Graduating from fertility treatments to prenatal visits with your obstetrician is a moment many patients dream about for months or years. Then, when it comes, they experience more anxiety and trepidation than expected.
That makes sense, right? You’ve forged close relationships with the Reproductive Resource Center’s team of specialists, nurses, and staff all this time. So, it’s normal to feel anxious about putting your trust in a new care provider. But, you got this – and we’ve got you.
Here is what you can expect and what steps to take as you transition from RRC to your obstetrician.
First and foremost, we’re here for you. We continue prenatal relationships with our pregnant patients a few weeks after you find out you’re pregnant. After that, however, you’ll need to schedule prenatal appointments with your OB/GYN of choice.
We’ll communicate with your OB/GYN, downloading them and their team on your situation and relevant reproductive medical history. They’ll have our contact information and can contact us any time with questions or concerns – as should you.
2. Take time to find someone you trust before the baby is born
You’ve been on an emotional roller coaster ride and deserve care from someone you trust. Take time to find an OB/GYN you feel good about if you’ve parted ways with your former OB/GYN. Speak to their patient references, spend a bit of time in their waiting room (before baby is born, of course!) getting a feel for their “company culture” and staff personalities. It’s worth finding an OB/GYN you enjoy being around and who makes you feel seen, heard, and understood.
Many of our patients intentionally choose hospitals or birthing centers that use certified nurse midwives and/or welcome doulas onboard. These little extras provide feelings of the personalized care you’ve grown used to at the fertility center. These 8 Tips for Choosing an Ob/Gyn from healthgrades.com offers suggestions for what to look for during your search.
While we’ll meet with you for around six weeks after your successful two-week wait, OB/GYNs like mothers to schedule their first prenatal appointments for the 7 to 9-week mark. This is completely normal – even though it may feel like forever to you. We’ll be here for you in the meantime.
By this time, you’re used to regular visits and check-ins with your fertility specialist – many of which occurred on a weekly or daily basis depending on where you were in the fertility treatment cycle. Things are different in the prenatal world.
In the beginning, you’ll only visit your OB once every four weeks. You may feel like eons are going by at first. Then, you’ll go about your normal life outside of the normal morning sickness and general aches/pains of pregnancy. Once you are well into your third trimester, appointments increase to every other week, and then to every week once you reach week 36.
For a healthy, low-risk pregnancy, OB visits are scheduled:
- Prenatal visit every 4 weeks until 28 weeks gestation
- Prenatal visit every 2-3 weeks until 36 weeks gestation
- Prenatal visit every week until delivery
Don’t panic if you hear your OB or staff members refer to your pregnancy as “high-risk.” Many scenarios place a pregnancy in that category, several of which are par for the course for a pregnancy requiring ART.
The most common reasons a pregnancy is determined “high risk” are:
- You are 36 years old or more
- Pregnant with twins or higher-order multiples
- Pre-existing health conditions (such as type 2 diabetes, heart issues, autoimmune disorders, obesity)
- You’ve experienced three or more miscarriages
- History of pre-term birth in the past
- History of a baby born with chromosomal/genetic defects
Our office will inform you ahead of time if your pregnancy is considered high-risk so you’re prepared for the term. In this case, you may have more scheduled prenatal appointments than a woman in the non-high-risk category.
Unlike other women who find out they’re pregnant on the fly, you’ve already spent the past months or years preparing your body for pregnancy. Your lifestyle won’t change much, so you’ll continue focusing on nourishing foods, avoiding harmful substances, getting healthy sleep and adequate rest, and exercising regularly, which helps to keep you in shape and develop the strength and stamina for labor and delivery.
The staff at Reproductive Resource Center is here for you. We’ll do all we can to ease the transition into your new prenatal life. Do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or concerns.