Methodist Family Health Centers
Methodist Family Health Centers are operated by the Methodist Healthcare System, San Antonio’s largest private health care network. Methodist Healthcare has seven hospitals in the San Antonio area and several specialty centers, including the Texas Neurosciences Institute, the Texas Transplant Institute and Methodist Children’s Hospital. Methodist Healthcare also operates AirCare for critical care air transport.
Methodist Family Health Centers offer services for the whole family:
Free Pregnancy Testing (No Waiting)
If you're experiencing the first signs of pregnancy, get a free pregnancy test for accurate results in minutes. It’s quick, easy and confidential.
Free Doctor Referral from DoctorSource
Tell us your preferences. We’ll help you find the best doctor for you. And even set up your appointment – free.
Free Medicaid Application Assistance
Think you qualify for healthcare under Medicaid? Get help with application paperwork. Our bilingual staff is here to assist you – free of charge.
Children’s Health Insurance (CHIP)
Apply for low-cost children’s health insurance through the state of Texas. Our bilingual staff can help you apply at either location.
There’s More. Ask About:
Free WomanPlus® Membership, Car Seat Classes, Call-A-Nurse for Children, The Lactation Center, Boot Camp for New Dads, Peek-A-Boo Tours – a free one-hour tour of the Labor, Delivery and Recovery rooms at Methodist Hospital and Metropolitan Methodist Hospital.
Now, Your Family Health Center… Is Close to Your Family.
The Pregnancy Cycle is measured in “trimesters” – 3 periods of approximately 13 or 14 weeks each. Every pregnancy is different, and any determination of conception date or due date is merely an estimate. However, there are known phases of development which can be generally described in a week-by-week cycle.
Early Signs: Am I pregnant? Most of the early signs of pregnancy can also be symptoms of other conditions. If you are sexually active and you experience any combination of these symptoms, you should have a reliable pregnancy test to determine your condition. Early signs of pregnancy may include:
- delayed or missed menstrual cycle
- implantation bleeding (spotting or cramping as the embryo implants itself 6 – 12 days after conception)
- swollen/tender breasts (tender to the touch or swollen, 1 – 2 weeks after conception)
- fatigue/tiredness (more tired than usual after normal exertion, as early as the first week after conception)
- nausea/”morning sickness” (often begins 2 – 8 weeks after conception)
- backaches (as your body begins to adjust to pregnancy, and continues throughout the pregnancy; stretching and massage can help alleviate lower back pain)
- headaches (often caused by a sudden rise in hormones)
- frequent urination (begins about 6 – 8 weeks after conception)
- darkening of areolas (skin around your nipples may get darker)
- food cravings (not necessarily pickles and ice cream)
First Trimester Events and Preparation Your baby begins as an embryo and starts early development. Your body produces and releases increased hormones. You inform your partner and your family, start prenatal care and classes, form your support team. You begin diet and exercise to handle the changes in your body and moderate the discomforts of pregnancy.
Baby is growing quickly, sometimes getting hair, eyelashes and eyebrows in week 14, fully formed heart and fingerprints by week 18, moving around by week 23.
You are making sure you get enough iron, you make sure you know where bathrooms are to handle increased urination, you push yourself to exercise because it stretches your body and actually gives you more energy, you’re careful about maintaining a good internal and external balance.
You have started to plan for the baby – maternity leave, day care, teaching your other children about caring for their sibling. Plan a place for the baby, have clothes for the baby. Make decisions about how you want to deliver the baby, and prepare accordingly.
Baby begins the third trimester at about 2.5 pounds. By week 32, the baby is aware of its environment, responding to your feelings, learning your voice and the voices around you, reacting to stress levels. The baby learns to breathe.
The third trimester is a test of balance, as your body is accommodating a growing baby. You may also experience changes in your eyesight or optic dryness. You do exercises to help your baby progress downward. Get lots of rest, and be prepared for delivery.
It’s a good time to plan your postpartum birth control. Once the baby arrives and your body adjusts to more “normal” conditions, you will want to engage with your partner, but also make sure you avoid another pregnancy before you are ready.
A Time to Take Very Good Care of Your Health
Pregnancy is a time of joy and wonder – your body is growing a new human being. If this is your first pregnancy, you are already experiencing emotional and physical sensations you have never felt before. Pregnancy isn’t always comfortable, and unexpected events are always possible. However, it is a natural process, and there are many things you can do to protect yourself and your baby.
Form Your Team
Gather supportive people around you. Your health care provider is an important part of your team. Your partner can also be very helpful, just by being understanding, providing gentle lower back massage and carrying part of the load. Look amongst family and friends for mothers who have been through the pregnancy cycle. While every pregnancy is different, shared experience can contribute to your understanding and acceptance of the changes that occur through pregnancy.
You really are eating for two, and you want to give both people a healthy, nutritional diet. You need to cut back on caffeine – found in coffee, tea, chocolate and many soft drinks – because of its affect on your baby. You will completely abstain from alcohol, tobacco and recreational drug use. Your health care provider will suggest prenatal vitamin supplements and other dietary considerations.
Other Health Considerations
If you have chronic conditions, such as diabetes, asthma, hypertension, cardiac or pulmonary conditions, you will need to plan and execute specific strategies to ensure a comfortable, successful pregnancy. Consult with your health care provider.
Your body is changing, taking on the weight of a growing baby. It’s very important to keep moving. Stretch all of your muscles, give your back good support, perform regular cardiovascular exercise to keep your blood pumping strong and well. Many of the “discomforts” of pregnancy can be moderated with a good exercise routine and positive self-care attitude. You might find an exercise buddy in your prenatal classes.
First Step Classes
We invite you to join WomanPlus, a special program focused on women’s health issues that can provide you with information through all of the stages of your life. If your pregnancy test comes back positive, we will provide you with a First Steps guide and invite you to First Step classes, provided free of charge for the whole family – moms, dads, grandparents and siblings. When you register for First Steps and attend classes, you can receive many free gifts and lots of information about progressing through pregnancy and preparing a place in your home and family for the new baby.
Plan, and Execute the Plan
Pregnancy normally takes 36 – 39 weeks, and it goes by a lot faster than you think. Methodist Family Health Centers and Methodist Women’s Health Services are here to support you all the way through. Ask your nurse for more information, or visit our Women’s Health website.
Do you want to know your estimated due date?
To find out how far along you are, simply enter the date you started your last menstrual period into the pregnancy calculator and click "Calculate Due Date."
Is there a charge for Methodist Family Health Center services?
Your pregnancy test is free. Other services are generally covered by your private insurance. If you do not have insurance, we can help you apply for Medicaid and we can advise you about using your Medicaid benefits. Your baby will be covered by CHIP – the Texas Children’s Health Insurance Plan. Methodist Family Health Centers offer CHIP application and counseling assistance on the first Friday of the month – ask us for details.
What type of test is done and how long does it take?
Your pregnancy test is a urine self-test. The steps are easy and the results are interpreted within three minutes. Walk-ins only, no appointment needed for pregnancy testing.
What if I do not have a doctor?
We will help you find a physician who provides prenatal care and delivers with our Metropolitan Methodist Hospital (located downtown) or Methodist Hospital (located in medical center).
What if I do not know if I qualify for Medicaid?
Our onsite Medicaid representatives will be able to visit with you and provide a quick screening to determine your eligibility status. When eligibility can be confirmed, the Medicaid representative will proceed with making an application, the information will then be sent to our onsite State Caseworker where your Medicaid will be reviewed and approved within 15 business days.
What if my doctor doesn't deliver with the Methodist Healthcare System?
Your pregnancy test is still free, however you will have to find your local Texas Department of Health and Human Services to seek assistance with your application and follow up with your doctor.
When is an appropriate time to test for pregnancy?
A delayed or missed menstruation is one of the most common signs of pregnancy. If you have been sexually active and experiencing any of the following symptoms it is important to take a pregnancy test:
- Implantation bleeding
- Swollen/tender breasts
- Nausea/morning sickness
- Frequent Urination
- Darkening of areolas
- Food cravings
What if I have a positive pregnancy test and then start bleeding?
About 25-30% of pregnant women experience some type of spotting or bleeding in early pregnancy. This can be a result of many different factors including implantation bleeding, infection, cervical irritation, ectopic pregnancy or a threatened miscarriage. Many women who have this light bleeding go on to have normal pregnancies and healthy babies. About half of the women who experience some light bleeding will go on to have heavier bleeding that will ultimately result in miscarriage. Unfortunately there is no way to predict whether or not vaginal bleeding will progress to miscarriage. If you experience light bleeding that continues to get heavier, accompanied by painful cramping, back pain or stabbing pains, then you would want to seek medical attention right away.
If you experience some very slight spotting that then goes away, you would want to make sure to share this with your healthcare provider so that they are fully informed of everything you are experiencing in your pregnancy.
Can the exact date of conception be determined accurately?
Many women have questions about the date of possible conception, and unfortunately figuring this out is not always so easy. The assumption is that if a woman has fairly regular menstrual cycles, then she will be ovulating during a certain time of the month. Ovulation is the time when conception can take place because that is when an egg is made available. The problem is that most women do not ovulate on an exact date each month, and many women have a different ovulation day from month to month. Sperm can live in the body 3-5 days after intercourse has taken place. After a positive pregnancy test, most doctors use the first day of the last period (LMP) and ultrasound measurements to gage the gestational age of a baby and estimate when the baby was conceived. But ultrasounds can be off up to 5-7 days in early pregnancy and up to a couple weeks off if the first ultrasounds are done farther into the second trimester or beyond. Due dates are not an accurate tool for determining conception since they also are only an estimation date (only 5% of women give birth on their due dates).
If you are seeking the estimated date of conception for paternity reasons, and intercourse with different partners took place within 10 days of each other, we strongly encourage that paternity testing be done; this testing can be done during pregnancy and after the baby is born. It is the only way to accurately know who the father is.
If I have a negative pregnancy test after I have missed my period, does that mean I am not pregnant?
A negative result can mean that you are not pregnant, you took the test too early, or you took the test wrong. Pregnancy tests vary in their sensitivity (how soon they can detect the hormone hCG), and you may not have given your body enough time to produce enough hCG hormones that will show up on the test. If you have missed your period and you think you may be pregnant, Methodist Family Health Centers can provide immediate, verified results, free of charge, no appointment needed. Find the location nearest you on our home page directory.
Some of this information was taken from the American Pregnancy Association website, (© 2000-2010 American Pregnancy Association. All Rights Reserved) which has resources you might find useful.