Are You Expecting?
Some Basic Rules… 1. Check with your doctor on allprescription drugs. 2. Stay away from caffeine and alcohol. 3. Keep exercise to 30 minutes a day maximum for aerobics and keep your pulse under 140 beats per minute. 4. Travel is okay on an individual basis, up to about 30 weeks.Are You Expecting?
Congratulations! Thank you for choosing us to care for you and the newest member of your family! This page contains information that will give you a preview of what to expect during your prenatal care with us. If you have any questions, please feel free to call our office at any time.
We are committed to giving you exceptional, personal care with a team approach. Our nurses are knowledgeable and will answer your calls quickly. You will meet all three of our doctors over the course of your prenatal visits. One of them – Dr. Levin, Dr. Gonzalez, or Dr. Chu – will return your call if you have any concerns or if you have an emergency in the evenings and weekends, so you will never see an unfamiliar face.
At your first visit, your doctor will determine your baby’s gestational age and estimated due date based on the date of your last period and an ultrasound. Depending on how far along you are, you may see a heartbeat, arm and leg buds, and sometimes even spontaneous movement of the baby! Your doctor will then review your medical history and any medications that you are taking. You should always call and check with our office before starting any new medications during pregnancy, including over-the-counter medicines. You will receive a comprehensive physical exam, including breast exam, pelvic exam, and pap smear. Tests will be done to screen for anemia, diabetes, kidney disease, and sexually transmitted diseases. You will also be offered screening for cystic fibrosis carrier status.
You have several options when it comes to screening for Down Syndrome or other chromosome-related problems. The first trimester screen is available that requires an ultrasound to measure Nuchal Translucency (NT) and a blood draw. Alternatively, you can opt for a second trimester screen that is only bloodwork. MaterniT21 testing is another option if you are considered high-risk for a chromosomal abnormality based on your age. If you have a family history of any particular medical disorder, or if you desire more advanced genetic testing, speak with your doctor to determine if additional screening is available or recommended.
Risk of Spina Bifida can be reduced by taking a prenatal vitamin daily that includes folic acid. Screening for Spina Bifida is accomplished with a blood test and evaluation of your baby’s spine with ultrasound.
Typically, you will be seen every 4 weeks during the first and second trimester. These visits are quick and easy. At each visit, your blood pressure, weight, and urine are checked. Your doctor will listen to your baby’s heartbeat and measure your abdomen to check your baby’s growth.
Morning sickness can be troublesome during the first few months because of a rapid change in your hormone levels. It may help to eat smaller more frequent meals throughout the day. Medications are available to help with your symptoms if needed.
Occasional travel is generally okay for uncomplicated pregnancies until the third trimester. We recommend that you get up and stretch your legs once every hour, whether you are traveling by car or airplane, to help prevent blood clots.
Sexual Activity and Exercise are also safe for uncomplicated pregnancies. You can continue your pre-pregnancy activities, but limit yourself to 30 minutes of aerobic exercise 3-5 days a week. If you were not exercising before pregnancy, a 30-minute walk 5 days a week is a good regimen.
These recommendations apply to patients with uncomplicated pregnancies under normal circumstances. Please discuss your travel and activity level individually with your doctor. For example, if you are a marathon runner, if you travel frequently for work, or if you have bleeding or preterm labor, your doctor may advise you differently.
At 18-20 weeks, your baby’s anatomy will be evaluated with a comprehensive ultrasound. We will look at your baby’s head, heart, abdomen, kidneys, spine, and limbs. If you would like, we typically can determine the sex of your baby at this time, depending on his or her position.
You should begin to feel your baby move around 20-24 weeks. This is the time to begin planning your birthing classes, looking for pediatricians, and getting your nursery ready!
You will have a 1-hour glucose tolerance test at around 28 weeks to check for gestational diabetes. After 30 weeks, your doctor will begin seeing your more frequently. Braxton-Hicks contractions are common at this time. If you have vaginal bleeding, leaking of fluid, regular or painful contractions, or if your baby is not moving well, be sure to call and let us know.
An additional test for Group B Strep is performed at 36 weeks, and you will be seen weekly at this point. At each visit, you doctor will check your cervix to look for any progress toward labor. Forty weeks is your due date! If you have not gone into labor by 41 weeks, your doctor will likely induce your labor, as it us usually considered dangerous to go more than one week overdue.
And then, it feels like it all happened so fast. Your baby is here, and you have a face to behold, and fingers and toes to count! But it is just beginning – the diapers, the sleepless nights, and soon they’re asking to borrow the car keys…
Dr. Sherri S. Levin, M.D. & Associates located in Houston, Texas offers complete OB/GYN services featuring the latest state-of-the-art equipment including the da Vinci Robotic Surgical System which may be used to treat cervical and uterine cancer, fibroids, endometriosis, hysterectomy, pelvic prolapse surgery without mesh, excessive bleeding, laparoscopic robotic hysterectomy surgery and more. All of our doctors are FACOG Board Certified. We provide the highest quality adolescent and women’s health care services including: prepregnancy, pregnancy, postpregnancy, high-risk pregnancy, menopause, obstetrics, gynecology, aesthetics, pelvic health, mammograms, papsmears, ultrasound, bone density testing, osteoporosis, infections, Essure Sterilization, annual check-ups, the latest, most effective bladder incontinence procedures, overactive bladder procedures, and infertility treatments. Patients can be seen in a relaxing office environment.
Surgical Affiliations: Memorial Hermann Memorial City Hospital. We accept most insurance plans.
Dr. Sherri S. Levin, M.D. & Associates 929 Gessner Rd. Suite 2100 Houston, TX 77024 Phone: 713.464.4111 Fax: 713.464.3116