OBGYN, Pregnancy and Childbirth Care
All in-person prenatal classes, hospital tours and outpatient support groups are canceled until further notice. Many of these programs are available via live webinar, including our prenatal classes and support groups.
Giving you and your baby the very best start.
If you're pregnant, or planning to be, here's our quick guide on the best ways to keep both you and your baby healthy throughout your journey together.
Prepare for baby with our classes.
We're here to help along the way. Stay fit and prepare for baby by taking our pregnancy and childbirth classes. And once your little one arrives, find indispensable resources and encouragement through our parenting classes and support groups.
Set up your doctor visits.
Your first official prenatal appointment is usually 8 to 10 weeks into your pregnancy. After that, your schedule of care will be established by your physician. Throughout your pregnancy, make sure you ask questions — if it's important to you, it's important to your doctor.
If you need to find the right doctor for you, search for an OBGYN at Sharp.
It's important to stay active while you're pregnant (unless otherwise instructed by your doctor). Gentle exercises like walking, swimming and biking are best. Yoga and stretching are also great. Be careful not to become overheated or overdo it while you exercise — and always stay hydrated. After 20 weeks of pregnancy, avoid lying flat on your back while exercising.
A balanced diet, including plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, is especially important during pregnancy. Limit caffeine, diet sodas, sugar, salt and fatty foods. Make your calories count by choosing foods that taste great and naturally have a lot of vitamins and minerals.
Some foods have substances in them that can be dangerous for you and your baby. When you're pregnant, it is best to avoid foods that may contain:
- Listeria - bacteria that can be found in raw meat or unpasteurized dairy.
- Mercury - a metal found in some fish. At high levels, it can be harmful to an unborn baby's developing nervous system.
- Toxoplasma - a parasite that can be present in undercooked meat and unwashed fruits. (Toxoplasma also can be found in cat litter and soil. It's best to avoid cleaning a litter box, but if you must do so, wear gloves and a mask; do the same while gardening.)
Learn to avoid these foods during your pregnancy, as they may cause harm to you or your baby.
- Raw or undercooked foods such as eggs, sushi, ceviche, poultry, meat and fish
- Unpasteurized juices and raw milk
- Unwashed fruits and vegetables
- Soft cheeses that are not pasteurized such as feta, Brie, blue-veined cheese or Mexican-style cheese like queso blanco and queso fresco; if the label says "Made with pasteurized milk," these are considered safe
- Fish with high levels of mercury such as shark, swordfish, king mackerel or tilefish; tuna should be limited to two servings per week
- Alcoholic drinks, including beer and wine; abstaining from all alcohol is recommended in pregnancy
- Certain sprouts, especially alfalfa
- Refrigerated pates and meat spreads
- Refrigerated smoked seafood such as salmon, trout, whitefish, cod, tuna and mackerel (these are most often labeled "nova-style," "lox," "kippered," "smoked" or "jerky"), unless the seafood is in a cooked dish, like a casserole
Know which medications are safe.
If you become ill during pregnancy, find out which over-the-counter medications are safest to take. For more information about risk-free medicine while pregnant, consult your OBGYN. And always check with your doctor before taking any medication.
Consider your prenatal testing options.
There are several common tests performed during each trimester of pregnancy. Discuss all your options with your doctor at your first appointment. Below are a few examples of tests you may complete.
- Ultrasound: An ultrasound will be done during your first or second visit to measure your baby and estimate your due date. An additional ultrasound is typically done at 18 to 20 weeks to examine your baby's anatomy. Further ultrasounds may be done if medically indicated by your doctor.
- Genetic and chromosomal disorder testing: These tests are performed to determine any genetic disorders in the genes or chromosomes of a fetus. Genetic disorders can be passed from parent to child or they may occur without a family history.
- Carrier testing: Either or both parents can be tested to determine if they are carriers of certain genetic defects. One such test offered is to determine if you are a carrier of cystic fibrosis.
Understand pregnancy risks and complications.
Your doctor will be closely monitoring your pregnancy for possible health risks and will discuss the precise care you need, perhaps from a maternal-fetal medicine specialist, if they occur. Some common complications include:
- Gestational and pregestational diabetes: It's important for women who have diabetes prior to or during pregnancy to take added care of themselves to prevent complications, including preeclampsia (toxemia)
- Infections during pregnancy: Common types are urinary tract infections, toxoplasmosis, food poisoning and sexually transmitted infections
- Pregnancy with multiples: Whether expecting twins, triplets or more, it's important you know the symptoms, potential complications and how to best manage a special pregnancy
- Preterm labor: Know what external risk factors could pose a threat to your developing baby and learn about the signs and causes of preterm labor
Your pre-baby checklist.
Get this list checked off before you're due:
- Hospital preadmission form: If you're having a baby at a Sharp hospital, you'll need to fill out our maternity preadmission form before your delivery day arrives.
- Cord blood banking: Your baby's umbilical cord blood is a rich source of genetically unique stem cells that have the potential to treat future illness. Learn about the opportunity to save your baby's stem cells via cord blood banking.
- Delivery day preparation: Follow this helpful guide as you await your baby's birth. We'll tell you how to prepare, what to bring and what you need to know in advance.
I took all my prenatal classes with Sharp and learned a lot. I learned way more than I thought was possible in a virtual format. Nothing was a surprise for me at birth and after. We were very well informed.
– Amy, Sharp Mary Birch patient
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View doctors specializing in obstetrics/gynecology in San Diego.
"I work to provide patients with the opportunity to take an active role in their care with an individualized treatment plan."
"The Sharp Experience means going the extra mile and putting in that extra effort, not just on an individual level but on a community level to improve the health and well-being of a population."
"I foster open communication to deliver the highest quality of patient-centered care."
"The Sharp Experience means providers and support staff collaborating at all levels to ensure patients receive the highest quality of care."
"I strive to meet and exceed expectations, as well as provide optimal care in a caring, compassionate manner."
"I enjoy the continuity of care with women from adolescence to menopause and beyond."