Pregnant women require highly specialized care to ensure a safe childbirth and a healthy baby. Therefore, your prenatal care obstetric appointments are vitally important for both of you.
Prenatal care is carried out through regular checkups by a physician, preferably an OB/GYN (obstetrician/gynecologist), who will follow the progression of your pregnancy and the development of your baby. During these doctor’s visits, you will receive updates based on your pregnancy scans – such as ultrasound scans – and explanations about what to expect.
You (and your partner) will also receive counseling and support during this challenging period, because sometimes it can seem overwhelming. The whole process can be much less overwhelming with the gentle and caring support of professionals who understand what you are going through.
What Should I Expect During My Prenatal Appointments?
Let’s talk about some of the things you can expect from your prenatal checkups:
The First Prenatal Care Visit
Your first prenatal care appointment will involve the physician conducting a full health evaluation of you and the baby (the fetus). This will most likely be the longest checkup during your pregnancy, since the doctor needs to get a clear picture of your health to determine any risks to your pregnancy and the baby.
Your complete medical history will be checked, such as previous pregnancies, operations, and health conditions. Your physician will also ask for a complete list of the medications you are currently taking. Some questions may feel very personal, but your answers will be used to your benefit.
During this first prenatal visit, the doctor will determine your estimated due date based on your last menstruation. The physician may conduct or order one or more of the following:
- Breast exam
- Pelvic exam
- Pap smear
- Blood tests
- STD tests
- Health screenings (diabetes, hepatitis B, anemia, etc.)
The doctor will provide recommendations regarding your health, lifestyle, diet, and prenatal vitamins to ensure a healthy pregnancy.
Follow-Up Prenatal Care Appointments
At your first prenatal appointment, the physician will tell you how often you should have further checkups. The frequency will depend on whether your pregnancy is determined to be high-risk.
Normally, prenatal care appointments are scheduled every four weeks before you reach the 28-week mark. Then, every two to three weeks until you reach the 36-week mark. After 36 weeks, you need to have weekly prenatal care appointments since you are nearing the due date.
Follow-up prenatal care appointments may include:
● Urine and blood tests
● Blood pressure tests
● Weight tests
● Checking for signs of swelling
● Determining the position of the fetus in the belly to see if it’s normal
● Measuring belly size
● Listening to the fetal heartbeat
● Questions about how you feel and any concerns you may have
The tests you undergo during prenatal care appointments will help the doctor catch issues and prevent pregnancy complications.
Prenatal Care Doctor in Syracuse, NY
If you’re looking for sensitive and dedicated prenatal care from a physician who understands what you are going through, our team of gynecologists and obstetricians at University OB/GYN Associates is here to provide you the highest level of pregnancy care so you and your baby stay healthy.
To schedule a consultation with us, call (315) 464-5162. We look forward to serving you!