can breastfeed when they are not feeling well. Good news! Even if you’re feeling crummy, in most situations, you can continue breastfeeding when you are sick. Why is it safe to continue breastfeeding when I’m sick? If you have a standard...

read more