Preterm Labor Care

Prenatal Care Services

Pregnancy is a transformative journey.  Starting a family or expanding a family is a time of anticipation and joy.  There are also questions about how best to care for yourself during the pregnancy, what to expect during the various trimesters of the pregnancy, how to prepare for the labor and delivery and the assortment of new symptoms that may develop during the pregnancy.

At Northside/Northpoint OB-GYN of Atlanta and Alpharetta, GA, we have the expertise and experience to guide you on this pregnancy journey.  We provide preconception care, prenatal care, labor and delivery management, and postpartum care.  

The pregnancy confirmation visit is an overview visit in which your provider will review your medical history and provide anticipatory guidance for the pregnancy.  

The subsequent prenatal visits are an opportunity for your provider to check on the baby by listening to the heartbeat and measuring the size of your uterus (depending on which trimester you are in).  It is also an opportunity for you to ask questions about what you might be feeling and any concerns you have. 

During the first 28 weeks or seven months of your pregnancy, you must have a monthly prenatal care visit. After that, you will have an exam every two weeks until the 36th week, then every week until your delivery. If more frequent visits are needed for any reason, these will be scheduled.

Most pregnancies do not have complications. High-risk pregnancies occur when there is a fetal or maternal condition that requires closer monitoring.

High-risk pregnancies can include:

  • Diabetes (pregestional) or that develops in the pregnancy (gestational)
  • High blood pressure that is present prior to pregnancy or that develops during pregnancy
  • Advanced maternal age
  • Multiple gestation (twins or triplets)
  • Maternal obesity
  • Prior preterm labor or delivery
  • In vitro fertilization
  • Rheumatologic diseases (lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, Sjogren’s)
  • Fetal conditions detected during the pregnancy


For high risk pregnancies, we can consult with maternal fetal medicine specialists (also called perinatologists) for co-management in the pregnancy.  

Throughout your pregnancy, your obstetrician will monitor you and your baby.  Your prenatal check ups are intended to confirm normal progression of your pregnancy and to identify any concerns.

Northside/Northpoint OB-GYN Prenatal Services Guide

We know every pregnancy is unique—your obstetrician will counsel you about the various testing options. The following will provide an overview of what to expect during your prenatal care visits, including ultrasound examinations and pregnancy blood tests.

The most common Atlanta and Alpharetta prenatal services tests for your first trimester include:

  • Blood Type And Rh Factor

Most of the population is Rh positive.  Approximately 15% of people are Rh negative.  During pregnancy, the blood type of the baby is determined by both the mother and the father.  During pregnancy and delivery, there can be an exchange of blood between mom and baby.  If an Rh negative mother is carrying an Rh positive baby, this exchange can result in the mother forming antibodies against the Rh positive blood of the baby which her body recognizes as foreign.  For this reason, Rh negative mothers are given an injection of Rhogam (Rh immunoglobulin) to protect against the formation of Rh positive antibodies which can cross the placenta and attack the Rh positive blood of the baby creating  a fetal anemia.  The blood type of the baby can be determined by sampling blood from the umbilical cord at the time of delivery.

  • Complete Blood Count (CBC)

This routine blood test checks for anemia during your pregnancy.

  • STI Tests

In pregnancy, screening for gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, hepatitis and HIV screening are routinely performed.

  • Nuchal Translucency/First Trimester Screen

This is an OPTIONAL abdominal ultrasound that measures the fold behind the baby’s neck.  This is a screening method for chromosomal abnormalities including Down syndrome.  This ultrasound can also serve as an early anatomy screening.  

The most common prenatal services tests for your second trimester include:

  • Ultrasound

This imaging scan employs sound waves to safely create an accurate picture of your baby in the womb. Ultrasounds will allow your obstetrician to examine the size of your baby and the placental location, and identify the sex.

  • Alpha-Fetoprotein (AFP) Test

This blood test examines your levels of a protein produced by the fetal liver and yolk sac. Abnormal levels of AFP in your blood can indicate abdominal wall or spinal cord defects.

The most common prenatal services tests for your third trimester include:

  • Glucose Tolerance Test

This is a screening test for diabetes.  All pregnancies are routinely screened for diabetes around 28 weeks.  

  • Vaginal Group Beta Strep Culture

This test will check for group B streptococcus.  This is a bacteria that is commonly present (in approximately 30% of women) in the vagina and rectum.  If someone is found to be a carrier of group B strep, IV antibiotics are given during labor to protect the baby from acquiring an infection as he/she passes through the birth canal. 

  • Checking For Any Swelling Of The Ankles, Hands, and Face

These can, at times, be signs of preeclampsia, a condition of high blood pressure during your pregnancy.

  • Checking The Position Of Your Baby

During the last few weeks of your pregnancy, the obstetrician will check the position of the baby.  Most babies will be head down by the end of the pregnancy.

  • Biophysical Profile (BPP)

This is an ultrasound exam to evaluate the amniotic fluid, fetal movements and fetal breathing.  It is a way to assess fetal well being.  This is typically done to monitor the baby if certain high risk pregnancy conditions are present or if adequate fetal movements are not present.

  • Non-Stress Test

This will measure the fetal heart rate over a 20 minute period.  This is another way to monitor fetal well being in certain high risk pregnancies.

Early detection of any health problems with our prenatal services can help your obstetrician prepare for the safest delivery.

To learn more about our obstetric services or to schedule an appointment, please call our main office at (404) 255-3633. You can also use our online Request an Appointment form. Our service area includes the area of Buckhead in Atlanta, Dunwoody, Roswell, Forsyth, Cumming, North Atlanta, Sandy Springs, and Alpharetta in Fulton County, GA.

A normal pregnancy will last approximately 40 weeks. Preterm labor refers to labor that occurs before 37 weeks of pregnancy gestation. Additionally, cervical dilation >3 cm in the presence of uterine contractions at 20+0 to 36+6 weeks supports the diagnosis of preterm labor.

At Northside/Northpoint OB-GYN, our providers are qualified and experienced to provide the best treatment to ensure the safety of you and your baby. We provide the most appropriate medical care and perform the necessary procedures and tests to diagnose and treat preterm labor. 

Diagnosis and Treatment Options for Preterm Labor

  • Uterine Monitoring

We are equipped with state-of-the-art ultrasonography, medical tools, and equipment to provide you with the best care while attending to your pregnancy treatment needs. One of the tools we use for preterm labor diagnosis is a uterine monitor. Our health care specialists use this device to measure the spacing and duration of your contractions and monitor your baby’s heart rate.

  • Pelvic Exam

In some cases of preterm labor, we may perform a pelvic exam. If you are experiencing preterm labor symptoms and your water has not broken yet, we can perform this exam as a way of determining if your cervix has started to open.

  • Lab Tests

Based on your symptoms, our providers may need to examine your vaginal secretions to determine if your water has broken. We can also perform a test via vaginal swab that will help predict whether preterm delivery is near.

  • Ultrasound

We often use a transvaginal ultrasound to measure and determine the size of your cervix. This also helps us to confirm your baby’s position, estimate their weight, and to check for issues like low amniotic fluid level or issues likely to affect the placenta.

Preterm Labor Specialists You Can Count On

Northside/Northpoint OB-GYN is an integrated, Atlanta-based obstetric specialty group committed to providing special treatment to women with preterm labor and advance the well-being and health of all of our patients. In some instances, you may require a referral to a high-risk perinatal specialist for further management and treatment of your preterm labor. We collaborate with the top high-risk perinatal specialists within the Metro-Atlanta area to ensure you and your baby achieve the best health outcomes.

Affordable Premature Labor Medical Specialists

We provide an affordable and risk-free treatment plan to all our patients in Atlanta and the neighboring areas. At Northside/Northpoint OB-GYN, our cost-effective treatment analysis is customized to handle your unique needs to ensure success during the preterm labor period.

Call Us To Learn More About Preterm Labor

At Northside/Northpoint OB-GYN, we know prevention is better than cure, which is why we want to make you enlightened on everything you wish to know about premature labor. When you call us, our customer care team will provide you with trustworthy information to help you learn more about premature labor or birth. From treatment and diagnosis to prevention, we are your best source of information and care for preterm labor in Atlanta.

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