Your Healthy Pregnancy: A Prenatal Care Visit Timeline

May 02, 2024
Your Healthy Pregnancy: A Prenatal Care Visit Timeline
Prenatal care plays an essential role in helping moms-to-be and their developing babies stay healthy throughout pregnancy and delivery. If you’ve never had prenatal care, here’s what to expect during your visits.

Roughly 3.6 million babies are born each year in the United States, which means there are lots of expectant moms who need prenatal care. If you’re one of them, you may be wondering what to expect during your visits, especially if this is your first baby.

At OB/GYN Associates of Conroe, Richard Roberts, MD, helps expectant moms stay healthy throughout their pregnancies, offering individualized obstetrics care focused on the unique needs of both the mom-to-be and the developing baby. Here’s what you can expect during your prenatal visits with our team.

First trimester: Weeks 1 to 12

The first prenatal visit typically occurs when you’re about four weeks pregnant, but in general, the earlier you begin prenatal care, the better for you and your baby. During this trimester, you have prenatal visits every four weeks — about once a month. 

At your first visit, Dr. Roberts discusses your medical history with you as well as your pregnancy history. We conduct a physical exam and lab tests, including urinalysis and blood tests, and provide you with an estimated due date.

During subsequent visits, we check your blood pressure and weight and listen to your heart and your baby’s heart at about 10-12 weeks of pregnancy. You have an ultrasound toward the end of your third trimester and depending on your risk factors, we may recommend genetic screening. 

At each visit, Dr. Roberts answers your questions and discusses any concerns you may have. He also provides lifestyle guidance to help you and your developing baby stay healthy.

Second trimester: Weeks 13 to 27

Prenatal visits are scheduled every four weeks during the second trimester. At each office visit, we measure your blood pressure and weight, listen to your baby’s heartbeat, and conduct a urinalysis. 

During this trimester, we may order blood tests to check for genetic problems or neural tube defects. You also have an ultrasound at about 20 weeks to evaluate your baby’s anatomy. This is the ultrasound that may be able to detect your baby’s gender. 

We also perform blood tests to check your blood sugar (glucose) levels and monitor for gestational diabetes, a medical problem that can result in a high-risk pregnancy. And of course, Dr. Roberts continues to provide ongoing support to help you stay healthy.

Third trimester: Week 28 to delivery

Most women deliver sometimes around the 40th week of pregnancy. During your final weeks, you visit us every two weeks until week 36, then weekly until delivery.

At each visit, we measure your blood pressure and weight, listen to your heart and your baby’s heart, and check the position of the baby. We may measure your belly, as well. 

During this trimester, we test for germs that could cause complications during delivery. Depending on your needs, you may receive a Tdap vaccine if you did not receive one earlier in your pregnancy.

As you approach your delivery date, Dr. Roberts performs a pelvic exam to evaluate your cervix. We may perform an additional ultrasound during this trimester and we closely monitor the baby’s position to ensure a head-down posture.

Exceptions to this schedule

It’s important to note that these are general guidelines, and your actual prenatal visit regimen could differ. Women with high-risk pregnancies can also expect a different timeline that includes more frequent visits and additional testing. 

Also, if you don’t deliver by week 40, Dr. Roberts may perform more frequent exams to monitor your baby’s health or he may recommend induced labor to “jump-start” delivery.

Our team is committed to offering patient-centered care for expectant moms, helping them stay healthy, focused, and relaxed throughout their pregnancies. To schedule your prenatal visit, call 936-756-7788 or book an appointment online with the team at OB/GYN Associates of Conroe in Conroe, Texas, today.