You’re expecting a baby! We know that the nine months to come will be full of planning, activities, and a lot of time spent caring for the health of you and your baby. You’ll have a number of prenatal care visits as part of a standard timeline for pregnancy. At this routine appointments, we take some vitals—like your weight and blood pressure—and also evaluate the growth and position of your unborn baby.
We take each woman’s individual needs into account when planning, but you can expect your care in most cases to follow this timeline.
First Trimester: 1-12 Weeks of Pregnancy
During your first trimester, you’ll have a prenatal care visit scheduled every four weeks to measure the progress of your pregnancy.
You’ll have a first intake visit, which will include:
- Review of your medical history and physical exam
- Estimation of your due date
- Standard initial blood work and culture screenings
- Listening for fetal heart tones and scheduling of an ultrasound
- Potential consultation with a specialist, depending on your unique factors.
After this first visit, during your first trimester, we will:
- Document and track your blood pressure and weight
- Perform urine tests for glucose and protein
- Perform an ultrasound to verify gestational age and listen to fetal heart tones (between 10 and 12 weeks)
Your Second Trimester: 13 Weeks to 27 Weeks
During your second trimester, you will continue to have visits scheduled every four weeks. As a standard part of these visits, your doctor will listen to fetal heart tones in addition to ongoing measurements.
At these visits, we will:
- Continue to track blood pressure and weight and perform urine tests
- Perform a fetal assessment ultrasound in order to measure the growth of the baby and evaluate development (the sex of your baby will be apparent at this time)
- Offer sequential screening or a triple screen between weeks 15-20, which allows you to screen for certain medical concerns
- Advise you about your overall health; if you must undergo any necessary surgery, the second trimester is the best time during pregnancy
Your Third Trimester: 24 Weeks to Delivery
Your prenatal care visits will increase during your third trimester, as you prepare for delivery. During this time, you’ll have scheduled routine visits every two to three weeks.
During this time, we will:
- Screen you for gestational diabetes at around 26 weeks of pregnancy
- Perform necessary cultures and discuss with you signs of pre-term labor
- Determine the fetal position of your baby
- Perform weekly cervical checks, beginning at 37 to 38 weeks
When you reach 40 weeks of pregnancy, you are considered to be full term! If you have not yet delivered your baby, you will have more frequent visits. If your cervix is ripe, your doctor may plan to induce labor after 40 weeks.
You’ll continue to have appointments following your due date, in the 41st and 42nd week, to monitor your health following delivery.
While these are guidelines for prenatal care, every pregnancy is different and your individual experience may vary.