Virginia Beach & Norfolk Obstetrics Services

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The team at Tidewater Physicians for Women provides comprehensive care before, during, and after your pregnancy. We’re here to protect the health of both you and your baby and answer all your questions about your changing body during pregnancy. If you live in Virginia Beach, Norfolk, or the surrounding Hampton Roads area, we are here to answer all of your pregnancy questions and aid in your journey to parenthood.

What Does an Obstetrician Do?

  • An obstetrician is a special doctor who focuses on pregnancy healthcare from preconception to after the birth. This is not limited to the mother, as they provide care for the child as well in regard to pregnancy-related health conditions. Additionally, obstetricians are trained to perform surgeries that are related to labor and delivery.

    Quite a few women’s health services are provided by obstetricians throughout the period from preconception to a few weeks postpartum. Here are their primary services:

  • Prenatal screenings, tests, and exams
  • Evaluating the health and features of the baby, including the position in the uterus, growth, and size
  • Searching for congenital anomalies or potential complications using information from maternal-fetal medicine providers
  • Monitoring the pregnancy using blood tests, urinalysis, and ultrasound
  • Treating health conditions that could have an effect on the pregnancy and/or baby
  • Managing the labor and delivery process including medications, emergencies, and labor induction
  • Providing postpartum care for up to six weeks after birth

What is the Difference Between Obstetrics and Gynecology?

Obstetricians focus specifically on health related to pregnancy, while gynecologists focus on general reproductive health. Given that obstetricians specialize in a form of gynecology, you may find many doctors who are certified as both obstetricians & gynecologists.

While obstetricians focus on pregnancy-related issues, gynecologists provide other services like reproductive wellness checks, obtaining test results, treating urinary tract problems (urogynecology), treating STIs (sexually transmitted infections), and screening for cervical and breast cancer. Obstetricians and gynecologists tend to operate out of the same practices, which is why providers often combine the two as Ob/Gyn. Additionally, their offices tend to include family doctors and family nurse practitioners (FNP).

What Conditions Can an Obstetrician Diagnose and Treat?

Obstetricians can diagnose and treat a variety of pregnancy-related conditions. The following are some of the most common they would prepare for in medical school:

  • Ectopic pregnancy. This condition occurs when a fertilized egg does not properly attach to the uterus, so the pregnancy must be ended to prevent harm to the parent.
  • Preeclampsia. This condition involves an increase in blood pressure, which can cause problems for not only the parent but the baby as well. Additionally, it increases the amount of protein in urine, which can cause swelling in the hands, feet, and legs. An obstetrician may treat this by prescribing medication and time for rest.
  • Placental abruption. This condition occurs when the placenta is detached from the uterus, which leads to bleeding and the baby being unable to receive the necessary nutrients from the parent. This can lead to an obstetrical hemorrhage, too, so an obstetrician will need to monitor the condition closely.
  • Gestational diabetes. This condition is a form of diabetes that develops in the parent while they are pregnant when they did not have diabetes prior to the pregnancy. Without an obstetrician treating this condition, the parent could be at risk for high blood pressure and a large infant that warrants a cesarean delivery.
  • Preterm labor. When labor occurs before the 37th week of pregnancy, it is considered preterm labor. Infants born at this time are at an increased risk of health problems, so an obstetrician will provide the necessary treatments to give them the best chance at being healthy.
Pregnant woman getting a blood pressure test

What is Preconception Counseling?

Preconception counseling is a checkup that’s scheduled before you get pregnant to be sure you’re in optimal health for having a safe pregnancy and giving birth to a healthy baby. This appointment includes:

  • Pelvic exam
  • Nutrition assessment and information
  • Medication review
  • Assessment of chronic health conditions
  • Evaluation of weight and lifestyle concerns

A variety of lifestyle issues and chronic health conditions have the potential to cause problems such as preterm delivery, low birth weight, and birth defects. A preconception checkup will identify these concerns and allow you to make any necessary changes before you become pregnant.

When Should You See an Obstetrician?

Seeing an obstetrician should be a central part of any pregnancy, so it’s best to see an obstetrician as soon as you know you are pregnant. This typically occurs about eight weeks into a pregnancy. Of course, you are always welcome to come in sooner if you learn about your pregnancy earlier or are experiencing health issues related to the pregnancy.

If you are trying to get pregnant but haven’t been able to, you should also see an obstetrician. Their expertise can help maximize your chances of getting pregnant, and they may even be able to help with infertility issues. Additionally, you should see an obstetrician if you are predisposed to a high-risk pregnancy or are suspected to be close to menopause.

What is a High-Risk Pregnancy?

A high-risk pregnancy is one that threatens the health of the mother and/or her baby. Scheduling a preconception checkup is one of the best ways to avoid a high-risk pregnancy because it allows you to treat or change the things that put you and the baby at risk. You are more likely to have a high-risk pregnancy if you:

  • Are 35 years of age or older
  • Are 15 years of age or younger
  • Are underweight or overweight prior to becoming pregnant
  • Are pregnant with more than one baby
  • Have gestational diabetes
  • Have a history of premature labor
  • Have had a premature baby
  • Have had a baby with a birth defect, especially heart or genetic problems
  • Have high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, lupus, asthma, a seizure disorder, or another chronic medical problem

When Will I Get Ultrasound Images?

Ultrasound is a safe procedure that uses sound waves to produce an image of your baby. You may have an ultrasound around six to ten weeks to confirm your due date, or you may have the more standard ultrasound around 20 weeks. This second-trimester ultrasound shows the baby’s development and often — but not always — reveals the baby’s sex.

The team at Tidewater Physicians for Women is especially proud of our ultrasound department, which is staffed by registered sonographers and accredited by the American Institute for Ultrasound in Medicine Accreditation. This accreditation verifies that we meet the highest national standards and have a history of excellent patient care.

pregnant woman getting an ultrasound

How to Choose the Right Obstetrician For You

Finding the right obstetrician is essential to making sure that your needs are taken care of in a healthy way. One of the primary concerns to keep in mind is that you need to find a doctor that takes your insurance. Some common providers include Aetna, Anthem, and Cigna. Costs add up quickly, so anything that can help with these expenses will leave you with more money to put toward your future baby. You’ll also want to make sure that your doctor is board-certified.

If you have any conditions that could impact your pregnancy or are dealing with a high-risk pregnancy, it’s helpful to search for an OB who specializes in treating those conditions. Even then, however, you’ll want to find an OB who shares your views on particular treatments. Don’t hesitate to ask their office front desk any frequently asked questions before you schedule your appointment.

Ultimately, you need to find an obstetrician with whom you are comfortable. All doctor treatments require a level of comfort with your provider, but the nature of pregnancy-related treatments requires an even higher level of trust. Even if you just have a gut feeling that makes you uncomfortable around a particular provider, it’s okay to search for someone else instead to take care of your well-being.

Prioritizing Your Health and Happiness

Putting your health and happiness first is what matters most to us at Tidewater Physicians for Women. To get the quality care you deserve at a Virginia Beach OBGYN, get in touch with our team of doctors and nurse practitioners by calling 757-461-3890 to speak with a team member today and schedule an appointment. We are open to same-day appointments and new patients in Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Portsmouth, and the surrounding Hampton Roads area with our years of experience.

Tidewater Physicians for Women
a division of Mid-Atlantic Women’s Care
VA Beach

828 Healthy Way Unit 330
Virginia Beach, VA 23462

Fax: 757-467-0301


880 Kempsville Road, Ste 201
Norfolk, VA 23502

Fax: 757-461-0836

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