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Pregnancy Health Center

My Checkups

Health exams for: #AGEGROUP#

The following exams, tests, and procedures are recommended for #AGEGROUPLOWER#.#FEMALETEXT#

Select a link from the list below to learn how and why each test is performed, as well how to prepare for it.




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<div class=media-desc><strong>Storing breast milk</strong><p>How long can you store breast milk in a cooler, in a refrigerator, in a freezer? Learn what's safe and helpful tips from pediatrician Dr. Alan Greene.</p></div><div class=media-desc><strong>Early weeks of pregnancy</strong><p>The first trimester of a pregnancy is a time of incredible growth and development. A 7-week fetus will have begun to develop all essential organs.</p></div><div class=media-desc><strong>Childbirth</strong><p>Childbirth is really a series of four stages that culminate in the actual birth and short period thereafter. For more specific information regarding emergency delivery see the information on childbirth, emergency delivery.</p></div><div class=media-desc><strong>Pregnancy care</strong><p>During the nine or so months of your pregnancy, you'll see a lot of your ob/gyn. In fact, you should visit your doctor once a month during the first seven months of your pregnancy. Then you should see your doctor once every 2 or 3 weeks until your ninth month, and finally every week until you deliver. You might also see your regular doctor, a nurse midwife, or, if you have any complications, a perinatologist who specializes in high-risk pregnancies. That might sound like a lot of visits, but the goal is to keep a close eye on both you and your growing baby. Your doctor will check your baby's heart rate, and measure how quickly you're gaining weight. You'll likely have at least one ultrasound, where you can actually get to see your baby and find out the gender, unless you want it to be a surprise. Throughout your pregnancy, your doctor will monitor you for any health problems, such as high blood pressure or diabetes.
</p></div><div class=media-desc><strong>Amniotic fluid</strong><p>Amniotic fluid surrounds the growing fetus in the womb and protects the fetus from injury and temperature changes.  It also allows for freedom of fetal movement and permits musculoskeletal development.  The amniotic fluid can be withdrawn in a procedure called amniocentsis to check for chromosomal defects or other abnormalities.</p></div><div class=media-desc><strong>Breast engorgement</strong><p>Breast engorgement can be painful for nuring mothers. Learn the causes of breast engorgement, how to prevent it, and what to do if it happens.</p></div><div class=media-desc><strong>Cesarean section</strong><p>There are many reasons to deliver a baby by Cesarean section, such as abnormal position of the baby, or abnormalities of the placenta and umbilical cord.</p></div><div class=media-desc><strong>Newborn jaundice</strong><p>Newborn jaundice happens when your baby has high levels of bilirubin in her blood. This yellow pigment is created in the body during the normal recycling of old red blood cells. The liver helps break bilirubin down so it can be removed from the body in the stool. Before a baby is born, the placenta removes the bilirubin from your baby so it can be processed by your liver. Right after birth, the baby's own liver takes over the job, but it can take time. Most babies have some jaundice. It usually appears between the second and third day after birth.</p></div><div class=media-desc><strong>Umbilical care</strong><p>The umbilical cord connects the baby to the mother's placenta. During fetal development in the womb, the umbilical cord is the lifeline to the baby supplying nutrients. After birth, the cord is clamped and cut. Eventually between 1-3 weeks the cord will become dry and will naturally fall off. During the time the cord is healing it should be kept as clean and as dry as possible. 

</p></div><div class=media-desc><strong>C-section</strong><p>When it's not possible or safe for a woman to deliver a baby naturally through her vagina, she will need to have her baby delivered surgically, a procedure referred to as cesarean section, or C-section.

I know this is a controversial topic recently, sometimes people talk C-sections being done too often. That may be true, but when it is necessary, it can be life saving for mother or baby.

A C-section is the delivery of a baby through a surgical opening in the mother's lower belly area, usually around the bikini line. The procedure is most often done while the woman is awake. The body is numbed from the chest to the feet using epidural, or spinal, anesthesia. The surgeon usually makes a cut or incision across the belly just above the pubic area. The surgeon opens the womb, or uterus, and the amniotic sac, then delivers the baby. 

A woman may have a C-section if there are problems with the baby, such as an abnormal heart rate, abnormal positions of the baby in the womb, developmental problems in the baby, a multiple pregnancy like triplets, or when there are problems with the placenta or umbilical cord. 

A C-section may be necessary if the mother has medical problems, such as an active genital herpes infection, large uterine fibroids near the cervix, or if she is too week to deliver due to severe illness.

Sometimes a delivery that takes too long, caused by problems like getting the baby's head through the birth canal, or in the instance of a very large baby may make a C-section necessary.

Having a C-section is a safe procedure. The rate of complications is very low. However, there are some risks, including infection of the bladder or uterus, injury to the urinary tract, and injury to the baby. A C-section may also cause problems in future pregnancies.

The average hospital stay after a C-section is 2 to 4 days, and keep in mind recovery often takes longer than it would from a vaginal birth. Walking after the C-section is important to speed recovery and pain medication may be supplied too as recovery takes place.

Most mothers and infants do well after a C-section, and often, a woman who has a C-section may have a vaginal delivery if she gets pregnant again.</p></div><div class=media-desc><strong>Ultrasound, normal fetus - profile view</strong><p>This is a normal fetal ultrasound performed at 17 weeks gestation.  In the middle of the screen, the profile of the fetus is visible.  The outline of the head can be seen in the left middle of the screen with the face down and the body in the fetal position extending to the lower right of the head.  The outline of the spine can be seen on the right middle side of the screen.</p></div><div class=media-desc><strong>NICU consultants and support staff</strong><p>If your newborn needs to be admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit, or NICU, a group of different medical professionals will be there to help. Here's a rundown of some of the consultants and support staff you can expect to meet in the NICU. Each person who works in the NICU has a different specialty: Your bedside NICU nurses work most closely with your baby, providing care and observing closely for important changes. A neonatologist specializes in the health problems of newborns. They supervise and coordinate care. A cardiologist is trained to diagnose and treat diseases of the heart and blood vessels. If a baby has a heart defect, a cardiovascular surgeon will perform the surgery to fix it.
</p></div><div class=media-desc><strong>Delivery presentations</strong><p>Cephalic (head first) presentation is considered normal, but a breech (feet or buttocks first) delivery can be very difficult, even dangerous for the mother and the baby.</p></div><div class=media-desc><strong>Pregnancy</strong><p>This animation illustrates the development cycle of an egg in an ovary and the sequence of events to fertilization of the egg or not.</p></div><div class=media-desc><strong>Ultrasound, normal fetus - foot</strong><p>This is a normal ultrasound of a fetus at 19 weeks gestation.  The right foot, including the developing bones, are clearly visible in the middle of the screen.</p></div><div class=media-desc><strong>Ovulation</strong><p>This animations shows the process of ovulation (the release a single egg cell from an ovary).</p></div><div class=media-desc><strong>Fetus (12 weeks old)</strong><p>A fetus at 12 weeks can make a fist and suck its thumb.</p></div><div class=media-desc><strong>Vaginal delivery</strong><p>This animation shows the process of a normal vaginal delivery.</p></div><div class=media-desc><strong>Fetus at 30 to 32 weeks</strong><p>At 30 to 32 weeks, a fetus has increased central nervous system control over body functions and rhythmic breathing movements. It is still developing lungs and is partially in control of body temperature.</p></div>
Week-by-Week Development
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Pregnancy Health Library

Before You Get Pregnant

Getting Pregnant and Infertility

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Staying Healthy During Pregnancy

Life During Pregnancy, Staying Healthy, Visits and Tests

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Pregnancy Complications

Bleeding and Placenta Problems, Medical Problems, Other Pregnancy Problems

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Labor and Delivery

Preparing for Labor and Delivery, What to Expect During Delivery, Delivery of Your Baby

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Your Newborn Child

Newborn Hospital Care - Routine, Newborn Hospital Care - Sick Child, Going Home With Your Baby

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Mom After Delivery

Hospital Care for Mom, Home Care for Mom, Contraception

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