Getting Started With Prenatal Care
At your first pregnancy checkup, your healthcare provider will give you a physical exam, ask you about your medical history (as well as your family’s) and perform blood tests. These tests will identify your blood type and check for anemia and sexually transmitted diseases.
Your healthcare provider will want to know whether you:
- Are immune to rubella (German measles) and mumps
- Have been exposed to tuberculosis
- Have had chicken pox, among other potential risks to your developing baby
You’ll be asked for a urine sample to check your levels of sugar and protein and to identify any potential infection. A pelvic exam will tell the size of your uterus, which helps to estimate your due date. A Pap smear may also be done at this time.
Find prenatal care.
Prenatal checkups with your healthcare provider will become more frequent as your pregnancy progresses. A typical appointment schedule looks like this:
Weeks 4 to 28: 1 prenatal visit a month.
- Weeks 28 to 36: 1 prenatal visit every 2 weeks.
- Weeks 36 to 40: 1 prenatal visit every week.
During future checkups, your provider will want to:
- Take a urine sample to monitor your sugar and protein levels
- Weigh you
- Take your blood pressure
- Measure your uterine growth
- Check your baby’s heartbeat and activity level
- Answer any questions and discuss any concerns you may have
In addition to these regular appointments, you’ll be scheduled for specific tests at different stages of your pregnancy to check for possible abnormalities and certain health conditions in you or your developing baby. Learn more about these tests.