Pregnancy and Childbirth

Pregnancy and Childbirth

At Women’s Health Specialists of Dallas, our expert team of OB/GYN physicians and providers know that the pregnancy journey requires many levels of care. Whether you’re already expecting or looking to conceive, having a baby is one of the most exciting times in a woman’s life.

With offices in Dallas and Rockwall, Texas, you’ll find all the services and support you need to have a safe pregnancy and a healthy baby.

Pregnancy Services Offered at WHS of Dallas

Women’s Health Specialists of Dallas has operated out of Texas Health Resources – Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas for over 40 years. Every OB/GYN physician on staff can manage both high- and low-risk pregnancies, no matter what your needs are.

Throughout your pregnancy, you have access to:

  • An OB/GYN physician who oversees and manages your care with regular appointments.
    • About once each month for weeks 4 through 28
    • Twice a month for weeks 28 through 36
    • Weekly for weeks 36 to birth
  • An ultrasound technician, who can monitor the growth and development of your baby.
  • A board-certified anesthesiologist during labor and delivery.

Getting early and regular prenatal care improves the chances of a healthy pregnancy and a healthy birth.

After your baby is born, you’ll have access to the highest quality neonatal care and continuing support from your physician.

Your First Prenatal Visit

Prenatal care generally begins around 8 weeks after your last menstrual period. If you are a known high-risk patient or are concerned about the first weeks of your pregnancy, we are able to see you earlier.

Your initial visit for prenatal care will be quite comprehensive. Your doctor will 

  • Ask you questions about your medical history including diseases, operations, or prior pregnancies 
  • Ask about your family’s medical history
  • Conduct a complete physical exam, including a pelvic exam and Pap test
  • Take your blood and urine for lab work
  • Check your blood pressure, height, and weight
  • Calculate your due date
  • Answer your questions
  • Order an ultrasound

It is routine for us to order an ultrasound on your first visit. At other times, one may be ordered if there is any question about how far along you are or if you are experiencing any bleeding or cramping.

During your visit, your doctor will also discuss the following with you:

  • Diet, exercise, nutrition, weight gain
  • Prenatal vitamins, supplements, herbs
  • Travel limitations
  • Environmental hazards
  • Fevers and medications
  • Dental care, cats, raw meat, fish, and gardening
  • Miscarriage precautions

Later Prenatal Visits

Later prenatal visits will be shorter. Your doctor will check on your health and make sure the baby is growing as expected. At these visits, you can expect that your doctor will

  • Check your blood pressure
  • Measure your weight gain
  • Measure your abdomen to check your baby’s growth (once you begin to show)
  • Check the baby’s heart rate

During these visits, your doctor may also order some routine tests, such as blood work to check for anemia, your blood type, HIV, and other factors. Plus, other tests may be ordered based on your age, personal or family medical history, your ethnic background, or the results of routine tests you have had.

Childbirth

Childbirth, or labor and delivery, is the culmination of pregnancy with the emergence of a newborn infant from the mother’s uterus. 

It is important to discuss labor and signs of labor with your health care provider early in your pregnancy, before labor begins.

For most women, labor begins sometime between 37 and 42 weeks of pregnancy. Labor that occurs before 37 weeks of pregnancy is considered premature or preterm.

Stages of Labor

  • There are three stages of labor. The first stage begins with the onset of labor and ends when the cervix is fully opened. This is the longest stage of labor, lasting anywhere from 12 to 19 hours. It is different for every woman.
  • The second stage of labor involves the pushing and delivery of your baby. This stage can last 20 minutes to 2 hours.
  • The third stage of labor involves the delivery of the placenta. It is the shortest stage, lasting 5 to 30 minutes.

Signs of Labor

The primary sign of labor is a series of contractions (tightening and relaxing of the uterus) that arrive regularly, become stronger, and last longer. You should contact your health care provider when your contractions are every 5 to 10 minutes for an hour.

Other signs of labor include:

  • Lightening. This term refers to when the fetus drops or moves lower in the uterus.
  • Increase in vaginal discharge. This discharge is called “show” or “bloody show” and may appear clear, pink, or slightly bloody. It occurs as the cervix begins to open (dilate).
  • Pain or pressure around the front of the pelvis or the rectum.
  • Low, dull backache.
  • Cramps that feel like menstrual cramps, with or without diarrhea.
  • A gush or trickle of fluid, which is a sign of water breaking.

These signs can happen several days before labor or just as labor begins.

Labor and Delivery Location

Women’s Health Specialists of Dallas operates out of Texas Health Resources – Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas. Here you’ll find a world-class facility for all of your labor and delivery needs, including a renowned neonatal care unit for your newly arrived baby.

Postpartum Visit

After the birth of your baby, your doctor will talk with you about things you may experience as your body starts to recover, such as

  • Vaginal discharge called lochia. It is the tissue and blood that lined your uterus during pregnancy. The discharge may start off heavy at first and then gets lighter until it goes away after a few weeks.
  • Swelling in your legs and feet. Reduce swelling by elevating your feet when possible.
  • Constipation. Drink plenty of water and eat fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Menstrual-like cramping. This is common, especially if you are breastfeeding. Your milk will come in 3 to 6 days after your delivery.
  • Screening for postpartum depression and anxiety.

You will have your postpartum visit with your doctor about 6 weeks after birth. During your visit, your doctor will discuss such things as

  • Resuming normal activities
  • Eating and Fitness Plans to return to a healthy weight
  • Sex and birth control 

Pregnancy FAQs

While OB/GYN is considered one specialty it comprises two separate fields.

Obstetrics (OB) is the branch of medicine that deals with pregnancy, labor, and birth, as well as the female reproductive system. Most obstetricians also have training in diagnosing and treating problems of the female reproductive system.

Gynecology (GYN) focuses on caring for women through the various stages and transitions of life. Gynecology includes the diagnosis, treatment, and preventive care of conditions relating to a woman’s reproductive system including the vagina, uterus, ovaries, and Fallopian tubes. Learn More

With obstetrics care, you can be confident that a well trained OB/GYN is handling your pregnancy and reproductive concerns.

Some women have a higher risk of complications during pregnancy than others. The number one factor that contributes to a high-risk pregnancy is a previous history of reproductive complications or miscarriages. Several other factors can also qualify you as high-risk, including:

  • Health conditions like diabetes, hypertension, thyroid disorders, kidney disease, asthma, heart disease, seizure disorder, autoimmune disorders, or a personal history of cancer
  • Being very young or over the age of 35
  • Having a history of or current diagnosis of gestational diabetes, gestational hypertension, or pre-eclampsia
  • Being pregnant with multiples (twins, triplets, or a higher-order multiple)
  • Uterine anomalies or uterine fibroids
  • Teratogen exposure (through certain prescription medications, narcotics, illicit drugs, or alcohol)

Your physician can evaluate and treat any issues that arise during a high-risk pregnancy. This might include consultations with a Maternal-Fetal Medicine (MFM) specialist.

Some complications may require bed rest or hospitalization, which gives your growing baby the time it needs to develop more fully.

At Women’s Health Specialists of Dallas, your physician and the entire OB/GYN team provides expert prenatal care and women’s health services necessary to bring a happy, healthy baby into the world.

Whether you’re a newly expectant mother or looking to conceive, the obstetric physicians consider delivering babies to be the highlight of their jobs. With state-of-the-art facilities that are equipped to provide the best in prenatal and birth services, you’ll find all the resources and support you need to feel educated, empowered, and excited about your pregnancy journey.

If failed attempts or miscarriages have marked your pregnancy journey, the Women’s Health Specialists of Dallas offer Infertility treatment that can help you get on the path toward a healthy conception.

With offices in Dallas and Rockwall, Texas, WHS of Dallas offers all the services and support you will need to have a safe pregnancy and a healthy baby. Call our office at (214) 363-4421 to schedule an appointment or you may request an appointment online.