pregnant woman and partner looking at ultrasound pictures

Prenatal Care

Pregnancy is an exciting time, often filled with anticipation and hope. Prenatal specialists at Providence help you and your baby stay healthy. OB-GYNs, family medicine physicians, and certified nurse midwives can care for you during your pregnancy.

Deciding what type of care you want for your prenatal pregnancy care is a personal choice. Providence offers several options to meet your unique needs, including OB-GYNs, family medicine physicians, and certified nurse midwives. Many independent provider groups also deliver at our hospitals. 

Obstetrician—gynecologists (OB-GYN)

  • Board-certified
  • Surgically trained so they are able to perform C-sections and other procedures when necessary
  • Able to care for high-risk pregnancies
  • Coordinate your pregnancy and postpartum care with an interdisciplinary team 

OB-credentialed family medicine doctors

  • Board-certified and credentialed in obstetrics
  • Partner with OB-GYNs when needed
  • Can provide primary care for every member of your family, including newborns

Certified nurse midwives

  • Board-certified
  • Partner with OB-GYNs when needed 
  • Coordinate your pregnancy and postpartum care with a team of patient navigators, social workers and an OB-GYN 
  • Often offers group visits with patient (and partners) at similar stages in pregnancy 

Our prenatal care program is designed to keep you strong, confident and informed throughout your pregnancy.  Regular care can increase your chances of a routine, healthy delivery. Prenatal care is a series of well-care appointments and tests that happen once a month through your 28th week of pregnancy, and every two weeks leading up to your final month. During your last four weeks of pregnancy, we’ll see you once a week to make sure everyone is healthy and ready for the big day.

During your first visit, we will give you a full physical and determine your estimated delivery date. We will run blood tests to determine your blood type and whether you are Rh negative or positive type. Over the next several appointments, we will perform a variety of screenings and tests to measure the health of you and your baby, including:

  • Antibody screening
  • Complete blood count
  • Cystic fibrosis carrier screening
  • DNA probe
  • Hearing and dizziness test
  • Hepatitis B and C screens
  • HGB electrophoresis tests for sickle cell anemia 
  • HIV tests
  • One-hour glucose
  • Pap smear
  • Rubella test
  • Syphilis screening 

We want you to have a healthy, happy pregnancy and delivery. During your appointments, we will discuss the required and optional tests with you, so you know what to expect. 

10-13 weeks: Sequential part I

A voluntary screening test for Down Syndrome and Trisomy 18. This test may be given again during your appointment that falls between 15-21. 

15-20 weeks: Quad test  

This test measures the levels of AFP, HCG, estriol and inhibin A in your blood to calculate the risk of chromosomal or neural tube abnormalities in your baby. If this test indicates a high probability, your care provider may recommend an amniocentesis. 

15-21 weeks: Sequential part II

These are the second screening tests for open neural tube defects, Down Syndrome and Trisomy 18.

16 weeks: Amniocentesis for genetic screening

This voluntary test may be needed for certain high-risk patients.

28 weeks: Required glucose screening

During this appointment, we’ll test for gestational diabetes. If we detect gestational diabetes, we’ll work with you to get your blood sugar a normal level with diet or insulin. Gestational diabetes usually goes away after birth, but women who get diabetes during pregnancy should be monitored later in life in case it comes back.

28 weeks: Rhesus type antibody screen

If you are Rh negative, a follow-up antibody screen will be performed. Along with this screening, you’ll get an injection of Rhogam to prevent antibody formation.

28 weeks: CBC follow up

This test checks for evidence of anemia in your blood.

36 weeks: GBS screening

This is a vaginal/rectal culture that tests for Group B strep. If present, you will be treated during labor with antibiotics to prevent infection.