Before, During and After Your Pregnancy at Center for Women's Health
We at Center for Women's Health look forward to being your partners in a healthy pregnancy.
Preconception and prenatal care are important in the prevention and early recognition of pregnancy complications. Our goal is a healthy mother and healthy baby at the end of nine months.
Your baby's lifetime of health is determined by genetics and life factors, starting with the environment inside of the womb. So it is especially important that you know how best to care for yourself before and during your pregnancy.
- Dr Asela Russell founded Center for Women's Health in 2003. She has over 20 years of experience as an OB/GYN.
- Dr Leslie Scariano joined Center for Women's Health in 2006. She was an OB/GYN for over 11 years in Illinois before coming to Colorado.
- Dr Jackie Ziernicki joined Center for Women's Health in 2009 from St John's Hospital in St Louis, Missouri. Although she is our youngest physician she comes to us having delivered over 1400 babies!
- Dr. Grace Holub joined Center for Women's Health in 2011. She has been practicing in the Denver Metro Area for more than 10 years. She is also taking appointments in our Conifer office!
- Missy Fox, Lori Riehl and Lisa Koebke are our ultrasound technicians. They conduct all our prenatal ultrasounds, including 3-D and 4-D ultrasound.
- Jennifer Mark, Harriet White, and Trish Reed are the friendly voices that help get your questions answered and your appointments scheduled.
- RuthAnn Kirschman and Amanda Moseley are our nurse practitioners. In addition to seeing patients, they lead our prenatal teaching and patient education programs.
- Joy Bishop, Malia Godfrey, and Megan Van Campen, our billing department, are here to help you negotiate the confusing the world of insurance benefits.
- Sharon Fisher, our Practice Manager, joined us in 2010. She oversees the practice and keeps things running smoothly. Please feel free to contact her with any questions or problems.
- We deliver babies at Sky Ridge Medical Center in Lone Tree, Parker Adventist in Parker and Rose Medical Center in central Denver.
Countdown to a Healthy Pregnancy
3 months in advance
- Stop smoking!
- Start prenatal vitamins with at least 800 micro-grams (mgs) of folic acid
- Start the regular exercise program that you will maintain during your pregnancy. We don't recommend starting training after you conceive.
- Increase your vegetable and fruit intake to at least 5 servings/day to prevent constipation and maximize your body's store of nutrients
- Start gum care and regular flossing to prevent pregnancy complications like preterm labor/See your dentist to get dental x-rays done if needed
- See your gynecologist for a pap smear and to discuss any pregnancy risk factors
- Talk to your family to get a history of any genetic problems that may affect your child
- Investigate your work's policies on doctor's appointments, maternity leave and parenting leave
- Make sure that your health insurance covers pregnancy, delivery and newborn care
- Check your commitments from mate, family and friends to support you during pregnancy and after the baby comes
- Lose or gain weight to get close to your ideal body weight
- Improve your fertility by getting 7-8 hours of sleep per night
- Get a rubella vaccine if you are not already immune
2 months in advance
- Stop your birth control pills
- Have your IUD removed
- Double-check your blood pressure if you have hypertension
- Tightly control your blood sugar if you have diabetes
- Talk to your doctor about which prescription medications should be avoided during pregnancy
4 weeks in advance
- Consider fertility tracking like basal body temperatures or ovulation predictor kits
- Reduce your exercise to 5 hours/week
- Get your pets ready for change--correct bad habits now
- Get a pertussis (whooping cough) booster
- Read a pregnancy classic like "What to Expect When You're Expecting"
- Review our list of Over-the-counter Medications to Avoid
- Start closely tracking the first day of your periods and record them
Your Visits to the Center!
Pregnancy Confirmation Test-- Your First Visit at our Center
Typically patients call us with their first missed period.
New OB Visit-Congratulations!
We calculate our next visit together based on the first day of your most recent period. A pregnancy lasts 40 weeks and yes, we know that's longer than 9 months but the medical calculation dates back to the first day of your last period.
We try to schedule a pelvic ultrasound between 6 and 8 weeks of pregnancy. This helps us to accurately determine your due date and make sure your pregnancy is getting off to a healthy start.
Allow extra time for that first visit because teaching you about nutrition, exercise, pregnancy do's and don'ts and warning signs are an integral part of our care. Lab work and a physical exam are a part of this visit as well.
In addition you'll be signed up for our Web Portal and Pregnancy Month-By-Month email newsletter to help us keep in a two-way communication about your body's changes and how best to care for your unborn baby.
Second Pregnancy Visit
The second pregnancy visit is usually scheduled between 11 and 13 weeks.
We offer the Early Screen Testing which combines a special ultrasound to measure nuchal translucency (the fat pad of the baby's neck) and blood test markers to determine the risk of some pregnancy problems. In addition you'll meet with your doctor to review your care. Finally our Benefits Coordinator will go over your insurance benefits to prevent financial surprises.
16 week Visit
Another milestone visit--we'll review your diet and check your baby's heartbeat. We offer another blood test, this time to check for structural problems for the baby.
This is the time when ultrasound can usually tell if you're having a boy or a girl so we offer an optional gender scan called the "Sneak Peak".
20 week Visit
A great visit-we perform a detailed anatomy ultrasound and family members are invited! We also continue your prenatal checkups. We'll also help you get registered for your hospital of choice and for prenatal education classes.
24 Week Visit
In addition to a routine prenatal checkup we talk about common pregnancy problems, weight gain and nutrition and start planning for prenatal classes and the baby's birth.
28 Week Visit
We check a blood sugar level after you drink a sugary beverage-screening for diabetes of pregnancy (gestational diabetes). We also check your blood count to make sure that you're getting adequate iron for your baby.
28 to 36 weeks
You come in every two weeks for prenatal checkups. We screen for the baby's growth, preterm labor and blood pressure problems. We work with you on nutrition and exercise to keep things going in the right direction!
36 weeks to Full Term
You'll come in every week for prenatal checkups. We'll check for normal cervical changes and for pregnancy problems. If you haven't already met all of our doctors, these visits will give you a great chance to do so.
Center for Women's Health also offers:
On-site blood draws for Quest or Labcorp
On-site medical ultrasound
- Nourishing Your Unborn Baby
- Couples Massage for Pregnancy Aches and Pains
- Exercise in Pregnancy
- Pregnancy Skin Care
- Yoga Breath and Pregnancy
- Getting Ready for Your Baby's Birth
- Hear Your Baby-communicating with your baby in the first few months
Optional 3-D and 4-D Ultrasound
Optional "Sneak Peek" gender scan