During Your Pregnancy
Prenatal care during pregnancy is vital for the health and wellbeing of you and your baby. By the time most women confirm that they are pregnant, development of the fetal brain, spinal cord and several major organs are well underway.
If you have a positive pregnancy test result (after your first missed period) or suspect that you’re pregnant, it’s important to contact your OB/GYN office to schedule your first prenatal appointment. At the initial appointment, your provider will perform a comprehensive exam, review your family health history, get blood work drawn to confirm your pregnancy and determine your estimated due date. Your first OB visit may be with a physician, a nurse midwife or a nurse practitioner who specializes in obstetrics.
During subsequent appointments, your doctor will monitor the progression of your pregnancy to ensure that both you and baby are safe and healthy. During these visits you can also discuss prenatal, genetic and fetal diagnostic testing.
Prenatal appointments are generally scheduled as follows:
- Once per month for weeks 4 to 28
- Twice per month for weeks 28 to 36
- Weekly for week 36 to delivery
Women with high-risk pregnancies or those with a history of pregnancy complications will have appointments more often.