Prenatal care is a vital aspect of ensuring the health and well-being of both mother and baby during pregnancy. Committed to providing comprehensive and compassionate care, Dr. Barbara Hessel, MD, offers expert guidance and personalized support to expectant mothers throughout their pregnancies. Through regular check-ups, necessary tests, and monitoring the pregnancy’s progress, prenatal care helps to identify and address any potential issues early, ensuring the best possible outcomes for mother and child.

As a board-certified obstetrician/gynecologist with over 25 years of experience in the Forest Hills, NY area, Dr. Hessel is dedicated to helping women navigate the journey of pregnancy with confidence and peace of mind. Her expertise in gynecological care and commitment to the highest standard of care make her the perfect partner to walk alongside expectant mothers during this momentous life stage.

In this article, we will explore the various aspects of prenatal care, including the different types of prenatal appointments, the importance of screening tests and exams, and guidelines for maintaining a healthy lifestyle during pregnancy. By providing detailed information and practical tips, our goal is to help expectant mothers understand the crucial role of prenatal care in promoting a safe and healthy pregnancy.

The Importance of Prenatal Care

Prenatal care is essential in ensuring a healthy pregnancy for both mother and baby. Regular prenatal visits allow healthcare providers like Dr. Hessel, MD, to monitor the progress of the pregnancy, address any concerns, and provide necessary guidance and care. Adequate prenatal care can help reduce the risk of complications, identify potential issues early, and contribute to the overall well-being of mother and baby throughout the pregnancy journey.

Prenatal Appointments: What to Expect

During prenatal care, expectant mothers will have various types of appointments. These visits typically include:

1. Initial prenatal visit: This comprehensive appointment takes place early in the pregnancy, generally around the 8-week mark. Dr. Hessel will discuss medical history, perform a physical examination, and may order initial bloodwork and tests. This visit is also an opportunity to discuss any concerns or questions the expectant mother might have.

2. Routine prenatal visits: After the initial visit, expectant mothers will attend regular prenatal check-ups, generally occurring every four weeks until the 28th week of pregnancy, every two weeks until the 36th week, and then weekly until delivery. During these appointments, Dr. Hessel will monitor the health of both mother and baby, track fetal growth and development, and provide necessary guidance and support.

3. Additional tests and screenings: Throughout pregnancy, various tests and screenings are conducted to assess for potential genetic or developmental concerns and monitor the overall health of the baby. Depending on individual needs, these may include ultrasound exams, blood tests, gestational diabetes screening, and more.

4. Specialized appointments: In some cases, more specialized appointments may be necessary, particularly for high-risk pregnancies or when complications arise. Dr. Hessel offers expert guidance and support for high-risk pregnancies and works closely with expectant mothers to provide the best possible care to ensure a healthy pregnancy outcome.

Maintaining a Healthy Lifestyle During Pregnancy

A healthy lifestyle plays a significant role in promoting a successful pregnancy. Dr. Hessel will provide guidance on essential aspects, such as:

1. Nutrition: Expectant mothers should aim for a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Dr. Hessel may also recommend prenatal vitamins to ensure the mother and baby are receiving essential nutrients.

2. Exercise: Maintaining an appropriate exercise routine during pregnancy can contribute to increased energy levels, better sleep, and reduced pregnancy discomfort. Always discuss any exercise plans with Dr. Hessel to tailor a safe and effective program for each expectant mother.

3. Avoiding harmful substances: It is crucial for expectant mothers to avoid alcohol, tobacco, and any illicit drugs during pregnancy, as these substances can lead to complications and potential harm to the baby.

4. Mental health: Managing stress and promoting mental well-being is essential for a healthy pregnancy. Dr. Hessel can suggest stress-reduction techniques, such as meditation, yoga, or counseling, to help expectant mothers cope with any anxiety or concerns they may be experiencing.

Preparing for Childbirth and Postpartum Care

As the time for childbirth approaches, Dr. Hessel will provide guidance and support to help expectant mothers prepare for labor and delivery. Discussions may include creating a birth plan, registering for childbirth education classes, and understanding the signs of labor.

Additionally, Dr. Hessel emphasizes the importance of postpartum care in ensuring the ongoing health and well-being of both mother and baby. This includes postpartum check-ups, guidance on infant care, breastfeeding support, and addressing any physical or emotional concerns that may arise in the postpartum period.


With Dr. Barbara A. Hessel, MD. FACOG’s expertise and compassionate care, expectant mothers can experience a healthy and well-supported pregnancy journey. Through comprehensive prenatal care tailored to individual needs, pregnant women can trust they are receiving the best possible care – promoting the well-being of both mother and child.

Take charge of your pregnancy journey with the guidance and personalized care of an expert in obstetrics and gynecology like Barbara A. Hessel, MD. FACOG. Her dedication to the highest standards of care, combined with her experience and expertise in obstetrics and gynecology, ensures that both you and your baby are in the best of hands. Embark on the path to a healthy, successful pregnancy with Dr. Barbara Hessel, MD, by your side.