Obstetric Services

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The physicians of North Little Rock Women’s Clinic understand this is a very special time in your life and certainly want to do everything possible to make your pregnancy a wonderful experience for you and your family. Your body will undergo many changes during this time. It is important for you to understand what is happening and what you can do to help your baby and yourself. It is extremely important that you have regular examinations during the prenatal period. For the first several months, most patients will be scheduled each four weeks. During these visits, many things are monitored including your baby’s growth and heart rate. Later in the pregnancy, visits are scheduled every two weeks, then weekly until delivery. You will also receive ultrasound examinations of your baby to visualize the fetus within the uterus. Ultrasound helps determine accurately the condition of the baby.

Ultrasounds

An ultrasound is a diagnostic procedure in which a transducer is moved across a woman’s abdomen, producing high-frequency sound waves that create a picture of the baby on a monitor. Ultrasounds can be performed at any time during pregnancy, but most often are performed in the first trimester to confirm pregnancy and detect gestational age, and in the second trimester to detect the child’s gender. Ultrasounds can also be performed to detect an ectopic pregnancy as well as any developmental or skeletal abnormalities.

The types of ultrasounds include:

  • Transvaginal – special probe used during the early stages of pregnancy
  • Standard – traditional 2D scan
  • 3-D – generates 3-D images of the baby
  • 4-D – generates 4-D images of the baby (especially of the face)

Amniocentesis

An amniocentesis is a diagnostic test that can be ordered by your physician if there are genetic concerns. It can be performed during weeks 14 – 20 if genetic abnormalities, such as Down’s syndrome, spina bifida or cystic fibrosis, are suspected as well as in the third trimester to determine if your baby has fetal anemia and to determine if the baby’s lungs are mature for an early delivery.

During the procedure, the abdomen is numbed and a needle is inserted into the amniotic sac. It is guided by an ultrasound to determine a safe area (away from the baby) to enter. Amniotic fluid, which contains cells from the baby, is collected and then sent to a laboratory for testing.

North Little Rock Women’s Clinic does not perform amniocentesis, but if the need arises, we will refer to a maternal fetal medicine (MFM) specialist.

Deliveries

There are two types of delivery – vaginal and c-section. With a vaginal delivery, a woman may choose to have an epidural, which numbs the body from the waist down, keeping the mother from feeling contractions or pain during delivery. Some mothers choose to have a natural childbirth with no anesthesia or pain medication.

If a complication arises during the pregnancy or delivery, and the physician feels it will be unsafe for the mother or baby to deliver vaginally, the baby can be delivered via c-section (cesarean birth). With a c-section, an incision is made in the abdomen and the baby is pulled out. A spinal block or epidural is administered to numb from the chest down to the legs, allowing the mother to remain awake during the procedure. In certain cases, general anesthesia has to be administered, which does not allow the mother to be awake for the delivery.

To learn more about the delivery process, we encourage you to sign up for prenatal classes. These classes will educate you on each phase of labor, breathing techniques, delivery, postpartum care and breastfeeding.

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