Friday, September 7, 2012
With all that is going on in the healthcare industry I decided to have a guest post written for me. There is nothing more important then taking care of yourself during the time you are pregnant. If you can't afford medical care the author has several suggestions at the end of this post.
It is important to monitor your pregnancy to ensure that you and your baby remain healthy through each trimester until birth and after. Prenatal care can be carried out by either an Obstetrician, a midwife, a family physician or by joining group prenatal care.
Prenatal care during the 1st Trimester (1st – 13th week)
It is recommended to schedule your first appointment as soon as you think you are pregnant. There is a lot to discuss during your first visit and you might want to take your partner with you.
The main objectives of the first visit are to cover you medical history. You need to be honest and discuss any thing that might be of concern in terms of health or medication whether prescribed or not, domestic abuse of use of any drugs at all.
Be sure that if there is any sensitive information you want to share only with your healthcare provider, you can do so in private.
The main objectives of the first visit are to calculate the Due Date, to have a Physical exam and also to run some Lab tests that involve checking your blood type, measuring your hemoglobin, checking your immunity to certain infections and detecting exposure to other infections.
Lifestyle issues are also discussed as you need to be able to find solutions if you smoke or drink alcohol.
Towards the end of trimester you might want to opt for a DNA test that can determine any abnormalities of the fetus. This test normally is carried out by one of two procedures called amniocentesis or Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS). Which procedure is used depends on which month of pregnancy you are in. You might also want to consider the new non-invasive procedure done via a simple blood draw of the mother’s blood.
Prenatal care during the 2nd Trimester (14th – 26th week)
During the second trimester it is recommended to visit your healthcare provider at least once a month. During this time you blood pressure and weight will be monitored. It is important to mention and signs or symptoms you might have been experiencing.
In the time the main aim is to track the baby’s growth by measuring your abdomen from the top of your uterus to your pubic bone, listening to the baby’s heartbeat and assess and fetal movement. It is useful to mention to your healthcare provider if you have been feeling and kicks of flutters. This normally occurs at around the 20th week.
Further lab tests to ensure that your iron levels remain intact and that there is no possible sign of any gestational diabetes that can develop during pregnancy. You are also checked for any possible infections of the bladder, urinary tract or kidneys.
Prenatal care during the 3rd Trimester (27th – 40th week)
During the last trimester your blood pressure and weight will still be monitored. The baby’s movements and heartbeats will be checked too. You will in fact be asked to keep track of how often the baby moves and to alert your healthcare provider immediately if you feel that the baby seems to stop moving.
During this period your check ups will become more often and you might want to visit your healthcare provider at least once a week. You will be tested for group B streptococcus (GBS). This bacterium is usually harmless to adults but your baby might end up becoming seriously ill. This test is carried out by swabbing your lower vagina and anal area. If you test positive you will be given intravenous antibiotics during labor to protect you baby from the bacteria.
Health Insurance for pregnant women
It is important to look for a proper cover for your prenatal care. Many insurers might consider pregnancy as a preexisting condition and might not cover you. You might want to look into several different options such as Government Funded Programs (Medicaid), The American Pregnancy Association or Health Care Discount Programs (AmeriPlan)
Prenatal Care can turn out to be expensive if done privately. The average cost of delivery in hospital is in between $6,000 - $8,000. Prenatal care and delivery in a birthing center carries an average cost of $3,000 - $4,000 which is half of what it would cost in hospital.