During your first pregnancy, you will probably have lots of questions. After the initial excitement wears off, you may find that you are overwhelmed by the responsibility of caring for the new life growing inside you.
You can count on the compassionate staff at UPMC Pinnacle to provide all the information you need to have a healthy baby.
You should choose a health care provider based on the kind of birth experience you want, where you plan to give birth, whether your pregnancy is normal or high-risk and what your insurance will cover. Routine prenatal visits are important for a healthy pregnancy. Regardless of what type of provider you choose, plan to visit your physician or midwife at least monthly to be sure you are healthy and that your baby is developing properly.
Your body is going through a lot of changes. It is normal to experience nausea, vomiting, fatigue, skin changes, heartburn, constipation and other symptoms, or no symptoms at all. If you are concerned about any particular symptom or the health of your baby, consult with your physician or midwife.
An important part of having a healthy pregnancy is having routine medical tests. At each appointment, your physician will test your urine and blood pressure. He or she will also check your weight and the growth of your baby. You will probably have at least one ultrasound during your pregnancy to ensure that your baby is developing normally. You will also have several blood tests to screen for certain diseases and gestational diabetes. In addition to your routine tests, you may also elect to have other tests to determine your baby's risk of developing a genetic disorder, such as Down syndrome or cystic fibrosis.
If possible, your husband or partner should accompany you to checkups so he can see for himself what is happening and discuss any concerns he has with your health care provider. Having an involved partner creates an atmosphere of intimacy and can be comforting for you.
UPMC Pinnacle promotes breastfeeding as a baby's best start in life. Breast milk is the perfect first food for your newborn and has been scientifically proven to provide a number of benefits, including boosting your baby's immune system and reducing your baby's risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
Labor and delivery is different for every woman. The staff at UPMC Pinnacle will respect your wishes when it comes to pain management and other comfort measures. By the end of the first trimester, you should begin thinking about your ideal birth experience and work with your partner and health care provider to develop a birth plan. UPMC Pinnacle's childbirth classes can also provide helpful information about the birthing experience, which may help to alleviate any anxiety you are feeling.
Choosing a pediatrician is a very personal decision. Make an appointment before your baby is born to the meet your prospective physician or nurse practitioner and spend some time observing the office before making any decisions. You should make sure that your pediatrician is located nearby, has office hours that are convenient for you and accepts your insurance.
There are a lot of good sources of information dedicated to pregnancy, including books, magazines, websites and other media. Always remember that your health care provider should be your go-to source of information if you are anxious about anything during your pregnancy.
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