Prenatal care schedule
Getting regular prenatal care is one of the most important things you can do for your health and the health of your unborn baby. Prenatal appointments allow your provider to monitor your pregnancy's progress and your baby's development, and to address your concerns or alleviate your discomforts.
If you have any questions or concerns between visits, do not hesitate to contact your provider.
Initial obstetric visit
You should schedule your first obstetric appointment around eight weeks after your last menstrual period, or as soon as possible if you learn you are pregnant after more than eight weeks. At your initial visit, your provider will confirm your pregnancy through a blood or urine pregnancy test, or an ultrasound. This first appointment will also include a review of your health history and a physical examination. You will receive a Pap test if one is due. Bloodwork will also be drawn to screen for a number of illnesses and concerns, as well as to establish your blood type.
Later OB visits
During a typical pregnancy, you will see a provider:
- Every four weeks until approximately 26 weeks.
- Every three weeks from 27 weeks until 31 weeks.
- Every two weeks from 32 weeks until 35 weeks.
- Every week from 36 weeks until delivery.
These visits will include:
- Weight and blood pressure checks.
- Urine testing for protein and glucose.
- A measurement of the size of your uterus.
- A check of your baby's heartbeat.
Ultrasounds & screenings
Expectant mothers will be offered a number of screening tests and ultrasounds to look for genetic abnormalities and monitor your baby's development. These will be discussed with you so you can decide whether you would like the testing completed.
Glucose tolerance testing is done in the second trimester to screen for gestational diabetes.
HIV and syphilis testing is also done in the second trimester and is required by North Carolina state law.
Between 35 and 37 weeks, a vaginal/rectal culture for Group B strep is taken. This is done to determine if you will need antibiotics to protect your baby during labor.
Cervix checks are done later in pregnancy as needed to determine dilation.