Get high-quality, personalized maternity care when you choose Essentia Health obstetricians near you in Minnesota, North Dakota, or Wisconsin.

What’s an Obstetrician?

An obstetrician, or OB, is a doctor with advanced training in caring for women during pregnancy, labor, and birth. That means they have the knowledge and experience to:

  • Care for all types of pregnancies, including high-risk pregnancies
  • Manage complications, such as preeclampsia
  • Use special tools or procedures to assist with vaginal deliveries
  • Deliver babies by cesarean section, or C-section

Your First Prenatal Visit

Call to schedule your first prenatal appointment as soon as you get a positive pregnancy test. Depending on your provider and your unique needs, your first appointment may happen anytime between weeks eight to 12 of your pregnancy.

Prenatal Education

During your first visit, you’ll see a registered nurse (RN), physician assistant (PA), or nurse practitioner (NP) for prenatal education. Learn about topics such as:

Regular Prenatal Check-Ups

Protect you and your baby’s health with regular prenatal care. Your doctor will tell you how often to visit. When you see your OB regularly, he or she can detect—and treat—problems early. During your appointments, your care team may:

  • Check your blood pressure
  • Measure your weight gain
  • Look for swelling in your hands and feet
  • Monitor your baby’s growth and position
  • Check your baby’s heart rate
  • Do prenatal tests
  • Discuss your questions or concerns

Prenatal Tests

Expect routine prenatal tests during your pregnancy. You may also have the option to take some genetic tests. Talk to your doctor about the benefits, risks, and limitations of each test. Common tests include:

  • Blood tests – Confirm pregnancy; determine your blood type and Rh (rhesus) factor; check for anemia; detect certain viruses, infections, and immunity; and more
  • First-trimester screening – Uses a finger-stick blood test and an ultrasound to evaluate your baby’s risk of developing specific chromosomal abnormalities, including Down’s Syndrome
  • Amniocentesis – Detects chromosomal abnormalities, neural tube defects, and genetic disorders by examining amniotic fluid
  • Ultrasound anatomy scan – Checks your baby’s development and helps determine your due date
  • Glucose screening and glucose tolerance tests – Reveals your blood sugar level to detect gestational diabetes

Vaginal Birth After Cesarean

If you’re interested in planning for a vaginal birth after cesarean, or VBAC, talk to your doctor. He or she can help you understand whether VBAC is safe for you and your baby. You’ll also discuss the advantages and risks of VBAC, so you can make an informed choice about your options for childbirth.

Patient Story

When Amy Gundlach was diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome, she was told it would be difficult for her to have children. Thanks to the compassionate care of her obstetrician at Essentia Health she is now a mother to three happy and healthy children.

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