During pregnancy, regular checkups are important. Typically, these checkups occur:
- Once each month for weeks 4 through 28
- Twice a month for weeks 28 through 36
- Weekly for weeks 36 to birth
Weomen with high-risk pregnancies need to see their doctor more often.
At your first visit, your doctor will perform a full physical exam, take your blood for lab tests and calculate your due date. Your doctor might also do a breast exam; a pelvic exam to check your uterus; and a cervical exam, including a Pap test.
After the first visit, more prenatal visits will include:
- Checking your blood pressure and weight
- Checking the baby’s heart rate
- Measuring your abdomen to check your baby’s growth
You also will have some routine tests throughout your pregnancy, such as tests to look for anemia, to measure risk of gestational diabetes and to check for harmful infections.
Become a partner with your doctor to manage your care. Keep all of your appointments. Ask questions and read to educate yourself about this exciting time.
Source: Office on Women’s Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services