You are beginning one of the most exciting adventures in life. Take a deep breath and let Ochsner help you prepare for the joy of bringing a new life into the world.
Whether you prefer a traditional hospital birth, an alternative or traditional birth at a Family Birthing Center or a water birth, we hope you choose Ochsner for the birth of your baby. Our unique system of integrated services and regional health centers offers comprehensive healthcare just right for today's family.
Ochsner features advanced technology in obstetrics and baby care in a comfortable environment. Talk to your physician or healthcare provider to learn which services are available to you at the facility where you choose to have your baby.
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At Ochsner, we offer a variety of classes that will prepare you for the birth of your baby, including:
- Prenatal class. When you sign up for this class, our specialists will teach you about general prenatal health, labor anesthesia, delivery options, and mom and baby post-delivery care. Following this class, you can even take a tour of our high-end labor and delivery unit.
- Breastfeeding class. In this class, you will learn about the basics of breastfeeding, including positioning, latch on, early feeding and milk production. It also addresses any concerns about hormones, breast anatomy and breast pumps.
- The ABC’s of Low Intervention Childbirth. Our goal is to provide you with valuable information and resources to prepare you for one of life’s most miraculous events – the birth of your child. Topics will include: the mind-body connection, labor support techniques and resources for a low intervention birth.
What to Expect While Pregnant
The First Trimester (weeks 1-12)
Your baby experiences several growth spurts during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, when he or she develops relatively quickly. It is important for you to take care of yourself and your baby especially at this time. Avoid cigarettes and alcohol, and limit the caffeine you drink in coffee and soft drinks. Also remember that it is important to consistently take your prenatal vitamins.
Talk openly and frankly with your obstetrician. Whether you're looking for a way to stop sneezing, soothe a nagging headache or take a vacation, the best advice is to check with your doctor before taking any medication or making a change in your routine. Of course, under no circumstances should you smoke or consume alcohol while pregnant.
The Second Trimester (weeks 13-27)
The second phase of your pregnancy is marked by changes for both you and your baby. Just as you are showing your baby bump more each day, your baby is growing and gaining weight as well. During this time, most mothers first sense their baby’s movement.
The Third Trimester (weeks 28-40)
Growing, growing, growing. Yes, you’re getting bigger but so is your baby. In the last trimester, your baby is maturing and looking more like a person, as he or she gets closer to entering the world.
At Ochsner, experienced nurses examine all newborns within the first few minutes after birth. Heart rate, muscle tone, breathing, reflexes and overall color are evaluated and given an APGAR score as baby's baseline health assessment. A pediatrician is available 24 hours a day if further assessment and treatment are necessary. Your pediatrician or an Ochsner pediatric hospitalist will thoroughly examine your baby within 24 hours of birth.
If your pregnancy is deemed "high risk," your Ochsner obstetrician may rely on recognized high-risk pregnancy specialists and other medical specialists to consult in your care. At Ochsner, you can be sure that every aspect of your and your baby's condition will be fully evaluated, treated and monitored throughout your pregnancy, labor and delivery. Ochsner's acclaimed Neonatal Intensive Care Units are also available to care for your baby's medical needs.
In most cases, with proper monitoring, frequent checkups and by paying attention to your doctor's advice, a high-risk pregnancy will lead to a successful delivery and a healthy baby.
When to Visit a Doctor to Confirm Pregnancy
After receiving a positive pregnancy test at home, it is important to see a doctor to confirm the pregnancy. A missed period is often the first clue that you might be pregnant, but there are other symptoms including headache, fatigue, and breast tenderness. You may also experience nausea and frequent urination, food aversions or cravings, and mood swings.
After a positive pregnancy test, you should contact your doctor or midwife to discuss scheduling an appointment. During your first pregnancy appointment with a doctor or midwife, a urine pregnancy test is performed to confirm the pregnancy. The urine pregnancy test can pick up the human chorionic gonadotropin hormone (hCG), which is a hormone produced by the placenta. Your doctor or midwife will also discuss scheduling an ultrasound to confirm your actual due date.