Once your pregnancy has been confirmed, the prenatal period officially begins. Prenatal care involves a series of regular examinations and tests by a health care provider.
In an uncomplicated pregnancy, most women will see their practitioner once a month until the 28th week of pregnancy. At this point, you will be seen every two weeks.
As you anticipate your baby’s arrival during your last month of pregnancy, you will have an appointment with a health care provider every week.
The initial prenatal visit is often the longest and is facilitated by our OB/GYN nurse. During the first appointment, a detailed family history and lab work will be performed.
The nurse will calculate your baby’s due date, which will serve as a reference point in future visits as the baby’s growth is assessed. See below for a list of common blood tests performed during this initial visit.
During your first prenatal visit with a health care provider, you will have a physical examination of your overall health. Your physician will then perform an obstetrical exam that includes looking at your abdomen, a measurement of the height of your uterus and a Pap smear.
All prenatal visits include a measurement of your weight and urine and blood pressure testing. Urine testing is performed to check for the presence of sugar and protein. Sugar in the urine could indicate gestational diabetes and the presence of protein could indicate toxemia.
Blood typing. This test determines your blood type, Rhesus (Rh) type and antibody factor. If your blood type is Rh negative, special monitoring of your blood may be necessary to check for Rh incompatibility. Your pregnancy needs special care if you are Rh negative and your baby's father is Rh positive.
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