Prenatal Care Timeline
The next nine months will be filled with lots of planning and doctor’s visits. Here’s a look at what you can expect.
At each obstetrical visit, you can expect to be weighed and have your urine and blood pressure checked. In addition, your doctor will monitor your fetus`s growth and position.
First Trimester: Conception to 12 weeks
Visits every two to four weeks (depending on your physician’s recommendation):
- A transvaginal ultrasound will be performed between 7-9 weeks based on the first day of your last period
- Your first visit with your doctor will also be scheduled for when you are 7-9 weeks pregnant based on the first day of your last period
- Your physician will begin documenting and tracking your blood pressure and weight, and test your urine for protein and glucose
- Between 10 to 12 weeks gestation, your doctor will be able to hear your baby’s heartbeat by using a Doppler
- Sequential screening is offered. (Sequential screening determines if your baby is at a higher risk for possible defects including Down’s syndrome)
Second Trimester: 13 to 27 weeks
Visits every four weeks, much like the routine visits of the first trimester, except with the addition of listening for fetal heart tones:
- Your physician will continue to document and track your blood pressure and weight, and test your urine for protein and glucose
- Your physician will check for baby’s heart tones
- At around 20 weeks gestation, you will have a fetal assessment ultrasound, which is an integrated screening to measure the baby’s growth, monitor the heart and evaluate baby’s development and tell you the gender of your baby (if you wish)
- If you have elected to do sequential screening, the second part will be performed
Third Trimester: 28 weeks to Delivery
Visits will be every two to three weeks until 36 weeks. Once you have hit the 36-week mark you will begin your weekly visits until delivery.
- Your physician will continue to document and track your blood pressure and weight, and test your urine for protein and glucose.
- Your physician will check for baby’s heart tones.
- At 28 weeks you will receive information regarding fetal kick counts.
- At 28 weeks you will expect to take a glucola screen/ mid-trimester panel to check for gestational diabetes as well as you will be able to view a presentation on Cord Blood banking, which will be available at the time of delivery.
- At 32 weeks you will receive information about birth classes at the Saddleback Hospital, labor instructions, and what to bring to the hospital.
- At 36 weeks to the time of delivery weekly cervical checks will be performed as well as a test for the Group B Strep Bacteria.
- At 39 weeks repeat C-section patients are typically scheduled.
- Once you’re at 40 weeks you’re full term! After 40 weeks, expect to begin post-dates surveillance and more frequent office visits; your doctor may offer induction if your cervix is ripe.
- At 41 to 42 weeks you’ll continue to receive post-dates surveillance.
Please Note: These are appointment guidelines for the average pregnancy. Every pregnancy experience is different and additional appointments and testing may be necessary.