South Sound Womens Center
OB-GYNs located in Olympia, WA
Pregnancy is one of the most exhilarating times — and one of the most important medical events — in a woman’s life. Whether you’re expecting your first child or you’ve been down this road before, you want only first-rate prenatal care with a highly experienced women’s health specialist. The caring team of board-certified OB/GYNs at South Sound Women’s Center in Olympia, Washington, is dedicated to providing the best possible prenatal care and helping moms-to-be through each stage of pregnancy, labor and delivery, and postpartum care. Call to book your appointment today.
Pregnancy Q & A
What are the three stages of pregnancy?
A normal pregnancy lasts for 40 weeks, starting from the first day of your last regular period. These weeks are separated into three trimesters, or general stages of fetal development:
During the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, your body experiences major hormonal shifts that stop your menstrual cycle and affect virtually every system in your body. Besides making you feel more tired than usual and giving you swollen, tender breasts, early hormonal changes can also cause:
- Morning sickness
- Aversion to certain smells
- Food cravings or repulsions
- Mood swings
- Frequent urination
During weeks 13-28 of your pregnancy, your initial symptoms may ease up or disappear. As your baby grows, however, you may start to experience symptoms brought on by increasing weight or belly size, such as back pain or sciatica.
The third and final trimester starts with your 29th week of pregnancy. During this time, your baby grows larger every day, taking up more space and leaving less room for your lungs, bladder, and other internal organs. This may cause shortness of breath or leave you feeling like you have to go to the bathroom all the time. Other common late-pregnancy symptoms include:
- Chronic heartburn
- Difficulty sleeping
- Swelling in your ankles, fingers, and face
- Renewed breast tenderness
Normal weight gain in a healthy pregnancy is 25-35 pounds.
What is included in routine prenatal care?
After results of a urine sample or a blood test confirm your pregnancy, you’ll discuss your medical history and any concerns you may have with your OB/GYN. You’ll also undergo a comprehensive physical exam, which includes having an in-office ultrasound to listen to your baby’s heartbeat and help establish a more accurate due date.
As your pregnancy progresses, your South Sound Women’s Center obstetrician will perform a variety of tests to assess your health and the health of your baby. Prenatal testing may be used to:
- Determine your blood type and Rh factor
- Check for gestational diabetes
- Screen for sexually transmitted infections
- Screen for hepatitis B and C
You can also expect to have another in-office ultrasound screening between weeks 18-22 of pregnancy. Although this screening checks on your baby’s development, it’s also when many parents opt to find out their baby’s gender.
In a normal pregnancy, regular prenatal checkups occur monthly through the end of your second trimester, every two weeks starting at 28 weeks, and once each week starting at 36 weeks and until you deliver.
What is a high-risk pregnancy?
A high-risk pregnancy can mean that either you or your baby require special monitoring or care throughout your pregnancy, or it may mean that you’re more likely to experience complications before, during, or after delivery.
Common reasons that pregnancies go in the high-risk category include:
- Being past the age of 35
- Being very overweight or obese
- Carrying multiple babies
- Having a chronic condition like diabetes or hypertension
- Having a history of miscarriage or premature delivery
In some cases, pregnancies that begin normally may become high-risk when women develop a potentially serious problem, such as high blood pressure.
The team at South Sound Women’s Center provides comprehensive prenatal, labor, and delivery care to women with normal and high-risk pregnancies. They also offer childbirth education classes and family-centered birth experiences in a hospital setting.
To find out more, call the office to make an appointment online today.