Enjoying a healthy pregnancy depends on having routine prenatal checkups and other care. As a leading provider of obstetrics care, Advantia OB-GYN Shady Grove provides a full spectrum of pregnancy care service to help keep expectant mothers and their babies as healthy as possible.
What happens during a prenatal exam?
Prenatal exams gather important information about the health of the mother and the baby. Office visits begin with an update to the mother's health history to look for symptoms that could indicate a potential issue that needs to be evaluated further. Weight and blood pressure will be measured and recorded, and the belly will also be measured. A urine sample will be requested for testing and blood tests may also be performed or ordered. Depending on how far advanced the pregnancy is, the baby's heart beat may be listened to, and ultrasound may be performed. Finally, women will receive information about what to expect during the next weeks of pregnancy, as well as guidance on what they can do to stay healthy.
How often should I have a prenatal exam?
Visits usually take place every month up until week 28, at which time visits will occur every two weeks until week 36. From then until delivery, visits will be every week. Women with high-risk pregnancies will need to be seen more often.
What kinds of conditions are considered high risk?
There are several issues and conditions that can place the health of the mother or baby at higher risk, including:
- Diabetes present prior to pregnancy or developing during pregnancy (also called gestational diabetes)
- High blood pressure present prior to pregnancy or developing during pregnancy (sometimes referred to as preeclampsia)
- Use of alcohol or drugs, including some prescription drugs and over-the-counter supplements and medicines
- Older age
- Multiple prior miscarriages
- Being pregnant with more than one baby
- Some medical treatments including treatments for cancer
- Certain genetic disorders
- The presence of some diseases, including some STDs
Women with high-risk pregnancies typically require more frequent office visits and tests to monitor their health and the health and development of the baby.