Medical Care–Prenatal and Beyond

Prenatal Check-ups

Prenatal care is so important for you and your baby’s health. As soon as you find out or suspect you are pregnant, you should call your “provider” to make an appointment. Your provider can be a family doctor that sees pregnant women, an OB/GYN, a nurse practitioner, or a midwife. Who you decide to see will depend on a lot of things like your insurance coverage, clinic location, and/or personal preferences.

When calling to make your appointment, it will be helpful to know when your last period started. Your first prenatal checkup will probably take place when you are between 8 and 12 weeks pregnant.

After your first visit, you will start seeing your provider:

  • Every 4 weeks until you reach 28 weeks
  • Every 2 weeks from 28 – 36 weeks
  • Every week from 36 – 41 weeks
  • Every day if you go over 41 weeks

During the course of your pregnancy, your provider will ask you questions about your overall health, family history, and pregnancy history.

These are other things your provider will check you for:

  • Check your blood pressure and weight (every time)
  • Listen for baby’s heart beat (after 12 weeks)
  • Test your urine and blood
  • Do a pelvic exam
  • Test you for sexually transmitted infections (STIs or STDs)
  • Measure fundal height (measures from your public bone to the top of your uterus)
  • Schedule an ultrasound
  • Test you for gestational diabetes – usually between 24 and 28 weeks
  • Test you for Group B Streptococcus (GBS) – usually between 35 and 37 weeks
  • Other specialized tests as needed

 

Make the most of your visits:

The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology recommend the following for making the most of your visits:

  1. Write a list of questions
  2. Write down signs and symptoms
  3. Bring a list of your medications (or bring the bottles)
  4. Be ready to give your health history