Pregnancy is a beautiful time in a woman’s life, but it can also be incredibly stressful. From the moment you learn you are pregnant, you must stop eating all kinds of foods, and there are dozens of activities that you can no longer take part in because they could threaten the health of your baby.
You will also have to get used to visiting the doctor because even healthy women with low-risk pregnancies must visit their obstetrician on a regular basis. According to WebMD, women who are expecting should see their doctor once a month when they are between four and 28 weeks pregnant; twice a month when they are between 28 and 36 weeks pregnant; and once a week when they are between 36 and 40 weeks pregnant.
Some women may need to visit their obstetrician even more frequently depending on their health and the existence of any risk factors that could potentially hurt their baby. Every appointment will likely be different because there are various tests and health screenings that your doctor must administer at different stages of the pregnancy.
In addition to the standard health screenings that pregnant women should undergo, there are also additional tests that your provider might recommend if you present certain complications or if any of the standard screenings raise concerns. Unless you are an obstetrician yourself, though, you may not necessarily know what the recommended procedures are.
Although couples who are expecting can do their own research, providers have an obligation to provide reasonable prenatal care, which includes informing their patients of all available tests. If your doctor breached this duty of care and either you or your baby suffered as a result, you may have grounds for a medical malpractice claim.
Contact The Bowling Law Firm to discuss your case with a New Orleans birth injury lawyer and determine the best way to proceed. David A. Bowling will gather your medical records, interview expert witnesses, and calculate all potential damages so you can focus on recovering from the birth trauma. Call 877-757-3539 to schedule a case evaluation.
What Can You Expect Regarding Prenatal Care?
Although you can opt out of any screening or test, you still have the right to know what kinds of procedures are available to you and what most doctors recommend at which stage of pregnancy. For example, during the first and second trimesters, reasonable prenatal care includes:
- Screenings for any potential genetic birth defects;
- Screenings for twins, triplets, or multiple births;
- Exams for cervical competency;
- Ultrasounds for congenital defects in the placenta or fetus;
- Blood sugar tests for gestational diabetes;
- Regular pelvic exams to monitor growth;
- Urinalysis tests to monitor overall health; and
- Blood pressure tests to check for maternal hypertension.
During the last three months, or final trimester, your obstetrician will be focusing on preventing preterm labor. At this stage of pregnancy, prenatal care should include:
- Exams for preeclampsia;
- Ultrasounds to monitor fetal growth and positioning;
- Blood sugar tests for gestational diabetes; and
- Stress tests to check for fetal distress.
If you did not receive the standard care mentioned above or you presented with complications but your provider failed to address them, you may have grounds for a claim. Contact The Bowling Law Firm to talk to a birth injury attorney in New Orleans about your situation.