Obstetricians in Nashville, Tennessee
Preparing for pregnancy and birth can be a mix of emotions and questions, which is why the specialists at TriStar Health hospitals are with you every step of the way. At our hospitals throughout the Greater Nashville area, you can expect expert and compassionate prenatal care during all trimesters, including specialized care for high-risk pregnancies.
For a free physician referral or more information, call TriStar MedLine® at (800) 242-5662.
Complete prenatal services
Our prenatal specialists provide ongoing care for women before the births of their babies. Our obstetrician/gynecologists (OB/GYNs) and team members create a nurturing environment for soon-to-be moms from the moment they learn they are pregnant. Proper prenatal care is encouraged throughout a patient's pregnancy to reduce the risk of complications for mom and baby.
Preparing for pregnancy
Appointments for prenatal services can also be scheduled before you are pregnant. This is sometimes referred to as preconception care. Because some of the most crucial development for the baby happens during the first trimester, it is ideal to begin prenatal care as early as possible.
Preconception appointments will help you create a plan to prepare mentally and physically for pregnancy. Some topics that may be discussed include:
- Managing existing medical conditions
- Improving diet and exercise
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Abstaining from alcohol and drugs
- Evaluation and best practices for supplements and medications
- Receiving certain vaccinations
- Family history of miscarriages, genetic diseases and medical conditions
- Avoiding exposure to toxic substances
What to expect at a prenatal appointment
Routine prenatal tests frequently include blood, urine and blood pressure tests for mom, and monitoring heartbeat and growth for baby. The types of testing and monitoring vary from trimester to trimester and may be dependent on certain risk factors, such as high blood pressure or diabetes. You can opt-in or opt-out of some tests and insurance coverage may not include all testing, which is why it is important to communicate with your OB/GYN throughout your pregnancy.
In addition to routine tests, you can expect to receive the following care and services at different stages of your pregnancy:
- Discussions on how you feel physically and emotionally
- Discussions regarding labor and childbirth and your desired birth plan
- Information and resources about staying healthy throughout your pregnancy
- Pap smears
- Weight checks
- Group B strep tests
- Glucose screenings
- Pelvic exams
- Breast exams
- Monitoring baby's heartbeat
- Measuring baby's growth
- Genetic testing, such as:
- Nuchal translucency (NT) screening
- Noninvasive prenatal test (NIPT)
- Quad screen
- Chorionic villus sampling (CVS)
A high-risk pregnancy is one that requires extra care from a maternal-fetal medicine (MFM) specialist, also known as a perinatologist. A pregnant woman classified as high risk may have more frequent prenatal appointments and additional testing to manage risk factors. MFM specialists and OB/GYNs work together to provide focused prenatal care and improve the chances of a healthy pregnancy and birth.
If additional care is needed after birth, our hospitals provide state-of-the-art equipment and expert care for babies in our neonatal intensive care units (NICUs).
What makes a pregnancy "high risk"?
A pregnancy may be deemed "high risk" for a variety of reasons. Although some factors cannot be prevented, some risks may be caused by existing conditions or issues that develop during pregnancy and are manageable - or even preventable - through proper prenatal care and/or by altering lifestyle choices. High-risk pregnancies can be caused by:
- Smoking, drinking alcohol or substance abuse before conception or during pregnancy
- Being 35 years old and older or 17 years old and younger
- Being overweight or underweight
- Existing medical conditions, such as:
- Autoimmune diseases (e.g., HIV, AIDS or lupus)
- Blood disorders (e.g., sickle cell anemia)
- High blood pressure
- Diabetes (Type 1 or Type 2)
- Thyroid diseases
- Kidney disease
- Medical conditions acquired during pregnancy, such as:
- Gestational diabetes
- Preeclampsia and eclampsia
- Some genetic fetal conditions
- Zika infection
- Unmanaged mental illness
- Multiple births (twins, triplets or more)
Parenting classes and maternity tours
Prenatal care also includes educational resources about how to care for your baby after birth and consideration for where you decide to give birth. Our family of hospitals in the Middle Tennessee region provides childbirth classes and tours of our birthing centers to help expectant parents prepare for their new addition.
Our educational classes are available to all moms, and some classes are tailored for spouses and siblings to prepare everyone in your home for your baby's arrival. Classes are taught by specially trained birth center experts and include topics pertaining to:
- Preparing for childbirth: This class teaches the basics of pregnancy and childbirth. It includes discussions on the changes your body will go through as well as what to expect during labor (relaxation techniques, pain management, interventions, complications). It also covers postpartum and newborn care.
- Breastfeeding: Moms will learn the benefits of breastfeeding in this class. They will also receive information on how to properly latch your child to the breast, the type of equipment needed and how to avoid common issues.
- CPR and safety: Expecting parents, grandparents, babysitters and anyone else interested in learning safety techniques and infant CPR are welcome to take this class.
- Sibling care: This class promotes bonding and safety. Brothers and sisters can learn how to play and interact with the newest addition to their family.
(Classes vary based on hospital location.)
We also offer a birthing suite tour for the family to familiarize you all with our state-of-the-art facilities. Your questions are answered by your tour guide as you visit our birthing suites, postpartum suites, waiting area and the newborn nursery.