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Good prenatal care is an important part of every healthy pregnancy. While ultimately prenatal care is the care a woman gives to herself during her pregnancy, visits with your midwife provide you with essential information and appropriate monitoring. Prenatal visits usually last 45 minutes to an hour and are done monthly for the first 7 months, every two weeks between 7-9 months, and weekly in the last month. At each prenatal visit the midwife checks your blood pressure, pulse, urine, and weight, asks about any symptoms you may be experiencing, screens for possible complications, provides anticipatory guidance and other appropriate information, addresses emotional concerns, and answers any questions the you or your partner may have.
The midwife also measures your baby’s growth, asks about your baby’s movement, and checks your baby’s position and heartbeat. There is never a wait and you are never rushed through your appointments. At the initial prenatal visit the midwife reviews nutrition and dietary recommendations and provides you with a diet diary to be filled out for the next prenatal visit, when it will be reviewed.
Laboratory work is an important part of prenatal care and appropriate lab tests are done at each visit, if applicable. All labwork and tests are explained thoroughly and you may refuse any test that you choose. Both you and your partner are encouraged to take an active role and to make informed choices regarding your care. It is the philosophy of Bellymama Midwifery that, once properly educated, it is the parents who should make the final choices regarding their and their baby’s care. You know best what is right for yourself and your baby. I seek to empower you to make the choices that are right for you.