Dr. Garrett Lam explains how often a woman needs to see her doctor when she is pregnant and describes what a woman can expect when she first visits a maternal-fetal medicine doctor. Dr. Lam is a member of the Society for Maternal Fetal Medicine and a physician at Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center in Phoenix, Arizona.
The good news is that the majority of women who are pregnant will likely have uncomplicated pregnancies and again, I always say that a mom does not need to see me or my partners as maternal-fetal medicine specialists it’s not an insult to us and it’s a probably good thing.
For most women, they can usually see their doctors every month until the early third trimester and then depending on their clinical course they may start to see the doctors every two weeks from about 32 weeks on, and then every week from about 35 to 36 weeks on until delivery.
In our setting as maternal-fetal medicine specialist, because we often times see moms with some sort of underlying medical problem or fetus with an underlying medical problem, we do need to see our mothers a lot more frequently and we have moms come as often as every week or sometimes even twice a week for follow-up to take a look at their babies and themselves.
Well typically, for a first patient visit with one of our specialists in maternal-fetal medicine, what we will do is take a complete history of the mom and look for any underlying medical conditions that may continue to complicate her pregnancy or may worsen her current conditions in pregnancy. So we look for things such as a history of chronic hypertension, a history of preeclampsia, history of diabetes, a history of underlying renal problems, for example.
We also look into her surgical history and there may be certain elements within her surgical history that may pose complications for delivery or may pose complications that increase her risk for pre-term delivery. We will look at her social history, for example what does she do for work? Does she smoke? Does she drink? Does she have a drug abuse history? Travel history, exposures to foreign foods or any sort of risk where she might be exposed to any sort of strange bacteria or viruses.
And then we will also take a look at her baby and oftentimes within that first visit there are oftentimes we include an ultrasound so we can assess the baby’s size and condition overall.
That’s all part of the detective work that we do as maternal-fetal medicine specialists in order to determine, number one, what are the underlying factors that may complicate her pregnancy and therefore also number two, how can we develop a plan of action to kind of work with these risk factors to improve the overall outcome?
About Dr. Garrett K. Lam, M.D.:
Dr. Garrett K. Lam is board certified in both Obstetrics and Gynecology and Maternal Fetal Medicine. He received his MD from the University of Rochester, completed his residency training at Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center, then went to the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill for his fellowship in Maternal Fetal Medicine.
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Condition: Pregnancy, High-Risk Pregnancy, Preeclampsia
Related Terms: Cesarean Section, C-Section, Vaginal Birth, Elective C-Section, Emergency C-Section, Labor, HELLP Syndrome, Intrauterine Growth Restriction, Pregnancy-Induced Hypertension
Health Care Provider: Banner Hospital, Banner Medical Center, Banner Health, Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center, Banner Good Samaritan Hospital, Banner Good Sam
Location: Phoenix, Arizona, AZ, 85006, Tempe, Scottsdale, Mesa, Maricopa County, Phoenix Metropolitan Area
Expert: Dr. Garrett K. Lam, Garrett Lam, M.D., Doctor Garrett Lam, Obstetrician Dr. Garrett Lam, Dr. Garrett Lam, OB/GYN
Expertise: High-Risk Pregnancy, Cesarean Section, C-Section, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Maternal Fetal Medicine, Perinatal Care, Birthing Services, Fetal Assessment, Fetal Therapy, Fetal Intervention, Premature Babies