Pregnancy Health (cont.)

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Pregnancy Medical Treatment

Electronic fetal monitoring: Sometimes late in pregnancy, a woman who is pregnant may be placed on a fetal monitor to verify the health of the fetus or to see if the woman is in early labor.

Ultrasound Biophysical Profile Test: This is a noninvasive test which will assess whether or not the baby is obtaining an adequate supply of oxygen. It is typically performed in high risk pregnancies or if a woman has gone past her due date.

Pregnancy Medications

Because so many medicines are not safe to take during pregnancy, it is extremely important that a woman take only those that have been approved by her doctor. If anyone tries to prescribe a new medicine, the woman should explain that she is pregnant and ask if the drug is safe to take. The US Food and Drug Administration lists five categories of labeling for drug use in pregnancy. A doctor or pharmacist can provide advice on the safety level (indicated by category) of medications before a woman who is pregnant takes anything. Doctors will often use category B and C medications (see the following list) if a woman's medical needs warrant the use of those medications. Not all conditions have category A medications available for treatment.

  • Category A - Safety established using human studies
  • Category B - Presumed safety based upon animal studies
  • Category C - Uncertain safety with animal studies showing an adverse effect
  • Category D - Unsafe with evidence of risk that may, in certain clinical circumstances, be justifiable
  • Category X - Highly unsafe with risk or use outweighing any possible benefit

Pregnancy Follow-up

For the first few months of pregnancy, monthly doctor's visits are standard. After that, visits are biweekly until the last month of pregnancy when doctor's visits are weekly. Usually, blood testing and anemia checks are performed at the first doctor's visit and at the 16- and 28-week visits.

The doctor will probably provide the woman who is pregnant some information to read about pregnancy. She should ask questions if she needs help understanding the information or what is happening during the pregnancy.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 8/9/2013

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Pregnancy - Describe Your Experience Question: Please describe usual or unusual experiences you had with your pregnancy, food cravings, morning sickness, edema (etc.)
Pregnancy - Questions Question: What questions did you have for your doctor about your pregnancy?
Pregnancy - Symptoms Question: What pregnancy symptoms did you, or have you experienced?
Pregnancy - Tests Question: What tests did you take to confirm you were pregnant?
Pregnancy - Medications Question: If you have preexisting conditions that required medication, how was this managed during your pregnancy?
Pregnancy - Lifestyle Changes Question: What lifestyle changes have you made during your pregnancy?