What to Expect During Your Prenatal Visits
Pregnancy is a time for many changes, both for your body and your life. At Preferred Women’s Health, we know that you will probably have a lot of questions for us, and we hope to make your very first obstetric visit as productive as possible.
Please review the information below prior to your appointment so that you can make informed decisions on genetic testing and other screening options available to you. Get the facts so you can make the best decision for your baby’s health. If you would like to schedule an appointment with one of our providers, please call our office at (248) 723-6200.
Your Pregnancy Confirmation Visit
Your pregnancy test is positive. Now what? Once you discover that you are pregnant, please call our office to set your OB Confirm appointment.
The purpose of this initial visit is to get acquainted with you if you are a new patient to the practice, and also to get some information regarding this pregnancy.
Dating the pregnancy is very important, so the receptionist will ask you the first day of your last menstrual period. If your periods are irregular, please let her know that at the time of your call. Irregular periods can modify your due date. Because documenting your dates is most accurate earlier in pregnancy, we like to see you for this visit between 7 and 8 weeks gestation.
At this visit, we will take a history, perform a physical exam, and update your Pap smear as needed. We will also perform an ultrasound to confirm your dates and make sure that everything looks to be progressing appropriately. We will perform typical prenatal bloodwork, which includes blood type, blood count, and screening for Rubella, syphilis, Hepatitis B, and HIV. We also perform thyroid testing and a urine culture. In some cases we screen for toxoplasmosis, sickle cell carrier status, or for chicken pox immunity.
Genetic Screening Tests
At the conclusion of the visit, we will give you information about some genetic screening tests we will perform at your next visit (the New OB visit done at approximately 11 to 12 weeks gestation.) We will perform the Horizon genetic carrier test that will determine if you are a carrier of the cystic fibrosis gene, the gene that causes spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), or the Fragile X gene. It can also determine if you carry the gene for several other diseases.
- Cystic fibrosis is the most common fatal genetic disorder in North America. It causes the body to produce a very thick mucus that can damage internal organs and clog the lungs, possibly leading to infections and respiratory failure. It causes multi-organ failure but does not affect intelligence. While it can affect all ethnic groups, 1 in 25 Caucasians is a carrier.
- Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is the most common inherited cause of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). It affects a person’s ability to control their muscles, and in the most common form, it causes death by age 2.
- Fragile X syndrome is the most common inherited cause of intellectual disability, and approximately one-third of individuals with fragile X syndrome have autism. The carrier rate is 1 in 260 women.
You have the option to decline the above tests if desired. If you have already been screened for these diseases in the past, the tests do not need to be repeated.
We are excited to offer the Panorama non-invasive prenatal test to screen for certain chromosome disorders. This test screens for Down syndrome (Trisomy 21), Edwards syndrome (Trisomy 18) and Patau syndrome (Trisomy 13). It is a simple blood test that can detect small amounts of the baby’s DNA that has crossed the placenta and has entered the mother’s bloodstream. The Panorama® test can also determine the baby’s gender. It is best drawn after 10 weeks of gestation.
We will provide you with written materials about the Horizon and Panorama tests, and we can discuss insurance coverage at this visit. Again, these are optional tests that we offer to all of our patients. Should you decide to have these tests performed, we will draw them at your New OB visit done approximately 3 to 4 weeks after your OB Confirm appointment.