Maternity Services

Your Pregnancy

Taking care of yourself

Pregnancy can bring on many emotions. From feeling overwhelmed and the excitement of meeting your baby. It’s natural that you’re feeling a wide range of emotions. What are some steps to take care of yourself?

Make yourself a priority 

Eat a healthy diet.A healthy diet will help you to feel your best and provide your baby nutrients as they grow. Build your meals around whole foods. Your provider may advise you to take supplements. Folic acid is a B vitamin that helps prevent birth defects of the brain and spine. Iron is a mineral used to make a substance in red blood cells that carries oxygen to your organs and your baby.

Drink plenty of water.Constipation is a common complaint during pregnancy. Stay hydrated and limit (or eliminate) caffeine or sugary drinks.Avoid all alcohol. 

Stay active!Talk to your provider about what is the best exercise for you. Many pregnant women enjoy the following throughout their pregnancy: 

  • Walking
  • Swimming
  • Water aerobics
  • Prenatal yoga

Make sleep a priority. Getting plenty of sleep helps with fatigue, anxiety and contributes to your overall well-being. Drink most of your fluids earlier in the day – this will help with night-time bathroom visits. 

During flu season, get a free flu shot for you and your family!

Addiction and pregnancy 

At Legacy Health, we know that women who struggle with drugs or alcohol while pregnant need extra support to have a healthy pregnancy.

Our midwives at Legacy Medical Group-Midwifery, provide supportive and experienced care for pregnant women living with addiction. We offer prenatal care and help connect you with treatment in a supportive, non-judgmental setting.

Legacy Medical Group-Midwifery offers Project Nurture. This is a treatment program with care before birth and parenting support for the first year after delivery.

Common tests during pregnancy 

These are some of the more common tests done during pregnancy. 

First trimester prenatal screening tests

First trimester screening is a combination of fetal ultrasound and maternal blood testing. These tests help to determine if the fetus might have certain birth defects. Screening tests may be used alone or with other tests.

First trimester screening has 3 parts.

Ultrasound test for fetal nuchal translucency (NT)
Nuchal translucency screening uses an ultrasound test to check the area at the back of the fetal neck for extra fluid or thickening.

Two maternal serum (blood) tests
These tests measure 2 substances found in the blood of all pregnant women: 

  • Pregnancy-associated plasma protein screening (PAPP-A). This is a protein made by the placenta in early pregnancy. Abnormal levels are linked to a higher risk for chromosome problems.
  • Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). This is a hormone made by the placenta in early pregnancy. Abnormal levels are linked to a higher risk for chromosome problems.

When used together, these tests have a greater ability to find out if the fetus might have a genetic birth defect such as Down syndrome (trisomy 21) and trisomy 18.

If the results of these tests are abnormal, your healthcare provider will suggest genetic counseling. You may need more testing. That may include chorionic villus sampling, amniocentesis, cell-free fetal DNA, or other ultrasounds.

Second trimester prenatal screening tests

Second trimester prenatal screening may include several blood tests. These are called multiple markers. They give information about a woman's risk of having a baby with certain genetic conditions or birth defects. Screening is often done by taking a sample of your blood between the 15th and 20th weeks of pregnancy. The 16th to 18th is ideal. The multiple markers are listed below.

Alpha-fetoprotein screening (AFP)
This blood test measures the level of alpha-fetoprotein in your blood during pregnancy. AFP is a protein normally made by the fetal liver. It is in the fluid around the fetus (amniotic fluid) and crosses the placenta into your blood. The AFP blood test is also called MSAFP (maternal serum AFP).
Abnormal levels of AFP may be a sign of:
  • Open neural tube defects (ONTD) such as spina bifida
  • Down syndrome
  • Other chromosome problems
  • Problems in the abdominal wall of the fetus
  • Twins. More than one fetus is making the protein.
  • An incorrect due date. The levels of AFP vary throughout pregnancy.
Abnormal results of AFP and other markers may mean you need more testing. An ultrasound is often done to confirm the dates of the pregnancy. It also looks at the fetal spine and other body parts for problems. You may need an amniocentesis for accurate diagnosis.

Multiple marker screening is not diagnostic. This means it is not 100% accurate. It is only a screening test to find out who should be offered more testing for their pregnancy. The tests show false-positive results. This means they show a problem when the fetus is actually healthy. Or the results may be false negative. This means they show that the fetus is normal when the fetus actually does have a health problem.

Having both first and second trimester screening tests done makes it more likely to find a problem if there is one than using just one screening alone. As many as 19 out of 20 cases of Down syndrome can be found when both first and second trimester screening are used.
If you have questions or believe that your pregnancy is at a higher risk for a problem such as Down syndrome or a genetic issue, please ask your physician to refer you for genetic counseling, where these issues can be discussed.

High-risk pregnancy care

As your pregnancy progresses and complications arise, you may be referred to our maternal-fetal medicine team for specialized care for you and your baby. Our team of skilled physicians (called perinatologists) are board-certified in both maternal-fetal medicine and obstetrics-gynecology. They are here for you to answer questions, explain conditions, provide testing and support for you and your baby.  

Having your baby 

Preparing to give birth is an important and exciting part of pregnancy. We offer many support services to help prepare you for your delivery - from choosing a location, classes and birth plans.