Congratulations from all of us at Main Line Health! No doubt you have a lot on your mind these days, including your own health and well-being and that of your baby or babies. We're here to lighten your load a bit and guide you through every stage of pregnancy, starting with your first appointment with your obstetrician (OB) or obstetrical care provider, who will be overseeing your care throughout your pregnancy.
Scheduling your first appointment
Once you find out you're pregnant, please be sure to schedule your first appointment with your obstetrical care provider. This appointment is usually around the time you are seven or eight weeks pregnant. In addition to the initial physical examination, your first visit will include a family and personal health history, instructions regarding your health during your pregnancy, and information regarding proper nutrition and exercise.
Come prepared to ask questions and to discuss any concerns you might have. If possible, invite your partner, or a friend or family member to come along for this important first visit. To find an obstetrical care provider and to schedule an appointment, call 1.866.CALL.MLH (225.5654) or visit our providers page.
What to do if you have a high-risk pregnancy
If you are at risk for complications due to advanced maternal age (35+ years old), a genetic condition, having multiples, or any medical complication, you're in good hands with the maternal-fetal medicine physicians at Main Line Health. These specialists work with obstetrical care providers to co-manage complex conditions before and during pregnancy.
How to determine whether you are high risk
If your health status or family history increases the health risk to you or your baby (or babies) in pregnancy, Main Line Health provides testing and treatment at its perinatal testing centers. Expert perinatal staff are available to help you and your family obtain accurate information about your developing baby (babies) and allow you to get the best care possible.
High-risk pregnancy services available
For our high-risk pregnancy patients, we offer home care services to help you manage your health throughout the pregnancy. These services include diabetes management, such as nutrition counseling, self-blood glucose monitoring, and self-insulin administration instruction. For problems with pregnancy-related high blood pressure, services include support and teaching about self-blood pressure monitoring. Other services include teaching and support for those requiring progesterone injections or anti coagulant therapy injections.
Visiting our perinatal testing centers
The Main Line Health Perinatal Testing Centers provide state-of-the-art care and we are committed to giving every new baby the healthiest start possible. Whether you are expecting single birth or multiples, our perinatal testing centers provide ultrasounds and non-stress testing to monitor the baby's heart rate. If needed, genetic counseling and consultative services with Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) for Perinatal Management, a team that includes neonatologists, pediatric cardiologists, pediatric surgeons, and other specialists, are also available.
Getting an ultrasound
At Main Line Health, we provide obstetrical ultrasound services, including level I and level II abdominal ultrasound and transvaginal ultrasound, during which the transducer wand is inserted into vagina for a better view of the cervix, placenta and early pregnancies.
Our ultrasound capabilities also include:
- Chorionic villi sampling
- Noninvasive prenatal genetic testing
- Nuchal translucency (NT) screening
- Serum screening (a blood test offered to pregnant women that helps determine the risk of Down syndrome, Edward syndrome and neural tube defects in the unborn child)
Ultrasound is a safe and easy way to monitor your baby's progress throughout your pregnancy. With ultrasound, we are also able to detect about 80 percent of birth defects (congenital anomalies).
Ultrasound scans will be conducted at regular intervals as part of routine obstetrical care during your pregnancy. Talk to your physician to determine the timing and frequency of your ultrasound appointments. To schedule an ultrasound at one of our Main Line Health locations, call 484.580.1800.
Registering with your hospital's labor and delivery service
Once you have confirmed your pregnancy, seen your obstetrical care provider, and have a projected delivery date, you should register with your selected Main Line Health hospital's labor and delivery service so they can be prepared for your arrival. To do this easily online, visit our pre-register for your delivery page.
Attending prenatal and childbirth education classes
Main Line Health offers a variety of classes and programs to support you during your pregnancy and prepare you for childbirth and parenting. There is a fee for these classes, but many insurance companies reimburse for these types of programs. Get in touch with your insurance provider for more information.
Selecting a pediatrician
Main Line Health offers more than 100 pediatricians to choose from. When making your choice, it's important to do your homework. We recommend talking to family, friends and colleagues. Take into consideration office locations convenient to home or work, physician availability, level of experience, and philosophy of care. For more about pediatric services or for a physician referral, call 1.866.CALL.MLH (225.5654) or visit mainlinehealth.org/peds.
Emotional wellness support
The Women's Emotional Wellness Center is a resource for women and their families before, during and after pregnancy or adoption. Our expert staff members provide outpatient mental health counseling and psychiatric services. The program also accepts partners, grandparents and other caregivers. To learn more, visit mainlinehealth.org/wewc.