Obstetrics & Prenatal Care
We would like to welcome you to our office and thank you for selecting Women’s Healthcare Affiliates, P.A. for your obstetrical care. Our goal is to render the best health care for you and your baby. We hope you will find this pregnancy a pleasant and rewarding experience.
During your pregnancy, beginning with the confirmation visit, you will receive literature on pregnancy and pregnancy related topics. There are brochures explaining certain tests and/or procedures that we may recommend at some point during your pregnancy. It is crucial that you read this information and apply it when necessary. Also please do not hesitate to ask any questions you may have. Information on Childbirth classes in addition to Breastfeeding classes is also available from the hospital. It is recommended that you attend if this is your first pregnancy or if it has been an extended period of time since your previous pregnancy, if you so desire.
Insurance & Financial
If you have insurance coverage, we will gladly file your claim once you have delivered. Budget arrangements can be made for your convenience on the amount that your insurance company does not cover but must be paid in full by the end of the 5th month of pregnancy. Please remember that you, the patient, not the insurance company, is ultimately responsible for payment of all professional services rendered. It is imperative that you notify our office of any demographic changes, i.e. changes in insurance company, termination of coverage, changes in telephone number, address, employer or spouse’s employer, etc. This also includes transferring of care to another physician either inside or outside the practice. Failure to notify our office of these types of changes may result in you being responsible for the entire amount of billed charges. Many insurance carriers stipulate stringent billing time frames and guidelines. Please communicate with our Patient Financial Counselor on a regular basis during your pregnancy. The Patient Financial Counselor is there to assist you with your coverage and out-of-pocket options.
Questions & Concerns
Should a medical problem arise, we ask that you call our office day or night. Phones are answered 24 hours a day. Questions of a non-emergency nature should be made during regular office hours. If a prescription refill is needed, please contact your pharmacy as your pharmacy will notify us for approval.
Attendance & Punctuality
It is crucial that every appointment be attended. You must arrive no later than 10 minutes prior to each scheduled appointment. In the event you need to reschedule your appointment, as a courtesy, please notify our office a minimum of 24 hours in advance. Both, you and your baby’s health are important to us; therefore, every effort must be displayed in attending your appointment.
Physician Call Schedule
The physicians have a call schedule for evenings, weekends, and personal leave. In the event you should have your baby during one of these times, you may see a different physician at your delivery. Please be assured that all the physicians practice in a similar manner and have the same goal which is to help you have a safe and positive birth experience. In general, the physicians do approximately 70-80% of their own deliveries.
For emergencies, urgent care after hours, or on the weekends, please call our main number, 281-367-6836, option 8. This number will be answered by the answering service at all times. Please have a pharmacy number ready. Please do not have a significant other or family member call for you. It is important that the physician speaks directly to you.
The physicians appreciate your understanding in these matters.
Office Visit Frequency
1 to 28 weeks gestation – Every 4 weeks
28 to 36 weeks gestation – Every 2 to 3 weeks
36 to 40 weeks gestation – Every week
These are normal visit schedules. They may vary depending on your individual situation.
Nurse (LVN) Calls
Women’s Healthcare Affiliates has a dedicated Nurse (LVN) to receive medical calls during regular office hours. If your physician’s medical assistant is assisting another patient, you may reach their voice mail. Please leave your name, telephone number, date of birth and the reason you are calling. Please be assured that our staff is consistently retrieving the messages and your call will be responded to promptly.
Your prenatal labs will be drawn between the 12th and 18th week of pregnancy. It will consist of:
- CBC to rule our anemia
- RPR to screen for syphilis
- Indirect Coombs to detect possible antibodies
- Rubella titer to determine immunity against rubella (German measles)
- Blood type and RH
- Hepatitis and HIV screening
- Trisomy/Quad screening is elective, but recommended around the 17th week of pregnancy to screen for trisomies and neural tube defects. First trimester non-invasive prenatal screening is also an option, speak to your physician to see if it is right for you.
- Glucose screening/CBC in the second trimester
- A urine culture will be obtained during the pregnancy to rule out a bacterial infection in the urine
- Group B Strep culture is done routinely at approximately 35-37 weeks along with a repeat RPR
Ultrasounds are not scheduled routinely, but when medically indicated as recommended by the National Institute of Health and The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. The decision will rest with your physician on whether or not an ultrasound will be necessary. Maximum of 2 visitors/observers. All children should be strictly supervised and any child under the age of 10 needs to be accompanied by another adult. Ultrasounds should not be considered a guarantee that no abnormality is present. There is no guarantee that gender is always correctly diagnosed either, as visualization is sometimes difficult. While we do not offer 3D/4D ultrasounds, as the are not medical services, we have information for centers that we refer to for these services if desires.
Non-stress testing (NST), an in-office procedure monitoring fetal heart rate and contraction activity, may become necessary to verify fetal well being. A good breakfast/meal prior to an NST is recommended.
Pre-admission to the hospital should be made in person at least by your 28th week of pregnancy. OB patients may Register Online with Memorial Hermann The Woodlands.
Once you have pre-registered using the online tool, you must complete and sign their consent forms in person in the hospital business office by your seventh month.
Umbilical cord blood is one of the richest sources of stem cell. It is taken painlessly from the umbilical cord at the time of the delivery and stored for future use. It is found to treat and cure multiple diseases. This is not to be confused with other controversial sources of stem cell. Please speak with your physician and/or his nurse for further information regarding this potentially life saving option. Please note that this process may only be done at the time of delivery, therefore, it truly is a once in a lifetime opportunity to take advantage of. For further information, please speak with your physician regarding this option. More information may be found on our Helpful Links page.
Arrangements for an epidural anesthetic are usually required before the onset of labor. Please contact the hospital to ensure that you are pre-registered with anesthesia.
Medications Acceptable Through Pregnancy
Throughout pregnancy minor problems or illnesses may occur. Below is a list of common ailments with approved over the counter (OTC) remedies.
- Headache: Tylenol or Extra-Strength Tylenol
- Minor sore throat: Chloraseptic spray/gargle
- Head cold/sinus: Benadryl or Drixoral Cough: Robitussin (plain)
- Hemorrhoids: Tuck pads, Anusol or Preparation H
- Constipation: Prunes or Milk of Magnesia
- Indigestion/Heartburn: Riopan, Mylanta or Sodium-free Tums, Zantac
- Diarrhea: Clear liquids for 24 hours (7-Up, Sprite, Ginger Ale) Advance to bananas, rice, applesauce and toast. Once the diarrhea has stopped, resume regular diet. Imodium, an over the counter drug, may be taken.
- Morning Sickness: Vitamin B6 25-50mg three to four times daily
- Minor swelling: Reduce salt intake and elevate feet as often as possible
If any of these symptoms persist or are accompanied by fever, please call the office.
Dental Care During Pregnancy
Only non-elective dental work is recommended during pregnancy. X-rays should be avoided, but if necessary, an abdominal shield should be used. Epinephrine is not recommended for anesthetic. Call our office to have prescription medications approved.