Prenatal visits are a major part of your pregnancy, and you’ll likely develop a close relationship with your doctor simply because you’ll spend so much time together.
Prenatal visits are essential for your baby's and your health, and we screen for illnesses that could present problems without early treatment. Dr. Darin L. Weyhrich explains more about what happens during your prenatal visits throughout pregnancy.
Why are prenatal visits so important?
Prenatal health care includes several important visits throughout your pregnancy.
The first trimester includes a confirmation of the pregnancy. You’ll continue to see Dr. Weyhrich once a month during the first two trimesters, although you may have more appointments if you have a high-risk pregnancy.
At around the 16-20-week mark, we use ultrasound to screen for any abnormalities in your pregnancy. We may also conduct additional testing, such as chorionic villus sampling or a nuchal fold test, to detect certain diseases.
What happens at each visit
At almost all prenatal visits, we check the following:
- Blood pressure
- Measure the height of your fundus, which measures the baby’s growth
- Urine screening
- Signs of swelling, which can indicate a potential problem
If we find anything unusual, Dr. Weyhrich explains the issue and lets you know the next steps to keep you and your baby safe and healthy.
The second trimester
During your second trimester, you transition to more frequent prenatal visits — every 2 weeks. At this time, you’ll get a screening for Rh factor.
If you are Rh-negative, you’ll get a shot of Rhogam to ensure that your blood doesn’t have any negative interactions with your baby’s blood.
During the second trimester, you’ll also have a glucose tolerance test to see if you have gestational diabetes. If you have gestational diabetes, you must follow a specific diet and check your blood sugar several times daily.
Most people with gestational diabetes go on to have normal pregnancies without complications. But you will remain at higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes for the rest of your life, so you’ll want to monitor it.
The third trimester
In the last four weeks of your pregnancy, you’ll begin seeing Dr. Weyhrich every week for a checkup.
Around 34-36 weeks of pregnancy, we test you for group B strep. If you’re positive, you’ll need antibiotics during labor.
Dr. Weyhrich also checks the baby’s position at each of your visits in late pregnancy. If your baby is not in the optimal head-down position, Dr. Weyhrich may recommend a C-section.
Labor and postpartum
What happens when you go into the hospital depends on whether you’ve gone into labor naturally or have a scheduled C-section.
During labor, we monitor your contractions. We may administer Pitocin to speed up your labor if your contractions aren’t progressing.
You will undergo routine presurgical preparations if you’re coming in for a scheduled C-section.
About six weeks after your baby is born, you return to our office for a postnatal checkup, though you can always call earlier if you have unexpected symptoms.
Prenatal visits are an essential part of ensuring that you have a healthy pregnancy. Contact Dr. Darin L. Weyhrich or request an appointment online.