Jefferson University Hospitals

Pregnancy

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If you have chosen to have a baby and learn that you are pregnant, this is a time of happiness and change. Pregnancies are divided into three trimesters, and each trimester requires a different level of care as your fetus develops and your body prepares for childbirth.

Jefferson obstetricians and gynecologists are among the best in the Philadelphia region to manage your pregnancy and welcome your baby into the world. At Jefferson, our obstetricians know that healthy mothers deliver healthy babies. That's why, right from the start of your pregnancy through delivery and beyond, our highly skilled medical staff will give you and your baby all the personal attention and care you need.

First Trimester

During the first trimester, your obstetrician will ask a lot of questions and do routine exams and tests. If you are concerned about any hereditary conditions, your obstetrician will work with our genetic specialists of the Jefferson Maternal-Fetal Health Center to perform the appropriate screening. The first trimester is also when we can screen for Down's syndrome if you wish.

Second Trimester

In the second trimester, your obstetrician wants to ensure the fetus is developing correctly and that its heartbeat is strong; your blood pressure, weight and urine levels will also be checked to ensure that they are all within normal parameters.

At Jefferson, we have state-of-the-art reproductive imaging facilities where your ultrasounds and sonograms will be performed by a team of highly trained registered sonographers. Your obstetrician or perinatologist will review the results of your sonograms and ultrasound images with you.

Depending upon your physical history, your obstetrician may recommend a fetal echocardiogram to evaluate the position, size, function and rhythm of the unborn baby's heart. Sound waves reflect or "echo" off of the different moving structures of the heart to give a real-time image that you will see and hear on the TV monitor. Jefferson pediatric cardiologists have more than 30 years experience with fetal echocardiography and have taught our techniques around the world.

Third Trimester

The third trimester marks the home stretch, as you prepare for the delivery of your baby. If you haven't already, you can begin meeting with the specialists of Jefferson's Childbirth Program/Parent Education. The Program helps you and your partner prepare for the various stages of pregnancy; labor and birth; and for the postpartum period. You will be provided coping tools and exercises and learn about vaginal delivery, anesthesia, cesarean delivery and newborn care. Similar programs are also available for siblings and grandparents.