What happens at prenatal visits and what to avoid during labor?

Discussion in 'Family Life - Stories, Pictures & Updates' started by reveriereptile, Jan 23, 2012.

  1. reveriereptile

    reveriereptile Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 17, 2008
    Northern NY
    Since I'll be trying for a baby in early summer I'm curious as to what happens during prenatal visits. I've also heard of different things to avoid when in labor that some doctors might try to get you to agree to like forceps.

    I had a What to Expect When Expecting book but my SIL ran off with it. I never got to read through it all. I might just buy another one since I have the first year and toddler year books that I enjoyed reading through.

    I was wanting to know what type of exams/tests they do during the prenatal visits that I should be aware of especially the invasive tests since I'm not really comfortable with someone touching me in those areas. How do they do the test to check for possible health problems like downs? Do they just do a blood test or do they need to insert a needle into the abdomen?

    I'm always coming across news articles about some doctors rushing and making you think you are going in for a c-section during complications and when you sign the papers it is something else. I've read quite a few horror stories about the use of forceps that ends up hurting the baby. I've also recently heard of the episiotomy procedure and problems that can occur. I was wanting to know what things I should be concerned about during the labor process and any medicial terms the doctors might through out there that I wouldn't want to agree to.

    Since I'll probably be stressed and in pain during labor I won't be completely mentally there so I want to make sure my husband knows what I do and don't want since he won't know what something is. If I said episiotomy he won't even know what that is.

    Even though I'm not pregnant yet I do worry about stuff a lot earlier than I should but I like to be prepared ahead of time.
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2012
  2. Sore Thumb Suburbanite

    Sore Thumb Suburbanite Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 26, 2011
    orange county
    ok, I can help with the first question, what to expect during prenatal visits and what you can do before pregnancy that will improve your baby readyness: I planned ahead a little like you are doing but i did not do a whole lot on the research, if I had, I would have known to go in and get vaccinated against the rhubella virus-its like german measles and if you get sick with it during pregnancy your baby prettymuch dies-its awful to think about and my husband's aunt lost her first baby that way. Once you get pregnant, you can't get vaccinated, so do it now. If you've had chicken pox or measles before now, you wont need other vaccinations like that...

    I would call your primary care physician and have them refer you to an obgyn-you may be alot more comfortable with a female ob if you can get one-I know I am. I doubt anybody likes getting medical attention in private areas. Your ob will be able to give you a list of things to consider in advance (people can be tested for genetic predisposition before getting pregnant) and what to do to prepare for pregnancy, they can also give you a couple of pamphlets of specific testing information and so on to satisfy your specific questions about your baby in uetero. Also if you know you and your husband's blood types are conflicting (one positive, one negative) bring that information to the table when you meet with your ob.

    Things I've found out about prenatal appointments; they'll do a manditory pap test to test you for syphlis (sp?) thats just so much fun, I'm sure you can get that early too but probably necessary within the same year if you want to avoid that pleasantry. They make you confirm your pregnancy with urine-yes you will get to pee in cups then and for many more months. They will also be sampling your blood a lot the first several visits in your first trimester.

    During your first trimester you can opt for all those tests that can tell you that your baby may or may not have issues-keep in mind these tests aren't totally accurate and may cause you more stress than necessary. I did not opt for these tests.

    The only other thing I can suggest to you before hand is check every word in your insurance, pick your hospital and drs. asap and whatever you do don't let your insurance change once you're pregnant because you'll totally hate it... no insurance company, medical group or dr. seems to want a pre existing condition like pregnancy if they can help it. The more progressed into the pregnancy you are the worse it gets to deal with new insurance.

    If you want to totally go nuts, tour your hospital options, talk to nurses to get obgyn refferals and look at the ratings from each hospital. Where I live I have many options, but only one is covered by my new insurance, I have to pay more for an upgraded plan to go to a maternity specializing hospital with a better surgical and maternity ward rating. It will likely be as important to you as it is to me to look into hospitals if you have options.

    Some off topic words of advice; set aside some money for a second trimester vacation with your spouse, some cute maternity clothes and for a few celebratory evenings out as you commemorate the first ultrasound, when the gender is determined or when you tell your parents you're pregnant. Belive me its good to celebrate all this with good food and an enjoyable break from the norm. I fully plan on getting a few massages in my final trimester and having someone else give me a pedicure since I won't be able to reach my feet soon. Oh and make sure your spouse can get a couple weeks off if possible (depending on what state you live in and where he works, he may be entitled to time, or he may have to take vacation time...) to enjoy the first days with your new baby.

    ok, thats alot, sorry. hope it helps, sounds like you'll be quite prepared for a baby
  3. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 11, 2011
    My experience with being pregnant: the physical exams arent too bad, not much different then your annual check-up-you just get them more often. Peeing in a cup every visit, not so much fun. Hearing your babys heartbeat for the first time....AMAZING! That little heartbeat will be your motivation to get your butt to the OB as fast as you can for each scheduled visit. Take all of the ultrasound pictures and video theyll give you, that baby will grow up fast and its great to have those things to look back on to remember the earliest days. My OB-GYN has 4 male doctors and 1 female midwife. I chose to have the midwife do most of my visits, shes was just great. Very personable, and willing to offer some hollistic remedies rather than trying to pump me full of meds for something as simple as morning sickness. Saltines and ginger ale were my best friends during my first trimester. Join a forum for expecting mothers, there are lots of them. Worrying yourself over all the tests they could run just to rule out problems will just bring you unecessary stress. My doctor said they would do the tests if they were requested, but they didnt actually like to do them unless they thought there was actually something going on. Talk to your doc and let him know your wants and expectations on your first visit. Its their job to take care of you, and if you and your doctor arent agreeing on something thats important to you, you should find someone who will. Unfortunately, sometimes C-sections and intervention with forceps or a vacuum is necessary, again, these are things to discuss with your doc. The thought of an episiotomy scared the bejesus out of me, so I asked if there was anything I could do to help prevent that. I was instructed to treat that particular area with mineral oil to help it stretch, not a single stitch for me! Once you actually get pregnant, youll read every baby related artical in existance and know every medical term related to pregnancy so youll probably answer any questions you have yourself a million times :) The biggest piece of advice I have to offer.......enjoy every second of being pregnant. Every heartbeat, kick, gas, trip to the bathroom in the middle of the night is a moment youll remember forever, and theyll come and go before you know it. Best of luck to you. And remember, practice makes perfect. So you and that hubby better get practicing. God bless!
  4. reveriereptile

    reveriereptile Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 17, 2008
    Northern NY
    Thanks for all the information and advice.

    My husband is worried about medical problems especially since he has some relatives with some mild forms. He also knows of a few people that had children with serve problems. One found out that their baby was going to be born without the spinal cord attached and be paralyzed from the waist down. The baby was born a week ago and has to have emergency heart surgery. The guy was in the same position as my husband as far as income and work so it made my husband nervous because the guy is having to ask for donations for the heart surgery.

    Having a healthy baby is the biggest thing I want. I plan on switching the way I eat and do more moving around. I don't smoke or drink which is a plus. Do need to have some teeth fixed and unfortunately wisdom teeth pulled before I become pregnant.
  5. Squishy

    Squishy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 2, 2011
    I'll preface this by saying I've never been pregnat, not yet married, ect ect LOL... BUT I am like you... I like to plan things far in advance... My theory is that the sooner I learn about things, the longer I get to think it over and figure out the solution that gives me the most of what I want :p

    So I've also read some books... and the best source of info I have is my mom. She was one of those that had easy, non-screaming deliveries... she is pretty good at this particular topic LOL!

    So I'll share with you some of what she's said and some from the books I've read that back her up.

    Most important really... think about it HARD and decide if you really want a hospital delivery or not. Some people find the idea of giving birth out of hospital out of their comfort zone... BUT you have to learn about the differences in the birthing experience because you might just be more within your comfort zone at home.
    One of the books (you can find midwife books in e-book selections like Kindle)... it listed the healthy delivery rates of Hospitals versus Midwifes and found that deliveries with a Midwife were actually a couple points of percentage safer than delivery in hospital.... main reason being you have someone on your team that will take listening to YOU, the Mother, far more seriously.

    Midwives can do all or almost all of the pre-natal exams and care in the comfort of your home... ect.

    Midwife is not going to subject you to any exams you are not comfortable and on-board with.

    You can tailor your delivery plan so much to meet your individual needs and desires when using a Midwife.

    In hospital, doctors will take it upon themselves to lead the show... it's very very very common (seen it on all the baby shows, LOL!) but there might be some doctors out there that don't, so please don't think I'm saying they're all bad.

    But things that you want that are outside of the doctors vision of a normal delivery.... are things you will have to fight to get, and you will have to keep fighting for them even in the heat of labor. If your hubby is the really stubborn, firm, and protective sort, and knows the entire game-plan from you.. then he could take care of that whole mess while you are vulnerable.... but if he's lacking one of those attributes, it's pretty easy for the doctors to brow-beat a person with ideas of what 'could' be going wrong.

    Due to insurance regulations... they would not let my mother walk around (as she had learned to from her classes) in her first hospital delivery experience. As soon as they got in the hospital, they made her lay down, put in the IV.... and that's one of the biggest reasons for slow labor... gravity is not helping.

    Mom always says lots and lots of walking... LOTS of walking. Or standing, if tired. But let gravity help you out. Her labor with me, due to walking, didn't take more than an hour from the time her water broke.

    They also did the cutting, ect.. didn't give her much of a choice.

    So for some... they might find it reassuring to be in a hospital near so many doctors.... but for me... I've (obviously LOL) already decided on a midwife for myself one day. My biggest thing is that I know I will NEED to be in charge of my birthing experience. I need to say when a person can touch me or not touch me... when *I* decide someone else can hold my baby, that's when I'll let them do it... not this thing that hospitals do, carting the baby off at the first opportunity and telling the *mother of the child* when she can and can not see her own baby! It makes me so mad! LOL So I won't be dealing with it....

    If you feel you really must have a doctor near (but remember, many midwifes are qualified at nurse level, ect... so look into qualifications of ones near you).... there are also birthing centers, different everywhere, but some focus on a natural experience for mother and child.

    If you are planning on breast-feeding... a midwife can be a big help in that as well. Many mothers who give birth in hospital have lots of trouble with breast feeding.... it's supposed to correlate to the time the mother spends with the infant....
  6. Livinzoo

    Livinzoo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 2, 2008
    Statham, GA
    I agree start with a midwife. Is there a birthing clinic close to home? Find out the C-section rates of the potential drs you want to use. Go with the lowest one. Sometimes they are unavoidable, extreme cases placenta previa and such. Other times drs scare you into a C-section baby is too big, baby is breech (you can have he baby turned, try chiropratic etc, I have heard of drs sceduling sections very early in the pregnancy siteing this as the reason. Look at spinningbabies.com.

    What to expect books aren't the best. Ina May Gaskin has some great ones. Mothering.com is a great place to find answers to your questions.
    1 person likes this.
  7. Carols Clucks

    Carols Clucks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 13, 2010
    My suggestion, before you hold your baby in your arms you get a ton of advice, hear a million horror stories, get told what to avoid, read a bunch of books....etc

    But what is really important, is holding that healthy baby in your arms. Focus on that and remember the birth itself is just a day (or so) of your life.

    And the goal is a healthy baby.
  8. Sore Thumb Suburbanite

    Sore Thumb Suburbanite Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 26, 2011
    orange county
    I forgot to mention, check out your obgyn's record of induced labor-for those of you who are going the more traditional route with midwifes you're probably as irked as I am with induced labor. If you have a Dr. thats comfortable inducing labor with meds so they can fit you into their schedule walk away, or run and do it fast. There are so many induced labors at the hospital next to me, its just awful. Also, discuss breech deliveries with your Dr, there are very few Dr.s left who even know how to deliver a breech baby, C sections are the accepted response.

    As you do your research evaluate your birth scenario again and again, write your choices down and discuss with your dr. the moment you get pregnant so you can make sure they support your wishes. I ended up switching my OB because she was lobbying hard for all that disease testing, many tests can put your baby at risk--I mean, does that even make sense?--to risk a life to try to check if there is the potential for something amiss so you can feel better about the health of your baby? ugh, no! Of course some tests just require extra blood tests or ultrasounds which isn't too bad.

    About Hospital Vs Non Hospital: my insurance doesn't cover traditional midwife style home births and I've experienced enough great deliveries by my sisters at my hospital of choice to feel very confident about going there. I also like the idea that I'll have somebody else making my food, changing my linens and I won't have to clean my house extensively while being hugely pregnant-but thats me, I like being pampered and attended to if I can get it.

    Something my grandmother said about the post delivery days; which may be more important with your subsequent births, once you get home, stay in nightgowns or sleepclothes for as long as you want-not changing into normal clothes; she says the moment she put on regular clothes, everyone expected her to get into the full swing of everyday life-cooking, cleaning, etc, and the new baby honeymoon was kinda over. She would stay in her nightgown at least a week, and I fully plan on doing the same.
    1 person likes this.
  9. dewey

    dewey Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 9, 2010
    north of eternity
    Grandma's are so wise. [​IMG] (I home birthed and very early the next morning I drove a car load of kids all over town, depositing them at their different schools.)

    OP, agreeing that talking with some midwives is a very good idea, along with collecting as much info as possible to make informed decisions for doc visits or what have you. Also, you'd said that you would be stressed out and not completely mentally there at labor time...but that's probably not how things are typically, especially with home birth, and hopefully you will have a well planned out and calm birthing experience. [​IMG]
    1 person likes this.
  10. reveriereptile

    reveriereptile Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 17, 2008
    Northern NY
    I find all this information helpful. Thanks for sharing it.

    The closest birthing center near me is almost an hour away. I know of this since we have an Amish couple working for my FIL and they were using the birthing center for their first. My FIL had to drive them to their appointments which wasn't to many. She ended up past due. The day she went into labor she stayed in the house for a while and then when my FIL was about to leave they got lucky they caught him before he left. He had to go pick up her mother and come back to get them. They usually have their mothers around for support and to act as a midwife. He ended up having to speed to get there since she was in pain and didn't have much room in the car. She had the baby 3 hours after he dropped them off and while they were there another Amish family came in and had their baby an hour later. That birthing center is very busy. Just within a mile from us there were 4 babies born at that birthing center within 2 weeks and we live an hour away. The birthing center is near two hospitals incase of emergencies. It did end up only costing them $2K for all the appointments, the birth, to stay over night, and a after visit three days later. I don't know if they do ultrasounds there or not. I know the Amish don't get them done.

    I thought if it came down to an emergency that I couldn't make it to the hospital or birthing center that I could probably get one of the Amish wives around to come over. Most of them around here have 10 children and they go with their daughters during the daughters labor so they should have some experience. They might even have some breast feeding advice since the family that works for my FIL had problems feeding at first.

    I do have a very old (9 years old) Mayo Clinic baby book. My sister was able to get that free since they had a free offer at the time and she got me one also to have. I'm betting a lot of people kept getting them for free and selling them online since they were a $50 book to buy. Probably why they don't still have them since I wanted to get one for my SIL.

    A few of my in-laws use a male doctor that they like a lot. One of them had a cyst on her ovaries that she had to have removed while she was pregnant by him. I'll probably go with him since I'm afraid of the birthing center being busy. It is ran by mostly one woman.

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