CORPUS CHRISTI — First-time pregnancy can be a time of unknowns.
“Kind of give them a brief quick overview of visits and the pregnancy," said Corpus Christi Medical Center Obstetrics & Gynecology Specialist Dr. Christine Canterbury. "It is a first visit so we don’t want to overwhelm them with all the details initially. It’s really more of a health screen and kind of targeting those potential problems in the pregnancy so patients can be aware of those things.”
The Corpus Christi’s Women’s Clinic's Dr. Canterbury, who delivers about 15-20 babies a month, says preparing for the birth of your child begins well before you arrive at the hospital.
“There are certain extra rules in pregnancy: no alcohol and certain things we like you to eat or not eat," Dr. Canterbury said. "We do recommend vaccinations: the flu vaccine as well as the whooping cough vaccine to protect those around you, as well as the baby inside you. It is really about preparing to have yourself and your baby the healthiest as possible."
With the addition of 4 new labor rooms and a new operating room on the same floor, Bay Area Hospital has the capability to serve more expectant mothers.
“It gives us more room, more space; it is state-of-the-art taking-care of moms and babies," Dr. Canterbury said. "We have a great labor and delivery crew, and we have a great postpartum crew. So, when you get in the door, you are seen within 30 minutes, we assess you and keep you abreast on what is going on. There is a lot of communication that is open."
Corpus Christi Medical Center's Bay Area Hospital has delivered more than 60,000 babies since opening its doors in 1993.
To help ensure a healthy pregnancy, schedule a preconception appointment with your healthcare provider as soon as you begin thinking about pregnancy.
A preconception appointment especially is important if you're in your 30s or 40s, or you have any chronic health conditions or special concerns. Consider these preconception planning questions:
At your doctor’s appointment, you need to consider the following:
vaccination history, chronic medical conditions, medications & supplements, family history, sexually transmitted infections, the age of you and your partner, previous pregnancies, prenatal vitamins, etc.
Pregnancy is a nine-month period of anticipation and you will have many questions. Preparing for the birth of your child begins well before you arrive at the hospital for childbirth.
• See your doctor for regular visits. Our goal is to provide individualized treatment to help you with a healthy pregnancy and prepare for the arrival of your new baby.
• Register for your childbirth at the hospital and attend childbirth education classes. At Bay Area, a wide-array of free classes are available – childbirth express, infant CPR, breastfeeding, big brother big sister, etc… Keeping you informed is key.
When labor begins and it’s time to come to the hospital, you will end up in a Labor and Delivery room. At Bay Area, luxurious private rooms are offered and you will a team of nurses and physicians available to assist
Signs of real labor include: a bloody show associated with cramp-like pains, contractions get stronger, walking, changing activity or position does not affect intensity or frequency of contractions and cervix dilates.
The labor and delivery suite is where your baby will be delivered. The first stage of labor is completed when the cervix is completely dilated to 10 centimeters. It is not uncommon for the first stage to last 12-14 hours.
The second stage of labor is when the cervix is fully dilated and is completed with the delivery of the baby. Contractions are very close together and baby is pushed out. You are pushing involuntarily.
The third stage of labor begins after the delivery of the baby and is completed with the delivery of the placenta – passing the afterbirth. This usually only takes a few minutes more.
The birth of your baby can be one of the most exciting and wonderful experiences you will have.
If your baby needs special care or treatment, there is a neonatal intensive care unit in the hospital staffed and equipped to provide care. Additionally, your baby will need to have his/her own physician—a pediatric doctor specializing in child care.