Early monitoring and on-going care during pregnancy is linked with more favorable birth outcomes. With our obstetric services before and during pregnancy, you’ll meet with your doctor to maintain your physical and mental well-being, prevent pre-term delivery, anticipate difficulties and complications at delivery, and assist you (and your partner) in preparation for parenting.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, experts suggest you see your doctor:
- 1x/month: 4-28 weeks gestation
- 2x/month: 28-36 weeks gestation
- Weekly: 36 weeks gestation until birth
If you are older than 35 or your pregnancy is high risk, you’ll probably see your doctor more often. While most women in their late 30s and early 40s have healthy babies, risks do go up for women in their late 30s and early 40s.
First Prenatal Visit: You can expect your doctor to:
- Ask about your family’s health history
- Ask about your health history including diseases, operations, or prior pregnancies
- Do a complete physical exam, including a pelvic exam and Pap test.
- Check your blood pressure, height, and weight
- Calculate your due date
- Take your blood and urine for lab work
- Answer your questions
You will also have some routine tests. Some tests are suggested for all women, such as blood work to check for anemia, your blood type, HIV, and other factors. Other tests might be offered based on your age, personal or family health history, your ethnic background, or the results of routine tests you have had.
Monthly Prenatal Visits: Going forward, prenatal visits will most likely be shorter. Your doctor will check on your health and make sure the baby is growing as expected. Most prenatal visits will include measuring your weight, checking your blood pressure, and checking the baby’s heart rate.
Full-term Visits: Around 36-38 weeks, your doctor will work with you to anticipate any problems. The doctor will check for the position of the baby to see if a C-section is necessary. With the increasing number of planned home births, you will also finalize the place for the delivery. This is also a good time to finalize the discussions on planned contraception after delivery.
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