Prenatal Care Q & A
What is prenatal care?
Prenatal care is health care for both you and your baby throughout pregnancy. At Heartfelt Obstetrics And Gynecology, the team of prenatal specialists offers all the care you need to have a safe pregnancy.
Why is prenatal care important?
Without prenatal care, the risk of low birth weight triples, and the risk of fetal death is five times higher. Prenatal care allows the Heartfelt Obstetrics & Gynecology team to identify potential issues early and take action immediately. It can literally save your life and that of your baby.
Additionally, prenatal care can help you prevent many issues before they even have a chance to begin.
When should I start prenatal care appointments?
Schedule your first prenatal care visit after a positive home pregnancy test. Even better, you can schedule an appointment when you're planning a pregnancy to help you prepare in the best way possible.
After your first prenatal care appointment, you generally see the team at the following intervals for a low-risk pregnancy:
- Before 20 weeks - every 4-6 weeks
- From 20-28 weeks - every four weeks
- From 28-36 weeks - every three weeks
- From 36 weeks to birth - once a week
If you have a high-risk pregnancy, you have more frequent prenatal care appointments, particularly in the second and third trimesters.
What does prenatal care include?
Your first prenatal care appointment usually includes an ultrasound to confirm pregnancy. An "anatomy" ultrasound occurs at around 20 weeks, during which you can potentially learn your baby's sex if desired.
You also have weight, a blood pressure check, and urine tests at each visit. After 10 weeks, you hear your baby's heartbeat at every visit. The team measures your baby's growth (fundal height measurement) starting at 20 weeks.
You have special tests, such as a glucose test for gestational diabetes, at specific points in your pregnancy as well. Depending on your risk factors and personal wishes, you may also have genetic testing starting after 10 weeks of gestation.
The Heartfelt Obstetrics & Gynecology team provides comprehensive care during prenatal appointments, including not only tests and monitoring but also nutritional and exercise support and help to prepare for your baby.
Click on the appointment request page or call Heartfelt Obstetrics And Gynecology to schedule your prenatal care visit.