Pregnancy & Birth
You have many important decisions to make as a mother-to-be, like where you will go to get prenatal care and give birth to your child. Our experienced physicians and staff are committed to making both your pregnancy and childbirth experience the very best possible by providing comprehensive care before, during and after pregnancy.
Pregnancy Care and Resources
Our maternity services are focused on providing you and your baby the very best prenatal care. Our board-certified physicians offer all the services and screenings you need for a healthy pregnancy, including prenatal testing, diet and nutrition guidance, testing for gestational diabetes and childbirth preparation classes. From preconception through delivery, you will find the caring guidance and support you need at Rutland Women’s Healthcare.
For women with complex pregnancies, our experienced caregivers work in partnership with maternal fetal experts who specialize in providing high-risk prenatal care at one of Rutland Regional’s partner hospitals. We offer telemedicine consults with our maternal fetal medicine partners for the convenience of our patients.
There are important steps you can take to have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby:
Maintain a Healthy Pregnancy Lifestyle
During the first and second trimesters of your pregnancy, you will see your doctor monthly. In the third trimester you will have more frequent checkups. You can help ensure your health and the health of your baby by:
- Eating a nutritious diet high in fruits and vegetables and low in red meats and fat
- Avoiding tobacco and alcohol
- Exercising regularly
- Sleeping at least six to eight hours a night
- Limiting caffeine and avoiding artificial sweeteners
- Avoiding medications that are not prescribed by your doctor
- Avoiding exposure to pesticides and other hazardous chemicals
Rutland Regional's Health Library is a great resource for many of the pregnancy-related questions you may have. Valuable information is right at your fingertips, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Schedule Prenatal Testing
Routine prenatal medical tests help ensure the health of you and your baby. Some tests, like blood pressure and hemoglobin, are regularly done throughout your pregnancy, while others are given just once or twice at specific stages. Common tests include:
- First Trimester (1 to 12 weeks)
- Pap test. A Pap test screens for precancerous abnormalities and sexually transmitted infections like HPV, chlamydia and gonorrhea.
- Blood tests. Blood is drawn to confirm your blood type and to check for HIV, hepatitis C, hepatitis B, syphilis, anemia and whether you are immune to rubella (German measles).
- Laboratory tests. Tests are administered to screen for cystic fibrosis, sickle-cell anemia and other conditions.
- Urine tests. Your physician will check sugar and protein levels in your urine.
- Ultrasound. An ultrasound performed in the first trimester will help your physician determine your baby’s due date.
- Second Trimester (13 to 28 weeks)
- Blood tests. Called a “quad screen,” blood tests in your second trimester provide information about your risk of having a baby with certain genetic or birth defects, including open neural tube defects (ONTD), Down syndrome or other chromosomal abnormalities. An amniocentesis may be suggested if you have risk factors for these or other conditions.
- Urine tests. Your physician will continue to monitor sugar and protein levels in your urine in your second trimester.
- Ultrasound. In the fifth month (around 20 weeks) an ultrasound is performed to assess the baby’s development and the health of the placenta.
- Third Trimester (29 to 40 weeks)
- Group B streptococcus screen. You should be tested for Group B strep bacteria when you are 35 to 37 weeks pregnant. The test is simple and does not hurt. A sterile swab is used to collect a sample from your vagina and rectum and is sent to a laboratory for testing. About one out of every four women test positive for Group B strep. If you test positive your physician will recommend IV antibiotics during labor to protect your baby.
- Gestational diabetes screen. Gestational diabetes is a form of diabetes that can occur during pregnancy and cause complications for both you and your baby. During the screen, you will drink a special glucose solution and then have your blood drawn. If your blood sugar is abnormally high, a second, longer glucose test may be performed a few days later. Gestational diabetes often goes away after your baby is born.
Get Tested for Gestational Diabetes
Gestational diabetes affects roughly 3 percent of pregnant women and must be carefully managed and monitored. It generally develops at the end of the second trimester and goes away after the baby is born.
Left untreated, gestational diabetes can cause your baby to be born with low blood sugar or at a higher-than-normal weight. Gestational diabetes may also increase your risk of developing preeclampsia, a condition that causes dangerously high blood pressure.
Routine prenatal testing at Rutland Regional Medical Center includes screening for gestational diabetes at the beginning of the third trimester. During the screen you will drink a special glucose solution, then have your blood sugar measured one hour later.
If your blood sugar is abnormally high, a second, longer glucose test may be performed a few days later. If the second test also shows a high blood sugar level, you will be diagnosed with gestational diabetes, then carefully monitored for the duration of your pregnancy. In most instances, diet changes can keep the condition under control. In some cases, insulin injections are needed.
Register for Childbirth Preparation Classes
You and your partner or support person can take advantage of educational and informative childbirth and childcare classes offered by Rutland Regional and Rutland Area Visiting Nurse Association & Hospice (RAVNAH). Learn how to prepare for childbirth, get information about breast-feeding and take a tour of the hospital.
- “Birth and Beyond,” a series of childbirth preparation classes
- A childbirth refresher class for couples who have attended other classes
- Sibling classes for new brothers and sisters
- “Birthshop,” a one-day class for childbirth preparation
- Tours of the Women’s & Children’s Unit at Rutland Regional Medical Center
- An informational class on breast-feeding
Why take a childbirth class?
- Meet and socialize with other pregnant families in the community and share stories
- Ask questions about pregnancy, labor and baby care
- Get your family involved in your experience of pregnancy and childbirth
What will you learn?
- The signs and symptoms of labor
- Methods for coping with the pain of childbirth
- What to expect when you and your newborn are in the hospital
- The benefits of breast-feeding
- Information about cesarean sections and other medical procedures that may occur during labor, including epidurals
- The layout of the Women’s & Children’s Unit at Rutland Regional and information about the services we provide
- Who to call with any questions that you may have
One couple in every class will win a car seat at a drawing on the last night of class.
Prepare for Your Baby’s Birth
There are many things you can do ahead of time to prepare for labor, delivery and bringing your baby home:
- Develop a birth plan. Talk with your physician about how you want to manage your labor pain. Keep in mind that you can't control every aspect of labor and delivery. You will need to stay flexible in case something comes up that requires your team to depart from your plan.
- Choose a pediatrician. By interviewing prospective pediatricians before your baby’s birth, you will have a chance to ask questions and determine if you are comfortable with the practice. The following list of questions will help you gather the information you need to make a good decision:
- Is the pediatrician's office conveniently located? Is it easily accessible by car or public transportation?
- Are the office hours convenient for your own schedule? If you are a working parent, you may desire evening or weekend hours.
- What is the pediatrician’s policy on taking and returning phone calls? Is there a nurse in the office who can answer routine questions?
- Is the pediatrician in a group practice with other physicians? Do physicians cover for one another at times? Who handles phone calls when the office is closed or during physician vacations?
- Spend time in the waiting room. Do both the pediatrician and the office staff seem friendly and polite? Do they demonstrate compassion and patience?
- Can you make an appointment on short notice if your child needs to see the pediatrician for an illness?
- Does the pediatrician communicate clearly and make an effort to ensure that all your questions are answered?
- What insurance plans does the practice take?
- What fees will you be responsible for when seeing the doctor for both sick visits and routine examinations?
- If it becomes necessary for your child to be hospitalized, where would he or she be admitted?
- Preregister for admission to the hospital for delivery.
- Purchase and install a car seat. There's only one way to take your baby home from the hospital – in an infant-safe car seat. Newborns can sit in two kinds of car seats: a rear-facing infant seat or a convertible seat (which faces the rear of the car at first and later is turned toward the front when your baby reaches a certain height and weight). Make sure you read the installation instructions carefully and have someone check that you installed the seat correctly. Regional Ambulance Service holds child car seat installation demonstrations and inspections every Wednesday afternoon. Please call 802.773.1746 for more information.
Private Room for You and Your Baby
We provide private rooms for labor and delivery. Each room is furnished with a bassinet for baby and an extra bed so dad, the labor coach or another loved one may sleep over. After the baby is born, mom and baby are moved to a private room in the Women’s & Children’s unit for postpartum care.