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Pregnancy Pregnancy

OB/GYN Care During Pregnancy

Posted by on Nov. 24, 2013 at 9:53 PM
  • 18 Replies

Since I am Active Duty Army, I have to be seen at the Army hospital on my base.  With my first kid, he was diagnosed with a birth defect in utero, so I had non-stress tests and tons of ultrasounds.  With this one, however, despite my one miscarriage and my son being pre-term and having a defect, AND beginning this pregnancy with twins and losing one at 10 weeks, I've only had one ultrasound after I lost the twin (20 weeks) and I'm seen once a month.  They listen to the heart rate, and measure my uterine height (which they have said is a few weeks behind, and at my 20 week the baby was measuring behind even though I know for a fact when I got pregnant).  I'm at 36 weeks and they haven't checked my cervix or anything, even though I was dilated a couple months early with my son.  Maybe I'm being paranoid...I was just wondering how often civilians are seen and what they do at your appointments.  I'd really like to know how much the baby weighs and to make sure he's head-down, and to make sure nothing's wrong since they keep saying he's measuring behind.  So how do your appointments go, and how often are you seen?  

by on Nov. 24, 2013 at 9:53 PM
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Replies (1-10):
lUcKyLoVe22
by on Nov. 24, 2013 at 9:59 PM
I go in for a prenatal checkup once a month. My doctor checks my vitals, measures me, listens to baby, and answers any questions or concerns I have. With my first son I only had one ultrasound. I've never had my cervix checked until labor. The measurements and weights for baby aren't 100% accurate. They've switched my due date 3 times with this pregnancy.
iamnameless
by Silver Member on Nov. 24, 2013 at 10:03 PM
They should be able to feel that baby is head down. Weight ultrasounds are not accurate. Normally starting at 28 weeks I start seeing my doctor every 2 weeks. starting at 36 weeks its every week. Also there is really no need to check the cervix.
LeapBaby123
by Kathleen on Nov. 24, 2013 at 10:03 PM
I see a group of midwives. Before 28 weeks, I went every 4 weeks, and I go every 2 weeks now until next week which will be 36 weeks. They listen to the heartbeat, measure my fundal height, and feel around for the position the baby is laying in (has been head down every time). I've only had one ultrasound at 20 weeks and won't get another, most likely. It's considered within normal range to measure up to 2 weeks off in either direction. I almost consistently measure 2 weeks behind every time.
valrubio
by on Nov. 24, 2013 at 10:05 PM
I'm at 34 weeks and I just started every 2 week visits. I was just doing monthly and they usually just check heartbeat and and measure tummy. I've had 2 U/S, one at my first appointment and 20 weeks. They won't do more unless medically necessary. I've had a previous baby born with severe heart defects but have treated pregnancies after normal.
princessmama14
by on Nov. 24, 2013 at 10:11 PM

I go once a month (cant remember when appointments change to every 2 weeks, I think 28 weeks or something close to that) and its basically just weighing me, checking my vital signs, testing the sample of FMU I have to bring to every appointment, listening to baby's hb and going over any info the doc wants to discuss and any questions or concerns I have for him. Im considered high risk due to my past losses and as far as I know my dr only orders 3 ultrasounds - one during the first trimester, one between 18 and 19 weeks and one around 32 weeks. 

Heather2001
by Heather on Nov. 24, 2013 at 10:21 PM

I always refuse cervical checks as they are pointless unless you have history of actual preterm labor.  And ultrasound weight estimates are notoriously inaccurate.  That being said, I prefer the more hands-off approach your docs have, but if you have concerns, you should be voicing them to your caregivers.  =)

Pandapanda
by Cafe Panda on Nov. 24, 2013 at 10:27 PM
The thing is- if your care provoder can't tell the baby's position without an ultrasound, you need to be running for the hills. Evidence-based care is becoming a little more common, meaning a lot of ultrasounds and late third trimester screenings are beig done away with. This is because looking for problems (or even just "routine" checks) usually end with unnecessary inductions, cesareans, etc. In a healthy, low-risk pregnancy, only one ultrasound is needed. If problems were indicated, you would likely be getting more intensive care.

(Having a high risk pregnancy in the past doesn't necessarily mean that you are high risk every time.)
samsanders
by Samantha on Nov. 24, 2013 at 10:44 PM
This! Also measuring behind or ahead a week isn't bad.


Quoting iamnameless:

They should be able to feel that baby is head down. Weight ultrasounds are not accurate. Normally starting at 28 weeks I start seeing my doctor every 2 weeks. starting at 36 weeks its every week. Also there is really no need to check the cervix.

beachlove512
by Bronze Member on Nov. 24, 2013 at 10:45 PM

I see a home birth midwife so my experience is different. I go every month (about to start every 2 weeks). I get my weight checked, hear baby's hb on the doppler, she asks me how I'm feeling, if I have any cramping, pain, etc., she checks my fundal height, takes my bp/pulse, and then we usually just talk about various things. My appointments are usually an hour long because she takes her time with me. Even when we were military, the OB I saw still did all of those things, just in a shorter amount of time. 

Ask your OB if the baby is head down, that's something they can tell you by palpation. Baby's weight is often inaccurate and can be off by a couple of pounds. Cervical checks are usually unnecessary because you can walk around at 4cm for weeks but be closed and go into labor that night. If a baby is consistenly measuring behind, then I think they need to do an ultrasound. Don't let the doctor take charge, BE YOUR OWN ADVOCATE.

Rosehawk
by on Nov. 24, 2013 at 11:31 PM

First trimester, and I think most of second trimester I was seen once a month. Sometime either late second or third they started seeing me every other week and then once a week as I got closer to my due date.

That was 10 and 6 years ago though. I know with my first two the only ultrasound I got was at around 20 weeks to find out boy/girl. This pregnancy I'm only 13 weeks along, and I've had one ultrasound to determine fetal development. At that one, I/baby was measuring a week further along than my LMP said, so the doc changed my due date to one week earlier.

I know what a pain Army doctors can be, but if you have questions, ASK them.

As for the weight of the baby, ultrasounds are not at all accurate for predicting that.

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