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Maternal Care

When Airmen or their spouses are expecting, the concern of the Air Force Medical Service is for the optimal health and safety of both mother and child. If you’re pregnant, your care before, during and after childbirth (and associated costs) are determined by your beneficiary status, how close you live to a military hospital or clinic that provides obstetric and gynecological services, and your choice of TRICARE program and provider.

Prenatal Care

Prenatal care is the care you receive from the time you find out you’re pregnant until the delivery of your baby. As soon as you think you may be pregnant, schedule an appointment with your primary care provider for a pregnancy test to confirm the pregnancy. Depending on your health plan option, this may be your assigned primary care manager. Most primary care managers will place a referral for an obstetrician or midwife for continuing pregnancy care.

Regular appointments with your provider are important to ensure you and your baby are healthy. At the first appointment, you'll find out the due date and explore your health history. Frequent prenatal visits allow you to follow the progress of your pregnancy, your baby's development, and give you the opportunity to ask questions along the way.

Ultrasounds

Doctors often perform ultrasounds at different times during pregnancy for different reasons. TRICARE will cover ultrasounds used to:

  • Estimate gestational age
  • Evaluate fetal growth
  • Conduct a biophysical evaluation for fetal well-being
  • Evaluate a suspected ectopic pregnancy
  • Define the cause of vaginal bleeding
  • Diagnose or evaluate multiple gestations
  • Confirm cardiac activity
  • Evaluate maternal pelvic masses or uterine abnormalities
  • Evaluate suspected hydatidiform mole
  • Evaluate the fetus's condition in late registrants for prenatal care

TRICARE does not cover maternity ultrasounds for routine screening or to determine the sex of the baby. If you have any questions about coverage, please contact your regional contractor.

Labor and Delivery

TRICARE covers medically necessary services during your labor and delivery, including anesthesia, fetal monitoring and other services required for your care during your hospitalization. TRICARE will cover a cesarean section when medically necessary and ordered by a physician. If you choose to have a cesarean section instead of vaginal delivery for personal reasons, you may be responsible for some of the costs.

Facility / Provider

Usually, your TRICARE plan determines the type of birthing facility you will use (military or civilian, office-based or freestanding, etc.). You also have different options for the type of provider who delivers your baby (obstetrician, family practice provider and or certified nurse midwife, etc.). These types of decisions will be made by both you and your provider during your prenatal visits.

Length of stay

Usually, you will stay in the hospital for a minimum of 48 hours after a vaginal delivery and 96 hours after a cesarean section. Complications may require a longer stay.

Antepartum services

TRICARE covers the following services to determine the health of the baby or if you have a high-risk pregnancy:

  • Amniocentesis
  • Chordocentesis
  • Chorionic villis sampling
  • Fetal stress test
  • Electronic fetal monitoring

Post-partum care

Post-partum care is the care you receive after your baby is born to ensure your body is healing properly. TRICARE covers a minimum of two post-partum visits. More visits will be covered if you had complications or if your provider thinks it is necessary.