If you've just found out that you're expecting a baby, you have a lot going through your mind--you'll be thinking about everything you have to do before the baby arrives. You want to make sure you make it to all your prenatal visits during your pregnancy. If you're wondering how the prenatal visits will go and what to expect, this article will explain it to you.
Note: This article is based on a normal pregnancy without extenuating circumstances or high-risk considerations.
How many prenatal visits will you have?
During a normal pregnancy you can count on going to about 10 to 15 prenatal visits. The closer you get to your due date, the more visits you'll be scheduled for. In the beginning, you'll see your obstetrician about once a month. During your third trimester you'll start scheduling appointments every couple of weeks until you reach 36 weeks, then you'll have an appointment once a week until you give birth.
What should you do to prepare for your prenatal visits?
You want to prepare for each visit so you know you'll leave with answers to the questions you have and feel you've been well-informed. Write down any questions you have as you think of them. It's easy to get overwhelmed during your appointment and forget to ask.
You may want to schedule your appointments when your birthing coach can be there with you. Bring any over the counter medications, herbal teas or supplements with you before you take them so you can ask the doctor about possible effects they may have on the baby.
What takes place at the prenatal visits?
When you go to your appointment, the doctor will ask how you're feeling and if you've recently experienced any changes in your pregnancy. Your blood pressure, urine, weight and heart rate will be checked. Your abdomen will also be measured to estimate the growth of the baby. The baby's heart rate will be monitored as well and your cervix will be checked.
An ultrasound will be performed during some of these visits. This will show the doctor a visual recording of your baby and it can even show the gender of your baby. You may be able to get a recording of the ultrasound to save with your pregnancy memorabilia.
Most women get excited about their prenatal visits. It gives them a chance to hear how the baby is developing and hear the heartbeat. Going to these visits is crucial to the proper development of your baby since it's so important to catch any potential problems early on.