What is a Prenatal Visit?
A prenatal visit is a routine visit you make to your doctor while pregnant. You should expect to make several visits to your doctor throughout the course of your pregnancy.
When Should I Schedule My First Prenatal Visit?
The date of your first visit depends on a number of factors, depending on your health history. Generally, your best option is to call your OB/GYN as soon as you find out you are pregnant, and they will let you know when to come in.
How Often Will I Have Prenatal Visits?
Most doctors will have you come in every four weeks throughout your first and second trimester. During the third trimester, you will likely come in every two weeks at first, and then every week once you hit 36 weeks. Of course, if you have health concerns which put your pregnancy at greater risk, you may need to come in a little more frequently.
What Happens at a Prenatal Visit?
While each visit may differ slightly, here is what you can expect at a prenatal visit: At the first visit, the nurse will likely take your medical history and your vital signs, including your height, weight and blood pressure. The doctor will review your medical history, listen to baby's heartbeat and feel and measure your abdomen. Your urine will be checked at each visit for protein and evidence of an early infections. Toward the end of your pregnancy, your doctor will also check to see how far dilated you are.
Prenatal visits are routine, so don't be surprised if they are fairly short after the first one. The doctor simply wants to check to make sure everything is looking okay, and if it is, you should be good to go until your next appointment!