What to Expect During Prenatal Visits

The first visit

You and your care provider have a lot to discuss!

  • Medical History- including details about your personal and family medical history, your menstrual cycle and past pregnancies, use of medications
  • Physical Exam and Lab tests- Pelvic exam, blood type, screen for infections, and check for anemia
  • Establish an estimated date of delivery (Due Date) - an ultrasound may be done to measure the size of your baby.
  • Lifestyle issues- nutrition, exercise, work, use of medications, smoking
  • Genetic screening tests- Discuss which testing options, if any, are right for you and your baby.

Other 1st trimester visits (weeks 9-14)

Subsequent visits- often scheduled about every four (4) weeks will probably be shorter than your first visit. Each visit your provider will:

  • Check your weight
  • Monitor your Blood Pressure
  • Listen to the baby’s heart beat (usually heard with a Doppler between 10-14 weeks)
  • Discuss any questions or concerns

2nd Trimester visits (weeks 14-28)

You will continue to visit your provider about every 4 weeks. Your Provider will:

  • Check your weight and blood pressure
  • Measure your belly from the top of your uterus to your pubic bone to track your baby’s growth.
  • Listen to your baby’s heartbeat
  • Talk about your baby’s movement (usually feeling flutters at 20 weeks)
  • Talk about any symptoms, concerns, or questions you may be experiencing
  • Screening for Gestational Diabetes (24-28wks). This test takes one hour.
  • Patients with Rh negative blood will have an injection of Rhogam around 28 weeks of pregnancy.

3rd Trimester (weeks 28-40)

During the last month of pregnancy, expect weekly checkups. Your provider will continue to monitor your blood pressure and weight, as well as your baby’s heartbeat and movements.

  • At 35-37 weeks your provider will recommend a screening test for group B Streptococcus (GBS).
  • Near the end of pregnancy, your provider may include pelvic exams to check the baby’s position and detect cervical changes.

6 weeks after delivery

Your Provider will:

  • Check your weight and blood pressure
  • Check your vagina, cervix, and uterus to make sure you are healing well
  • Talk about resuming sexual activity, birth control, breastfeeding, and adjusting to life with your new baby

Disclaimer: The information contained in the pregnancy guide is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, it is provided for informational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider before starting any new treatment or discontinuing an existing treatment. Talk with your healthcare provider about any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or your pregnancy. Nothing contained in the pregnancy guide topics is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment. The information and materials in the pregnancy guide should not be used as a subsitute for the care and knowledge that your physician can provide to you. The information and materials presented in the pregnancy guide are meant to supplement the information that you obtain from your physician. If there is a disagreement between the information presented herein and what your physician has told you - it is more likely that your physician is correct. He or she has the benefit of knowing you and your medical problems. You should recognize that the information and materials presented on this website have the following limitations, in comparison to being examined by your own physician:

  • You can have a conversation with your doctor.
  • Your doctor can perform a physical examination and any necessary tests.
  • You could have an underlying medical problem that requires a physician to detect.
  • If you think that you are having a medical emergency, call 911 or the number for the local emergency ambulance service NOW!
  • And when in doubt, call your doctor NOW or go to the closest emergency department.