Your baby’s growth and development begin during your pregnancy. Caring for yourself while pregnant – commonly referred to as prenatal care – is the first step to having a healthy, happy baby.
Prenatal care refers to all the medical care a woman receives during pregnancy. From the moment you think you are pregnant, schedule an appointment with your obstetrician/gynecologist (OB/GYN). It’s the first step to beginning a healthy, happy pregnancy journey.
In a typical, healthy pregnancy, here is what you can expect with your prenatal visits:
Around the eighth week of your pregnancy, you should have your first prenatal doctor’s visit. The first appointment is usually the longest because your doctor will talk to you about your pregnancy and lifestyle as well as conduct medical tests. Tests typically include a urine sample, pelvic exam, and a general health exam. You may receive an ultrasound around this time as well.
After that first visit, you will typically be seen once a month until you are 28 weeks pregnant. These monthly visits focus on monitoring your health and the health of your baby, along with the opportunity to ask your doctor questions.
At 28 to 36 weeks pregnant, you’ll begin to see your doctor every two weeks.
At 36 weeks to delivery, your visits will be every week. As you approach your baby’s due date, the visits may become even more frequent depending on any early labor symptoms you may be experiencing.
If you have any medical conditions or concerns, your prenatal visits may differ in terms of timing intervals and the types of testing you may need to undergo.
QUICK TIP: Whenever you have questions or concerns about you or your baby while pregnant, contact your OB/GYN or primary care doctor. Trust your instincts and turn to the experts for answers.