You took a pregnancy test, and it was positive! You’ve told your family and maybe a few close friends, but have you scheduled your first prenatal appointment yet?
When you’re expecting, getting regular prenatal care is one of the best things you can do for yourself and your baby. Prenatal care is specialized preventive medical care that’s designed to manage any preexisting health conditions you have and monitor the health of you and your baby throughout pregnancy.
But what exactly does prenatal care include? We’re here to help you find out. OB-GYN Associates of Marietta offers comprehensive prenatal care for women — from the day you find out you’re pregnant until the day your baby is born.
Pregnancy is split into three trimesters. Each trimester lasts about three months, and the first trimester lasts from conception until week 12. You should make your first prenatal appointment as soon as you suspect you’re pregnant, and most women have their first appointment around the eighth week of pregnancy.
Expect your first prenatal appointment to be the longest. It may last an hour or more, as our team takes the time to get to know you and your medical history. We do a pregnancy test, physical exam, and bloodwork, and we also estimate your due date at the first appointment.
Come prepared to talk about your diet, exercise habits, and any preexisting health conditions you have. We educate you about the importance of prenatal vitamins and what you can expect as your pregnancy progresses.
After your first appointment, you have a prenatal appointment once a month until week 28, in the third trimester. Remember that no question is too silly to ask your doctor. In fact, prenatal appointments are a great resource for moms-to-be, and we’re happy to answer any questions you have.
The second trimester covers weeks 12 to 24. During this time, your prenatal appointments include routine screenings to monitor your health and track your baby’s development.
At each appointment, we check your weight, blood pressure, and belly measurement. We also listen to your baby’s heart rate. We may screen for a number of potential pregnancy complications, like gestational diabetes, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), and other types of infections.
Around week 20, you have a mid-pregnancy ultrasound. We use this imaging to look at your baby’s development, and you may be able to find out if your baby is a boy or a girl at this time.
Your third trimester starts in week 25 and continues until week 40. Your prenatal appointments are scheduled every two weeks from week 28 through week 36, and then weekly until your baby is born.
Our team continues to monitor the health of both you and your baby as your due date approaches. We help you define your birth plan, and we also check your baby’s position to determine when you might go into labor.
Prenatal care continues even after you go into labor. Our obstetricians and midwives work with you during labor and delivery to ensure you and your baby stay as safe and healthy as possible.
If you’re newly pregnant or you’re trying to get pregnant, now is the time to find a prenatal care team you trust. Contact us to schedule your first appointment at OB-GYN Associates of Marietta in Marietta or Woodstock, Georgia.