At each visit, we will weigh you, check your blood pressure and collect a urine specimen. In addition, lab work will be drawn depending on where you are in your pregnancy. We will also listen to the baby’s heartbeat after 12 weeks and take a measurement called fundal height after 20 weeks.
Between 6-12 weeks
- Your first visit is an exciting one and you may have lots of questions. The doctor will go over all the details of your care and to answer any questions you might have.
- Lab work to be drawn includes a Prenatal Profile, HIV, Urine culture and Pap Smear if indicated
- You may have an initial Ultrasound done. This ultrasound may have to be done vaginally as the pregnancy is still very early.
- You will be seen in our office every 4 weeks, unless there is a problem.
- Flu season is between months of September and March. We will give your flu injection during those times.
Between 16-22 weeks
- We will draw lab work called a Quad Screen. This is a screening test to identify if there is a birth defect called Neural Tube Defect or Chromosomal abnormalities like Down’s syndrome or Trisomy 18. We can also screen for Abdominal Wall Defects. If the proteins are elevated, it doesn’t always mean something is wrong with your baby, but it does mean we need to do further testing. Approximately 8% of all pregnancies tested will have abnormal values, but very few will actually have a birth defect. Remember, Quad Screens do not diagnose birth defects, they simply tell us that follow up tests are indicated. Most women with these results have normal, healthy babies.
- We will do an Ultrasound to make sure baby is growing well. This is usually the time we will try to determine if your baby is a boy or a girl if you want to know ahead of time. We will provide you with ‘snapshots’ of your baby – however, we are not able to videotape the ultrasound appointment.
Between 24-28 weeks
- We will do a gestational diabetes screen, in which we ask you to drink a sugary drink and we take a blood sample to see how your body processes that sugar. This test takes one hour to do. If this screen shows your blood sugar levels to be too high, we may schedule further testing.
- We will repeat a blood count as well. If your levels are low, a prescription for supplemental iron will be given.
Between 32-34 weeks
- You will be seen in our office every 2 weeks, unless there is a problem.
- HIV testing as well as other labs will be repeated.
- Tdap injection is given now. It offers your baby passive immunity to protect him/her from whooping cough.
Between 35-40 weeks
- You will be seen in our office once a week
- We will do is a vaginal swab testing Group Beta Strep.
- The doctor may begin doing vaginal exams to see how your body is beginning to prepare for the birth of the baby.