Having a healthy pregnancy is one of the best ways to promote a healthy birth. One way to take care of yourself and the baby while pregnant is to have a regular provider, like an OBGYN or midwife, who can provide prenatal checks. These checks help guide you through your journey and promote health throughout.
While every pregnancy is different, standard prenatal check-ups happen every four weeks until approximately week 36 of pregnancy. The next visit is usually around week 38, and then once per week until birth. If a pregnancy is deemed high risk for reasons such as multiple babies, age, or health conditions, appointments may be closer together.
These appointments help monitor your health and the baby’s growth! Things they check are weight, blood pressure, and how you are feeling. At about 10 to 12 weeks, you’ll be able to listen to the little one’s heartbeat for the first time! At 20-22 weeks, an anatomy scan is performed to check the condition of the baby’s organs, amniotic fluid, and any rare conditions. This is also your chance to decide if you would like to know the gender of your child. After 36 weeks, the appointments become closer together, as they check the position of the baby to predict when you will give birth.
While ultrasounds and appointments help count down the weeks until you meet your little one, it is important to utilize these appointments to ask any questions. Questions are a great way to help prepare yourself for the new journey ahead of you. Great questions include what foods you can eat while you're pregnant, which exercises are safe during pregnancy, creating a birth plan, and recommended pediatricians.
Going to appointments is a great way to check that your baby is healthy, but your health and the baby’s health starts at home. There are so many important ways to promote health throughout a pregnancy such as taking prenatal vitamins daily, eating folate and calcium-rich foods, avoiding smoking or being around smoke, and drinking lots of fluids.
Prenatal appointments and health habits are the keys to care and health during your pregnancy. The checkups and testing done at each visit are how your care team will ensure that you and your baby get the support you need at every stage, and healthy habits promote growth and a healthy child. Whatever makes your pregnancy unique, you can be sure that when the big day rolls around, you’ll be ready.