Prenatal Care & Preparing for Birth
The best possible pregnancy experience starts with outstanding prenatal care, conveniently located in South Florida. Prenatal care is vitally important to keep you and your baby safe with a high-risk pregnancy.
Before Your First Appointment
If your obstetrician refers you to our high-risk obstetrics team, our perinatal nurse navigator will guide you through every step of the process, beginning with scheduling a meet and greet and your first appointment. Your nurse navigator is your guide throughout your pregnancy journey, helping schedule your appointments and answer your questions. They will also gather your medical records and make sure your high-risk OB/GYN is up to speed on your health history and medical concerns.
For your first appointment, we recommend you bring:
- A list of questions for your doctor
- A support person
- Your photo ID
- Your insurance card
- Any paperwork or medical records from your previous provider
Prenatal and Specialty Care Through Your Pregnancy
Every mother and every pregnancy is unique. Our care teams get to know you so they can support your family throughout your pregnancy journey. They also create personalized care plans. Your care plan will depend on your risk factors, existing conditions and how your pregnancy is progressing.
Keeping track of all your appointments and tests can be tricky, but our perinatal nurse navigator can help. Your nurse navigator will help you understand your condition and your care, help you schedule appointments, and communicate with all your doctors to ensure you receive seamless care. In addition, they can help you set-up a Memorial MyChart account (if you don't already have one) so you can access appointments, results, and ask providers non-urgent questions online.
Through prenatal testing, your doctor monitors you and your baby’s health. Each care plan is unique, but many include testing such as:
- Blood sugar checks
- Blood pressure checks
- Fetal magnetic resonance imaging (a test to look at your baby in detail without using radiation)
- Fetal non-stress tests (a test to monitor your baby’s heart rate)
- Genetic testing and counseling
- Regular ultrasounds
- Regular urine and blood testing
If you have any questions about what tests you are getting, why you need the tests, or how to prepare for those tests, please contact your obstetrician.
Managing and Monitoring Health Conditions
We want to help you stay as healthy as possible during pregnancy. We can also help you manage any conditions you already have, including diabetes and high blood pressure. We offer services such as:
- Diabetes management, including nutrition counseling and education on how to use medicines and insulin.
- Early admission to the hospital antepartum (before delivery) unit for around-the-clock monitoring of your and your baby’s health.
- High blood pressure management including medication, counseling about nutrition and physical activity, and at-home monitoring tools.
- Management of medications to ensure they are safe during your pregnancy.
- Lifestyle education with tips on how to move, eat, sleep and stay comfortable during pregnancy.
- Referrals or consultation with other maternal and fetal specialists if you need additional care.
- Treatments such as cervical cerclage (a procedure to close the cervix so you can maintain your pregnancy longer).
Your doctor can help you understand if these services are right for you.
Maternal Mental Health Care
We understand that a high-risk pregnancy can cause a lot of anxiety and mental health challenges. So, throughout your journey, we can help you find counselors, social workers, chaplains and other mental health professionals who can help you work through how you are feeling both before and after giving birth.
We also offer the Mothers in Recovery program for mothers working to overcome addiction. It's the only hospital-based program in Broward County to offer treatment for addiction to all drugs and alcohol.
Surgery and Anesthesia Consultations
If you may need surgery during birth, such as a cesarean section (C-section), you’ll meet with surgeons and anesthesiologists before you give birth. These consultations help doctors design a safe care plan for you.
At Memorial Healthcare System, our team includes obstetric anesthesiologists who specialize in caring for mothers in labor, including women with high-risk pregnancies. In addition, our OB anesthesiologists are available 24/7 at Memorial Regional Hospital to provide personalized care.
Your High-Risk Pregnancy Care Team
Your high-risk pregnancy care team will include a range of specialists who have years of experience caring for pregnant women. Each member of your team works together to offer seamless care for all your health needs. Though your team will include multiple doctors and nurses, you are always the most important member of the team and an active participant in your care. We will design your care plan with your wishes in mind.
Monthly Meetings to Plan for Your Care
If you are referred for perinatal navigation at Memorial Regional Hospital, your entire care team gets together to discuss your needs and goals each month. This monthly meeting ensures you get the highest quality, personalized care. These meetings also keep every member of your team up to date on your care so you can receive seamless treatment.
Classes, Support Groups and Tours
At Memorial Healthcare System, we offer numerous support groups and childbirth and parenting classes to help you prepare for motherhood. We also provide hospital tours, so you know what to expect when it’s time for your baby to arrive. If you do need to stay in the hospital before your baby is born, we also offer online parenting classes from our antepartum unit.
Your Personalized Birth Plan
Your birth plan includes all your wishes and hopes for your birth experience, including who is in the room, what pain management you want and other details for labor and delivery. You can start creating this birth plan during your prenatal appointments, where your doctor will teach you about your different birth options.
Whenever possible, we will honor your birth plan. We only deviate from your plan if it’s medically necessary to keep you and your baby safe. Things can change during labor, so we will follow you and your baby’s lead throughout the process. We will discuss all changes with you before they happen.