Prenatal Care Specialist

Cynthia Chao, DO, MPH, NCMP -  - OBGYN

Cynthia Chao, DO, MPH, NCMP

OBGYN & Laser Specialist located in Long Beach, CA

Cynthia Chao DO MPH is here to help you on the exciting winding road to motherhood. In Long Beach, California, Dr. Chao works alongside a team of skilled women’s health professionals to provide quality prenatal care every step of the way. There’s a lot on your mind during this busy time of your life as you prepare for your new addition, so let Dr. Chao organize and plan effective, individualized prenatal care to keep you and your baby as healthy as possible. Call or click to schedule your consultation with Dr. Chao.

Prenatal Care Q & A

What is prenatal care?

Prenatal care is important for the health of the mother and baby and can include:

  • Checkups
  • Physical exams
  • Routine diagnostic testing
  • Medical history evaluations

Dr. Chao provides a range of obstetrical services to assist you from preconception planning to medical care after the delivery of your newborn.

What is a high-risk pregnancy?

A high-risk pregnancy is where the mother or baby have an increased risk of certain health complications developing or pre-existing complications that could impact the pregnancy and delivery, such as a mother with an underlying autoimmune disease, or a mother who develops diabetes during pregnancy.


Gestational hypertension is high blood pressure during pregnancy. Dr. Chao can treat gestational hypertension with various methods, including recommending lifestyle changes, blood pressure medications, and more frequent checkups.

Gestational Diabetes

Diabetes can develop during pregnancy. Diabetes affects how your cells utilize sugar as a source of energy. With the appropriate medical care and treatments, such as medications and lifestyle changes, your blood sugar can be regulated.

Other factors that make your pregnancy high-risk are medical history, advanced age, and lifestyle choices, such as poor diet and excess tobacco and alcohol consumption.

What kind of medical care can I expect during each trimester?

Dr. Chao and the friendly medical team are here to help you through each stage of your pregnancy.

First trimester

The first prenatal visit occurs around eight weeks. The first trimester is from conception to around 12 weeks. Your first prenatal visit includes a transvaginal ultrasound, so as expecting parents, you can rest assured your baby is alive and growing well. Your first visit also typically involves:

  • Planning the medical care of your pregnancy
  • Blood work
  • Gynecological exam

First trimester visits usually continue once every month.

Second trimester

The second trimester is from 12 to 28 weeks. During this time, your monthly visits continue and at the 18-week mark, you’ll likely have another ultrasound to check your baby’s anatomy and determine the sex, if you’d like to know.

Third trimester

The third trimester is from 28 to 40 weeks. Prenatal visits now take place every two weeks. In the last four weeks of your pregnancy until you deliver, weekly visits become necessary.

How does pregnancy affect urinary incontinence?

Dr. Chao is here to help you through all of your pregnancy complications, including urinary incontinence, also known as a loss of bladder control — when urine leaks out before you can get to the bathroom. Some women may lose a few drops of urine when coughing or laughing. Others may feel a sudden and often uncontrollable urge to urinate.

With pregnancy, your bladder, urethra, and pelvic floor muscles are pressured and may weaken pelvic floor support. This can lead to leaks or problems with passing urine. Excess body weight can put more pressure on your bladder and worsen incontinence. Labor and vaginal childbirth can also weaken pelvic floor support and the nerves that control your bladder.

Bladder issues may go away after your muscles have time to heal. Talk to Dr.Chao if you still experience bladder problems six weeks after childbirth. There are a variety of treatment options, such as the MonaLisa Touch vaginal laser, pelvic floor exercises, devices, or surgery.

For more information about pregnancy or to book your appointment with Dr. Chao, call the office or click to use the scheduling tool.

What we offer