We are pleased that you have chosen us to care for you during your pregnancy. We have prepared this material to answer some of the questions that might arise during the course of your pregnancy. We strive to make sure your health care experience during this pregnancy is very positive and rewarding.
Importance of Prenatal Care
Early prenatal care, including regularly scheduled health care visits, helps promote the delivery of a healthy baby. Prenatal care is also the best way to discover and treat problems that may arise in pregnancy. At your prenatal appointments, we will give you advice about your pregnancy and discuss a plan of care.
Duration of Pregnancy
The average duration of pregnancy is 280 days or 40 weeks counting from the first day of the last menstrual period, assuming regular 28 day menstrual cycles. It is important to remember that due dates are not exact. It is common for women to deliver from two weeks before to two weeks after their due date. The best estimated due date (EDD) is with early ultrasound measurements. First trimester ultrasound is accurate to +/- 2 days. Second trimester is +/- 1 week. Third trimester ultrasounds can vary as much as 3 weeks as fetuses of the same age vary quite a bit in size towards the end of pregnancy.
Prenatal Care Visits
Early in your pregnancy, you will have a complete history and physical examination. It is important to inform your health care provider of all details of your health history. Routine laboratory tests will be obtained, looking for specific issues that could influence pregnancy.
After the initial visit, you will be seen about every 4-5 weeks until your 7th month (28 weeks). Then, you will be seen more often until the last month, when you will be seen weekly.
At each visit, your weight, blood pressure, and urine will be checked. Your health care provider will measure the size of your uterus, and after approximately 12 weeks, listen to your baby’s heartbeat.
Routine testing during pregnancy
At the first office visit or when confirming pregnancy, the following will be obtained:
Blood Type and Rh
Complete Blood Count
Comprehensive Metabolic Panel ( liver, kidney tests)
Rubella Antibody (Immunity status)
RPR (syphilis screen)
Hepatitis B surface Antigen ( current Hepatitis B screen)