We believe you need time and special attention so you can be healthy and able to take care of your baby. Prenatal care is very important to having a normal, healthy baby. Prenatal visits help us diagnose and intervene as early as possible. We encourage you to become active in your care and to keep a list of questions and concerns.
The pregnancy is divided into three trimesters. During the first and second trimesters, appointments will be every three to four weeks. During the third trimester, beginning at approximately 28 weeks, your visits will increase to every two weeks and at 36 weeks your visits will be weekly to closely monitor you and your baby.
First and Second Trimester
The first trimester is the time from conception to 12 weeks gestation. On your first appointment, a physical exam and a thorough history will be taken. Topics typically discussed include nutrition, medical history, exercise, danger signs and answer any questions you have during this initial visit. You can expect the following at each visit your:
- weight will be checked, ideal weight gain is 25-35 pounds, depending on your pre-pregnancy weight.
- blood pressure will be checked.
- urine specimen will be checked for protein, glucose and ketones.
- fundal height (the top of the uterus) will be measured to help determine gestational growth.
- fetal heart tones will be checked (usually heard between 9-12 weeks gestation)
- You should start feeling fetal movement around 20-23 weeks gestation. It is most commonly described as a "flutter" low in the abdomen.
Most fetal growth occurs during the last three months. During this time the benefits of breast feeding will be discussed, choosing a pediatrician or family practice physician, circumcision and attendance at childbirth classes.