Pregnancy can be unpredictable, and the below guidelines can change depending upon your particular situation. Our professional staff is available to answer any questions you may have.
First 14 Weeks
Your first visit will be with one of the OB physicians during which a complete physical and pelvic exam will be performed. You may have an ultrasound to establish the due date or check for viability. Your physician will also provide counseling specific to you and answer any questions you may have.
The first trimester screen will be offered to you between 11 – 13 weeks. First trimester screening is an optional prenatal test that offers early information about a baby’s risk of certain chromosomal conditions (Down Syndrome, Trisomy 13 and Trisomy 18). This test is given in two parts: blood work from you, and an ultrasound to measure the thickness of the baby’s neck *LINK(nuchal translucency)LINK*.
You will return for visits approximately every 4 weeks during the remainder of the first and second trimesters. Most of these will be brief visits during which we will measure your blood pressure, weight, and uterine growth. We will also listen to your baby’s heartbeat and check your urine each time.
At 16 weeks, you will have the opportunity to have your blood drawn for the AFP or Quad Screen. The AFP only is an optional test which screens for Spina Bifida. The Quad Screen screens for Down Syndrome, Trisomy 18 and Spina Bifida.
At approximately 20 weeks you will have another ultrasound of your baby. This ultrasound is used to assess the growth, development and anatomy of the baby and to check for any possible major birth defects. If you wish to know the gender of your baby, we can usually tell you at this time. Further ultrasounds may be indicated later in the pregnancy should any complications arise.
Between 24-28 weeks, you will be screened for gestational diabetes. A “glucose” beverage will be given to you to drink when you arrive at the office. Your blood sugar will be tested one hour later. You are not required to fast leading up to the test. You should plan for this visit to take about one hour.
Appointments will be scheduled at 2 week intervals from 28 to 36 weeks to follow your blood pressure, weight, urine, and baby’s growth. Also 28 to 32 weeks is typically the best time to view your baby using the latest 3D 4D Ultrasound technology – available in our office.
You and your partner are encouraged to participate in a birthing class if this is your first baby or if you feel you might benefit from a refresher course. You will also be able to tour the birth center. Sign up early, as these classes can sometimes fill up. Ideally, you should plan to attend these classes around 32-36 weeks.
36 Weeks – Delivery
Between 35-37 weeks, you will be tested for Group B streptococcus (GBS). This test involves a pelvic examination during which a culture is obtained from the vaginal and rectal areas. GBS is fairly commonly found in pregnant women, and has been associated with potentially severe infections in newborns who are exposed during delivery. If your culture is positive for GBS, you will receive intravenous antibiotics during your labor to reduce the risk of transmission to your baby.
You will be seen weekly from 36 weeks until your delivery to follow you for signs of labor or any complications. You may have your cervix checked during any of these visits if you wish.