What to Expect at Your Prenatal Appointments

For many first-time expectant mothers, a new pregnancy can feel both exciting and overwhelming. There are many questions to ask and plans to make as you navigate the next nine months of your life. However, knowing what to expect as you see your doctor for regular checkups and testing can help set your mind at ease, letting you feel more prepared and less anxious when it’s time for a routine screening.

The First Trimester

Your first appointment will typically occur around the 8-week mark. At this time, the doctor may offer prenatal dna testing houston tx if desired. An ultrasound will be conducted and blood work will be drawn. As with every visit, patients will need to leave a urine sample, and basic vitals will be recorded, including weight and blood pressure. In most cases, additional ultrasounds will not be performed unless the patient opts for genetic testing at 12 weeks.

The Second Trimester

During the second trimester, regular appointments continue once a month with fetal heart rate monitoring, urinalysis and basic examinations. At the 20-week mark, an ultrasound is conducted to monitor growth and to determine the sex of the baby. Blood work is periodically performed as well. Your doctor may also discuss classes, trainings and other plans to make to prepare for labor, delivery and parenthood.

The Third Trimester

Monthly evaluations will continue until the 28-week mark, when you’ll visit every two weeks. At 36 weeks, your doctor will see you once a week until the baby is born. During the final trimester, you will be taught to monitor your baby’s movements and how to prepare for post-partum recovery. You’ll also be given the option to receive recommended immunizations, such as the TDAP vaccine and the flu shot. During the final weeks of pregnancy, pelvic exams may also be given to check for dilation and effacement.

When you’re new to motherhood, normal changes can still seem very unfamiliar. Be sure to communicate openly with your health care provider to know what to expect during this new phase of life.