While there are many aspects of pregnancy that people talk about, from the weight gain to the growing baby bump and the varying symptoms each person experiences, not many individuals talk about obstetric care. And this could be because prenatal obstetric care is provided every other month leading up to the due date, so some simply view it as part and parcel of their pregnancy journey. However, you should know that some pregnant mothers may require prenatal obstetric care every few weeks.
And while this may sound like an inconvenience, the reality is that it would not just be critical for the unborn baby's health but the mother's health too. If you have never had this experience before, you could be wondering why you would need to receive obstetric care periodically throughout your pregnancy. Below are some factors that would influence the frequency at which you would need prenatal obstetric care.
Your last pregnancy resulted in a premature birth
Generally, premature births are deliveries that occurred before the baby reached full term. Admittedly, some premature births are more critical than others, as some babies may only spend a few hours in the neonatal ICU, whereas others may spend months in an incubator. Regardless, as long as you have had a preterm baby in the past, your pregnancy will be considered high-risk, and this will warrant frequent prenatal obstetric care so that the OBGYN can ascertain that the unborn baby is not at the threat of arriving sooner than they should.
During these obstetric care visits, the OBGYN will keep track of the size of the fetus, heartbeat, and overall health so that any changes to these vitals are caught early. If signs of an early delivery start to crop up, the OBYGN will put you on bed rest and may even administer medications to try and keep the baby in utero for as long as they can.
You have been diagnosed with a chronic medical condition
The second reason why your OBGY could recommend frequent prenatal obstetric care visits is when you are living with a chronic condition that could have adverse effects on the developing fetus. Hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism are common illnesses that some people develop as they get older. But while medications can help manage the symptoms of these disorders, the fact that your body is producing either diminished or excessive amounts of thyroid hormones can negatively affect the unborn baby.
Routine obstetric care visits will be mandatory so that the OBGYN can limit the risk of preterm labor or, in the worst-case scenario, a stillbirth. Gestational diabetes is another illness that would warrant frequent prenatal obstetric care. Although this is not a chronic illness, the spike in blood sugar levels can threaten the fetus so the OBGYN will need to monitor the unborn baby regularly and keep tabs on your blood sugar.