Normal, healthy patients are usually seen every four to five weeks during the first 28 weeks of pregnancy. From 28 to 36 weeks, your appointments are scheduled every two or three weeks. After 36 weeks until delivery, you are seen weekly.
Patients with medical obstetric complications may need to be seen as often as every two weeks during early pregnancy and once or twice a week during the latter part of the pregnancy.
If you make an appointment before 10 weeks gestation, you meet with a nurse practitioner. She provides you with information regarding your pregnancy and answers your questions. For example, she discusses common symptoms of pregnancy and ways to minimize discomforts. You also receive a prescription for prenatal vitamins.
In addition, your prenatal laboratory work is done. This includes blood work, a urine culture, a pap smear and cultures for gonorrhea and chlamydia. The prenatal blood work includes:
At this time, as well as during every visit, your care includes:
- Blood type/Rh Factor
- Complete Blood Count (CBC)
- Syphilis test (state required)
- Sickle cell screen (for African American clients)
- Antibody Screen
- Hepatitis B
At about 10 weeks gestation, you return to meet a doctor, have your lab results reviewed, have a physical exam and pelvic ultrasound to confirm your due date.
- Calculation of baby's gestational age.
- Uterine assessment and fundal height measurement.
- Weight check.
- Blood pressure screening.
- Urine screening for protein and ketones if medically necessary.
- Fetal Heart tones (May not be heard by Doppler until 10 to 12 weeks gestation).