Good prenatal care is one of the best ways to set yourself and your baby up for success. Starting with your first appointment, it encompasses your baby’s growth and development, but it also promotes your own health, helping you prepare for labor, delivery, and becoming a mother.
A. Michael Coppa, MD, and our obstetrics team are proud to offer the highest quality prenatal care for expecting moms. We help you navigate all the questions that come with pregnancy, and we strive to take some of the stress out of the journey.
The care you can expect from Dr. Coppa and our team during your pregnancy includes the following:
Monitoring your baby’s growth
It’s never too early to schedule your first prenatal appointment. If you’re newly pregnant, you should have your first prenatal visit about 8-10 weeks into pregnancy. Dr. Coppa starts monitoring your baby’s health right away.
Your baby’s heartbeat is first detectable during weeks 8-12. Dr. Coppa uses a fetal Doppler to listen to the heartbeat at each prenatal appointment. You’re also able to see your baby grow with ultrasound imaging throughout your pregnancy. Most women have 1-3 ultrasounds in the first two trimesters.
As your baby grows, you begin feeling movements and noticing significant changes in the way your body looks and feels. Your prenatal appointments are the time to ask questions about your baby’s development and your own health, so you can feel confident as labor and delivery approach.
Optimizing your health
At your first prenatal appointment, we perform a full health workup. The first appointment is often the longest, because we review your medical history, take a blood sample, and do a physical exam.
We continue monitoring your health as your pregnancy progresses. We check your weight, blood pressure, and belly circumference at each appointment. Dr. Coppa can recommend dietary and lifestyle changes to help you navigate pregnancy.
If you have preexisting health conditions, we help you find ways to manage them during pregnancy.
Care for high-risk pregnancies
Up to 8% of women have high-risk pregnancies. Preexisting conditions like diabetes, obesity, heart disease, or even older maternal age could make your pregnancy high risk, but we’re experienced in managing these complex pregnancies.
If your health needs change as your pregnancy progresses, we adjust your care plan to ensure that you and your baby are as safe and healthy as possible. You may need additional testing or more frequent prenatal appointments, depending on your condition.
Helping you prepare for birth
The frequency of your prenatal appointments increases as you approach your due date. Most women have monthly appointments until week 28, then move to appointments every two weeks until week 36.
After week 36, you come in once a week until your baby is born. We check your and your baby’s vital signs at each appointment. We evaluate your baby’s position to determine when you might go into labor.
Dr. Coppa and the rest of our team are here to help you develop a birth plan as you prepare for labor and delivery. We’re ready to answer your questions and give you all the information you need to get ready for birth.
Whether you’re newly pregnant or thinking about getting pregnant, you don’t have to do it alone. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Coppa to learn about our comprehensive pregnancy care services. We have offices in Cranston, Smithfield, and Providence, Rhode Island.