When you don’t know what to expect at your OBGYN visits for prenatal care, there can be a lot of nervousness. It is also normal to have many questions about your baby’s health, your diet, medical history, and what to expect throughout your pregnancy. Thankfully, your prenatal care OBGYN can answer these questions, and knowing what to expect at prenatal care visits can also help to calm your nerves.
What to Expect at Prenatal Care Visits
Most parents start prenatal care visits around 8 weeks, or whenever they learn they are pregnant. If you find out later and start care later, it is not necessarily a bad thing. The point of prenatal care is to give you a safe space and establish a provider of care during your pregnancy.
Once you begin prenatal care, you will see your doctor every four weeks (unless you are advised differently) until you reach the 28-week mark. From then until week 35, you will have appointments every two weeks. Between week 36 until you give birth, you will meet with your OBGYN every week to monitor your baby and ensure everything is ready for delivery.
During your prenatal appointments, your OBGYN will take your weight and blood pressure. You may be asked for a urine sample, as well. Other routine screening procedures include monitoring the fetal heartbeat, measuring your abdomen, and reviewing any test results. If you have any particular questions or concerns during your appointment, these will also be addressed.
Throughout your pregnancy, your doctor will conduct numerous screenings to ensure your baby is developing healthily. Don’t be concerned if your doctor suggests a certain screening during your visit or in the future. This does not always mean they think your baby may be unhealthy. There are many routine screenings that may be conducted every few weeks.
There is an optional first-trimester screening that may be conducted around between weeks 11 and 13. You may also receive a cystic fibrosis screening before this time. Around weeks 15 or 16, you may have your blood drawn for the AFP/Tetra screening that will evaluate the chances of your baby being affected by conditions such as Down syndrome. At 28 weeks, your blood may be screened for gestational diabetes, and you may receive an HIV screening.
There will be a lot going on during your prenatal visits as your OBGYN wants to ensure that your baby will be healthy when it arrives. Some conditions or complications may arise during these screenings, and it is better to know beforehand if you may require specialized care while giving birth.
Schedule Your OBGYN Visit With Woman’s Health Centers
While prenatal care can be unnerving, it is also important. For both you and your baby’s health, it is crucial to keep up with routine OBGYN appointments and follow your doctor’s instructions. At Woman’s Health Centers, you will have access to our team of experienced and compassionate doctors, so don’t hesitate to schedule your prenatal visits with us today.