Prenatal care schedule
Becoming pregnant is a big change in your life, and for your body! It is best to start prenatal care as early as possible so any prenatal issues for you or your baby can be addressed quickly. If you know you are pregnant or think you might be, call us immediately to schedule an appointment.
After your initial appointment to confirm pregnancy, we will schedule prenatal appointments
- Once a month during the first two trimesters (up to Week 27);
- Once every two weeks during Weeks 28-34;
- Once a week during Weeks 35-40
Depending on your pregnancy, your doctor might want to see you more often in the days leading up to your delivery.
Ultrasounds are typically done once per trimester: around Week 8, Week 18 and Week 36. Gender is determined at the Week 18 ultrasound.
Guideline of lab tests included in routine prenatal care
At an early prenatal visit
- Blood Type: Some maternal blood types are associated with risk to the baby.
- Blood Antibody Screens: Identification of prior exposure to a blood type different from the mothers that might put the baby at risk of low blood counts.
- Rubella Immunity: Rubella infections in pregnancy can harm the baby. If a woman is not immune to rubella, we recommend the rubella vaccination post partum.
- Hepatitis B Surface Antigen (HBSAg): Children of chronic carriers of hepatitis B should have special immunizations at birth to prevent hepatitis infections.
- Complete Blood Count (CBC): To make sure the mother isn't anemic.
- Urine Culture: Pregnancy increases the risk of urinary tract infections.
- HIV Testing: Recommended; requires signed informed consent. Identification of women with HIV infection in order to try to prevent the baby from becoming infected.
- Syphilis Testing: Identification of women with syphilis in order to treat her infection and to prevent the baby from becoming infected. This test is required by state law.
During the first speculum & pelvic examination
- Pap Smear: Done if no pap has been performed in the past year. Screening test for cervical cancer.
- Gonorrhea Culture: Screening for asymptomatic infection. If treated, lowers the risk of infection of the baby and preterm delivery. This test is required by state law.
- Chlamydia PCR: Screening for asymptomatic infection. If treated, lowers the risk of infection of the baby and preterm delivery. This test is required by state law.
Later in pregnancy
- Diabetes Screening: High risk patients: First trimester. Routine: Week 28. Increased risk of gestational diabetes in pregnancy.
- Syphilis: Week 28. Required by state law.
- Gonorrhea: Week 36. Required by state law.
- Chlamydia: Week 36. Required by state law.
- Group B Strep: Screening for GBS carrier to prevent neonatal infection.
- Repeat Blood Antibody: For Rh negative women. To guide the use of Rhogam to prevent Rh disease in the fetus.