Pregnant? What’s next? HPC now offers prenatal services!

Eva ClarkBy Eva Clark, MSN, APRN, WHNP-BC, Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner at Health Partnership Clinic

So, you just found out you are pregnant and excited but nervous at the same time. Now what to do next? The answer is simple: Make an appointment with a provider to begin prenatal care.

Prenatal care is important as it ensures you and your baby are healthy during pregnancy and delivery. Unfortunately, statistics have shown that minorities (African American and Hispanic) continue to be the highest groups with no prenatal care. The lack of prenatal care can lead to low birth weight, premature birth and even maternal and child death.

An important part of the prenatal care plan is proper nutrition for both you and your baby. It is challenging to get all the nutrition your body needs from food alone, so it is important that you take a prenatal multivitamin containing between 400-800 mg of folic acid which could minimize the risk of birth defects and complications.

Initial Visit to HPC

For your initial visit expect to be there for about an hour as the provider will do the following:

  • Obtain your medical history as well as family history
  • Do a complete physical exam
  • Provide education about good lifestyles such as stop smoking and drinking alcohol as well as exercise
  • Provide you with an estimated due date (EDD)
  • Obtain your blood and urine for lab work

During pregnancy, your body goes through so many changes which sometimes lead to conditions that you normally would not have if you were not pregnant such as gestational diabetes, headaches, nausea/vomiting and swelling especially in your ankles/feet. Having prenatal care allows your provider to assess your health and ensure the baby is growing as expected.

Subsequent Visits to HPC

HPC Prenatal ServicesSubsequent visits should be shorter and will include:

  • Checking your blood pressure
  • Obtaining your weight
  • Measuring your abdomen once you are over 20 weeks to check baby’s growth
  • Check the fetal heart rate (FHR) after 10 weeks

After each visit, you will make an appointment according to how far along you are. The following schedule shows how often you will see your provider which could change depending on if you are considered high risk:

  • Every four weeks through 28 weeks
  • Every two weeks from 28 weeks until 36 weeks
  • Every week from 36 weeks until you deliver

Visiting your provider regularly provides you with the opportunity to ask any questions you may have. It also allows your provider to detect any problems early and provide treatment as needed. Proper prenatal care can help you have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby.

HPC Offers Prenatal Services

Having said this, if you have recently found out you are pregnant or pregnant but have not started prenatal care, Health Partnership Clinic is excited to announce we are offering prenatal services. We are in collaboration with Overland Park Regional Medical Center which is where you would deliver.
For information or to schedule an appointment, please call 913-276-7098.