Pregnancy & Childbirth
The birth of your child is one of the most significant events in your life. Whether you are starting or adding to your family, this is an exciting time. Houston Methodist embraces the love and support of your family with a focus on family centered care.
Our highly skilled team at Houston Methodist offers expectant moms the best in prenatal care, with obstetric services that set new standards. Our team of in-house, board-certified obstetricians, maternity and neonatal nurses, and support staff provide exceptional care in a serene, home-like setting framed in state-of-the art technology. Our birthing centers are full-service childbirth facilities providing prenatal care, labor, delivery, postpartum and neonatal care.
World renowned for comprehensive clinical and patient care, our obstetrics department includes the following services:
- Board-certified obstetrician-gynecologist (OB/Gyn) doctors around the clock
- Tranquil, private, family friendly labor and delivery suites
- Specialized neonatal nurses available for consultation prior to birth
- Neonatologists and pediatric support teams
- Epidural pain management and in-house anesthesiologists available around the clock
- Lactation support
- Hearing screening services
- Around-the-clock maternity unit access for family members
We guide you through your pregnancy and childbirth experience by providing extensive information about:
- Our experienced staff
- The right obstetrician
- The right pediatrician
- High-risk pregnancies
- Clinical trials
- Hypothyroidism in pregnancy
- Short cervix in pregnancy
- Helping parents prepare
Our Experienced Staff
In-house anesthesiologists are committed to providing you safe and effective care during your labor and delivery, no matter what time of day. If you have questions or concerns about your anesthesia, your OB-GYN can arrange a personal consultation with an anesthesiologist.
At Houston Methodist, we also staff maternal-fetal medicine physicians specializing in high-risk pregnancies and prenatal diagnoses, including first-trimester screenings. Our nursing team is dedicated to the health, safety and comfort of you, your baby and your family before, during and after delivery.
In addition to standard neonatal care, all Houston Methodist locations offer at least a Level II neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) to care for high-risk newborns. In more complex cases, NICU babies are stabilized and transferred to a local Level III NICU.
The Right Obstetrician
Your obstetrician is an important partner in your pregnancy and birthing process. Besides choosing an obstetrician with whom you are comfortable, ensure that they will also provide your care from pregnancy through labor and delivery. In some cases, particularly for higher risk pregnancies, you may want to consider a doctor with surgical and other advanced skills. Your obstetrician should also be certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology, with full OB-GYN surgical privileges.
The Right Pediatrician
Make sure to choose a pediatrician well before your delivery. He or she will be informed of your baby’s birth, ensuring a smooth transition for the care of your child. Your obstetrician may have recommendations, or you may choose from a list of pediatricians who practice at Houston Methodist. Please check with your medical insurance company to make sure your pediatrician participates in your insurance plan.
If you have been told by your doctor that your pregnancy is considered “high risk,” you may be fearful of the implications of that term. Simply put, your pregnancy involves a higher risk of complications than other pregnancies; this is often due to an existing condition you may have had before you became pregnant.
As an expectant mother, you will be required to take extra care during your pregnancy, under the guidance of your doctor, so as to avoid potential problems. You and your baby are in expert hands with Houston Methodist’s experienced and compassionate prenatal and neonatal care specialists, who are well trained to handle high-risk pregnancies and deliveries.
If you are experiencing a high-risk pregnancy and are interested in being part of Houston Methodist’s ongoing research into innovative and improved treatment methods, please click here to read about our clinical trials , including the types of trials we conduct, the benefits of participation and our commitment to patient safety. We advise that you speak with your doctor to determine whether there would be a benefit to you in taking part in any study.
Hypothyroidism in Pregnancy
Hypothyroidism is a very common disorder, particularly among women of childbearing age. It is a condition in which the thyroid gland, located in the neck, does not produce enough thyroid hormone. This hormone is responsible for regulating energy metabolism. Although hypothyroidism is very treatable, it is dangerous in pregnancy; if undetected or left untreated, it can cause a delay in brain development in the child. The more severe the hypothyroidism of the mother, the more marked the intelligence deficit of the child.
Treatment with synthetic thyroid hormone is similar to hypothyroidism treatment in women who are not pregnant. However, the condition is often not diagnosed until pregnancy, especially in women who are subclinical (meaning the disease is so mild that it has been undetected or has not caused symptoms).
Short Cervix in Pregnancy
Not all women are aware that pregnancy complications can arise from something as simple as the length of the cervix. The cervix — the lower part of the uterus, which opens to the vagina — may be unusually short in some cases. During pregnancy, a cervix of normal length is able to protect the fetus from miscarriage or early delivery and shortens and dilates during labor to allow for birth. Therefore, a cervix of shorter-than-normal length brings a risk of serious problems with pregnancy. In the past, most women had no way of knowing they had a short cervix until after it caused a miscarriage or preterm birth. Thanks to expert staff and advanced prenatal care, as well as special clinical trials dealing with the problem of a short cervix, Houston Methodist can offer expectant mothers peace of mind and individually tailored treatment to ensure a healthy pregnancy.
Houston Methodist offers family centered cesarean sections (C-sections). About one in three births in the United States is by C-section.
Our physicians at Houston Methodist specialize in pregnancy and childbirth at the following convenient locations: