Physician, Midwife, Nurse Practitioner: What’s the Difference?
Our practice takes pride in our team approach to care. Depending on factors like your overall health and medical history, whether your pregnancy is high risk, and your personal preferences on issues like pain management approaches and how your baby will be delivered, your care from preconception through delivery may involve any or all of the following highly trained women’s health professionals:
- Obstetrician—An M.D. or D.O. physician who has graduated from a four-year medical school program, completed four years of training in a medical residency, and additional training in pregnancy and delivery care.
- Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM)—A registered nurse (often with a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree) who has completed an educational program for nurse midwives certified by the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education (ACME) and passed a national accreditation exam.
- Certified Registered Nurse Practitioner (CRNP)—A registered nurse who has completed a Master’s degree in nursing, earned accreditation as a nurse practitioner, and chosen to specialize in women’s health.
Our team approach to care benefits patients in several ways:
- Increases appointment and consultation accessibility for routine care, getting questions answered, and close monitoring of the care process.
- Supports ongoing pre-pregnancy patient education.
- Enriches care and preparation by making the perspectives of professionals with complementary training and experience available to the patient.
- Allows for patient choice and preferences in approaches to care and delivery
Your first preconception or pre-natal visit is an outstanding opportunity to discuss and ask questions about who will be involved in your care. To schedule an initial appointment, please call (717) 397-8177.
Routine Prenatal Care
At May-Grant, our top priority is your health and the health of your baby. Starting care as early as possible is important. That’s why we recommend that, ideally, your pre-baby care process should begin at your preconception phase, preparing you ahead of time for a pregnancy that is as healthy as possible. Your May-Grant physician, midwife, or nurse practitioner can advise you on how you can best prepare.
But if you become pregnant without going through a preconception phase of care, no worries—once you learn that you are pregnant, you can begin a proactive care regimen that includes:
- Prenatal vitamins
- A healthy diet
- Healthy exercise habits
- Use of pregnancy-safe medications
- Regular visits with your May-Grant physician, midwife, or nurse practitioner
You will also find helpful information relevant to your prenatal care on the Medical Forms & Prenatal Education page on this website.
Safe Medications During Pregnancy
Your May-Grant pregnancy care clinician will closely review the medications that you take and make recommendations (consulting with your primary care or specialist physicians as needed) on what is essential for you to continue taking during pregnancy and what you should discontinue until after your baby is born.
However, you may still sometimes need to take certain medications to maintain your comfort and health during pregnancy. The information below will help you understand what you can safely take occasionally for relief from colds, allergies, aches and pains, gastrointestinal symptoms, or pregnancy-specific symptoms such as morning sickness.
- Tylenol (regular, extra strength, or generic)
- Mylanta, Mylanta II
On the advice of your provider only, you may use:
For over-the-counter cold medications, check the labels carefully to ensure that they do not contain alcohol, sugar, caffeine, or aspirin. Medications that do not contain these ingredients may be taken as directed and for no more than seven days. If your symptoms last longer, contact your May-Grant clinician.
- Allergy Relief Medicine (ARM)
- Benadryl Plus
- Benadryl Tablet, capsules, liquid
- Chlor-Trimeton, Chlor-Trimeton LA
- Robitussin DM
- Sine-Off (without aspirin)
- Sinutab, extra strength, maximum strength (not Sinutab Allergy)
- Sudafed, Sudafed Plus Tablets, liquid Sudafed, Sudafed 12 hour
- Throat Lozenges
- Triaminic, Triaminic Cold, Nite Lite, Syrup, PM, 12 Hour
- Tylenol Sinus
For constipation, natural approaches often help, such as getting adequate exercise (walking is an excellent choice during pregnancy), eating plenty of fresh fruit and green leafy vegetables, and high-fiber foods. The following products are pregnancy-safe:
- Colace 50mg (one or two, twice daily)
- BRAT diet (banana, rice, applesauce, tea/toast)
- Imodium AD (no longer than 48 hours, and take no more than four caplets or eight teaspoons (40 ml) in 24 hours.
- Preparation H
- Sitz Bath
- Soaking in warm bath
Nausea/ Morning Sickness
- Ginger Root (2 tablets, 2-4 times per day)
- Small, frequent meals
- Vitamin B6 (50mg twice daily)
- 8–10 eight-ounce glasses of water per day
Depending on certain variables, such as your age, personal medical history, and family medical history, your clinician may recommend genetic testing during your preconception or prenatal care phase. This testing may provide important information about potential health issues and risks for your child and help your clinicians tailor your care to your specific needs and your baby’s.
Your clinician will advise you about genetic tests that may be appropriate for you, recommend where to go to have any tests that are not available in our offices, and review your results and their implications.
In some cases the tests themselves may involve risks. Your clinician will help you evaluate the risks and benefits.
In-house prenatal ultrasound is one of the most convenient services available to May-Grant patients. Your clinician will recommend specific times during your pregnancy at which an ultrasound exam will be important to evaluate the health of your developing baby and identify any potential risks of your pregnancy.
For many parents, prenatal ultrasound exams are also an exciting milestone, giving them the first look at their developing child and an opportunity to know the child’s gender if they wish to do so. May-Grant is pleased to offer the high-quality detail and resolution of 3D and 4D ultrasound imaging. This not only gives your clinician more complete information for evaluating your baby’s health, but also produces 3D ultrasound pictures that can become keepsake “first images” of the newest addition to your family.
For your information and to adequately prepare for your ultrasound appointment, please follow the guidelines below:
- Please drink THREE (3) 8-oz glasses of water 1 hour before your arrive for your ultrasound.
- DO NOT EMPTY YOUR BLADDER after drinking the water!
- Children are not permitted in the ultrasound room at any time. There are chemicals and equipment in the room that could pose a danger to your child.
- No video equipment is allowed at any time.
Signs of Labor
There are clear signs that you are going into labor, and then there are “false alarms.” How can you tell the difference? It is especially important for first-time mothers to know the telltale signs that “the big moment” may be near. The following signs are strong indicators that you may be going into labor:
- Intervals of five minutes or less between contractions that last a minute or more
- Fluid leakage
- Reduced fetal movement
- Bleeding bright red
- A sensation of tightening in your stomach that makes it feel harder to breathe
What should you do if you believe you are going into labor?
- If there is a life threatening emergency, call 911.
- Before leaving for the hospital, call our office first at (717) 397-8177.
Labor and Delivery
May-Grant Obstetrics and Gynecology either provides or can direct you to the services, education, and support you need to prepare for labor and delivery. Our clinicians are ready to answer your questions so that you will feel confident that you have the knowledge you need and understand what to expect. We also recommend childbirth education classes available at Women & Babies Hospital, where deliveries are performed for our patients.