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Prenatal Care

Early prenatal care can help keep you and your baby healthy. Your first prenatal checkup will usually be after you have missed your second period (12 to 13 weeks' pregnant). 

Visits are scheduled as follows: 

  • Every four weeks until 28 weeks
  • Every two weeks from 28 to 36 weeks
  • Every week after 36 weeks

  Each visit:

  • Confirm your due date. Report vaginal discharge or leaking of fluid.
  • Your blood pressure should be checked along with the baby's heart tones.
  • Your fundal height will measured and a urine dipstick to exam for preeclampsia and infection  will be performed.
  • The physician will attempt to document the type of cesarean section scar where appropriate.
  • Report decreased fetal movement. Ask about fetal movement Check for PIH symptoms
  • Report headaches, blurred vision, rapid weight gain, and stomach pain.

  • You may expect a cervical check (vaginal examination) if you are being seen for  preterm labor, cerclage, or complaints of uterine contractions.
 Visit      Screen (s) 
First visit
  • PAP smear, complete blood count (CBC),type and screen (T&S), urine analysis , rubella status, VDRL, HIV, Hepatitis B status, tuberculosis test (PPD), cervical cultures for gonorrhea and chlamydia.
  • In additon
    • If you are at risk a for diabteesa a fasting plasma glucose (FPG), A1C, or random plasma glucose. .
    • Hemoglobin electrophoresis if you are African American or Southeast Asian.

10 weeks to 14 weeks


16-20 weeks
  • Expanded AFP test.
  • Genetic counseling and possible amniocentesis if you will be older than 34 at the time of delivery, or at at increased risk for carrying a genetic disorder (for example, cystic fibrosis, sickle cell anemia, thalassemia)
  • Ultrasound as indicated.
20-24 weeks 
  • Fetal echocardiogram as indicated
24-28 weeks 
28-32 weeks
  • CBC
  • Repeat VDRL, HIV, and cervical cultures if you have risk factors.
32-36 weeks 
  • Fetal kick count and assessment for fetal presentation
35 to 37 weeks
36-40 weeks 
  • Repeat T&S if you are Rh negative and you were not given RhoGAM
  • Fetal kick count and assessment for fetal presentation
*As indicated. Routine U/S is not otherwise indicated Ref BMJ 307:13-17, 1993

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Created: 12/18/2002
Updated 10/2/12

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