The First Trimester (0 to 12 weeks)
A home pregnancy test may become positive as early as two weeks after conception. Call the office with a positive pregnancy test to schedule an appointment to confirm your pregnancy. This is done with an ultrasound around eight weeks of gestation.
Early pregnancy symptoms vary from woman to woman but some commonly experienced symptoms are:
- No period
- Larger, more tender breasts
- More frequent urination
- Nausea or vomiting
- Heartburn or indigestion
- Weight changes
You should call the doctor if you experience any of the following:
- Any vaginal bleeding
- Severe pain in abdomen or in your shoulders
- Fever higher than 101F
- Painful urination
- Watery discharge from the vagina
First trimester screening tests – At your first visit, the doctor will discuss with you the screening tests that are commonly performed in the first trimester. These may include:
- Cystic Fibrosis screening – cystic fibrosis is a lung condition that all babies are screened for at birth. Prenatal screening to see if you are a carrier can be performed through a blood test.
- First trimester screening – this is an ultrasound and a blood test that is designed to screen for trisomy 13, trisomy 18, and Down’s Syndrome.
- Cell free fetal DNA screening – this is a blood test that can also be used to screen for trisomy 13, trisomy 18, and Down’s syndrome. This test may be recommended if you are 35 or over, as these women have an increased risk of their baby being affected.
The Second Trimester (13 to 27 weeks)
The second trimester of pregnancy is when most women start to experience increased energy levels and decreased nausea. The risk of miscarriage is also greatly reduced.
During the second trimester you will feel your baby start to move, usually between the sixteenth and twentieth week of pregnancy.
Screening tests to expect in this trimester include:
- Ultrasound – The doctor will order an ultrasound of your baby between 18 and 20 weeks of pregnancy. This will screen for birth defects and is also where you may learn the gender of your baby if desired.
- Gestational diabetes – This is diabetes that happens only in pregnancy. The screening test for this involves a blood draw one hour after drinking a sugary drink.
- Anemia – You will be screened with a blood count at the same time as your gestational diabetes screening. Pregnancy can cause many women to develop a low blood count. If you are diagnosed with anemia, your doctor may recommend extra iron supplementation in addition to your prenatal vitamin.
The Third Trimester (28 to 40 weeks)
The third trimester of pregnancy is the time when your baby starts to gain the most weight and your body starts to prepare for delivery. Some common symptoms women experience during this time are Braxton-Hicks contractions, shortness of breath, back pain, and pelvic pressure.
Our doctors recommend a TDAP vaccine in the third trimester. This is designed to protect your baby against whooping cough until he or she can get their own vaccine at two months of age. For more information about this vaccine, please click on the following link to go directly to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Immunization for Women website.
Screening tests to expect in this trimester include tests for:
- Group B Strep bacteria – This is a bacteria that is normally present in the vagina in one in three women. It can be passed to your baby during delivery and can cause infections; therefore, treatment is recommended during labor and delivery to decrease this risk. Your doctor will perform a vaginal swab to test for this at thirty-six weeks
Symptoms of labor
You should call the office if you are experiencing strong contractions every five minutes for an hour, if you think your water has broken, if you are experiencing vaginal bleeding, or if your baby’s movements have decreased.
After you deliver your baby, our doctors will see you every day while you are in the hospital. Once you are at home, you will follow up in the office six weeks after your delivery. This visit is to ensure that you are recovering well and to discuss any problems that you may be having. A pelvic exam may be performed at this visit to check your healing.