Prenatal Care: What Can I Expect?
Please note that your appointments may vary based on your pregnancy.
INITIAL PRENATAL VISIT
- Your first visit may take up to 1 hour.
- You will meet with your doctor's assistant to go over the medical history of you and the father of the baby.
- You will then meet with your doctor to go over "dos and don'ts" of pregnancy and discuss any health concerns.
- It is a good idea to bring a list of questions that you may have to this visit.
- Your doctor will most likely perform a physical exam at this visit.
- We will check your weight, blood pressure and urine.
- Your doctor will also order your initial prenatal blood work.
- Prenatal Classes are offered by Saint Joseph East Hospital
TYPICAL ROUTINE FOLLOW-UP VISITS
- From 8-31 weeks, you will be seen every 4 weeks
- From 32-36 weeks, you will be seen every 2 weeks
- From 36 weeks to delivery, you will be seen weekly
AT EACH FOLLOW-UP VISIT, WE WILL...
- Check your weight
- Screen for Preeclampsia by checking your blood pressure and urine
- Listen to fetal heart tones
- Measurement of your belly (after 28 weeks)
- Perform vaginal exams (after 36 weeks)
- Review your concerns
SPECIAL SCREENING LAB TESTS THAT WILL BE OFFERED TO YOU THROUGHOUT YOUR PREGNANCY:
- Nuchal Translucency Sequential Integrated Testing (part 1): this is a two part test that combines lab work and ultrasound to screen for abnormalities such as Down syndrome and other chromosomal abnormalities.
- Prenatal Labs
- Nuchal Translucency Sequential Integrated Testing (part 2)
- Cystic Fibrosis screening: this blood test screens you for the CF carrier gene to let us know if your baby is at risk for having CF.
- Alpha Fetoprotein (AFP) Test: this test is offered for those patients that select not to do the Nuchal Translucency Testing. It screens your risk of open neural tube defects (anencephaly and spina bifida), Down syndrome, and Trisomy 18.
- Gestational Diabetes Screen: this is a one hour test that screens you for gestational diabetes. When you arrive for your routine visit on this day, you will be given a glucola beverage. Exactly one hour after finishing this drink, your blood will be drawn. Although there is no need to fast prior to this test, you may not eat or drink after you are given the beverage.
- Group B Strep screening (36 weeks): This is a vaginal culture performed to detect if you have group B strep. If it is positive, you will be given antibiotics to prevent transmission of this bacteria to your baby.
ULTRASOUND DURING PREGNANCY:
- An ultrasound may be ordered during your first trimester to confirm pregnancy or as part 1 of the Nuchal Translucency Test.
- 20-24 weeks: you will be receiving the full anatomy ultrasound. This ultrasound usually lasts one hour and provides a very detailed look at your baby. Our ultrasound technician will be looking at your baby's heart, spine, kidneys, fetal movement, limbs, face, skull, etc.
- Typically, ultrasounds are not ordered during the third trimester unless there is medical necessity.
*Note: We feel that it is important to inform you that some insurance companies only allow one routine obstetrical ultrasound per pregnancy. It is your responsibility to know your benefits. The physicians at Lexington Clinic OB/GYN order ultrasounds based on need, but some insurances do not consider them medically necessary. Please be sure to let us know if your insurance plan has any limitation to the quantity of ultrasounds that will be covered.