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Wilma Vannoy Birthing Center

Prenatal Care

Getting regular prenatal care is one of the most important things you can do when you are expecting. This gives your provider a chance to diagnose and treat problems with your health or your baby's health as early as possible.

Prenatal Care Schedule

You will see a doctor eight to 12 weeks after your last menstrual period to confirm pregnancy. This can be done with a blood test or an ultrasound (see below). After that, a typical prenatal care schedule involves seeing a doctor once a month until you are approximately 30 weeks pregnant, then once every two weeks until you are 36 weeks pregnant and then once a week until you deliver.

Each appointment will include a check of your weight, blood pressure and overall health. Your provider will also listen to your baby's heartbeat and monitor your baby's growth.

Labs and Ultrasounds

Routine labs will be taken regularly during your pregnancy. Blood tests and urine tests allow your provider to assess your health during your pregnancy and identify potential problems like gestational diabetes and pre-eclampsia as early as possible. This will give you and your provider the most time possible to consider treatment or management options.

Lab work can be drawn during your appointment, saving you an extra appointment or a trip to another location.

Ultrasounds, or baby scans, use sound waves to create pictures of structures inside the body. Sound waves bounce off your developing baby, and the result appears on a computer screen. This sonogram, or ultrasound picture, allows your provider to monitor your baby's growth and development. Ultrasounds show your baby's heartbeat and breathing patterns. By your 12th week of pregnancy, many of your baby's bones and organs will be visible. Around your 18th week of pregnancy, an ultrasound can reveal your baby's gender if you choose to find out before delivery.

Ultrasounds can reveal birth defects and genetic anomalies. Knowing about these abnormalities early gives you and your provider time to develop a treatment plan before your baby's birth.

Ultrasounds are completed in the same office as your prenatal care. Your ultrasound appointments can be coordinated with your regular prenatal appointments so you will not have to make an additional trip.