Pregnancy brings many new routines and experiences, and it’s entirely possible you’ll visit your doctor more than you ever have before! Although few people relish the idea of seeing their doctor more often, you may find that you do look forward to your prenatal visits.
Dr. Parisa Pourzand sees many patients who are excited at their prenatal visits and enjoy learning about the development of their babies, their own health, and what they should expect in the near future. Dr. Pourzand and her staff offer as much information as they can during prenatal visits, and provide numerous resources, such as a pregnancy guide. Here, we discuss the most common schedule for prenatal visits.
What to expect during a prenatal visit
You may be wondering what prenatal care is, exactly. Technically it’s care you receive during your pregnancy. Babies are much more likely to be born at a low birth weight if their mother doesn’t receive appropriate prenatal care.
The idea is to make sure your pregnancy is progressing normally, and that both you and your baby remain healthy. Additionally, any problems that are detected can be addressed early. Early intervention improves outcomes.
A typical prenatal care schedule
How frequently you see Dr. Pourzand depends on several factors, and one of the main ones is how far along in your pregnancy you are. A common schedule looks like this:
- Weeks 4 to 28 - one visit per month
- Weeks 28 to 36 - one visit every two weeks
- Weeks 36 to delivery - one visit per week
The increasing frequency is because complications are more common in the last part of a pregnancy. It’s also important for Dr. Pourzand to track your baby’s growth as you get nearer to labor and delivery.
You may need a different schedule
Many women don’t follow a typical schedule, but have more frequent prenatal visits. For example, if you’ve had a past pregnancy with complications, Dr. Pourzand may recommend more appointments than typical. Other reasons you may need additional prenatal care:
You’re expecting multiples
Whether it’s twins, triplets, or more, expecting more than one baby means you will need more frequent visits.
You have a chronic condition
Diabetes, autoimmune conditions, mental health issues, and many other on-going health concerns can mean that you need to be monitored more closely during your pregnancy.
You’re over- or under-weight
Being obese, overweight, or underweight can raise specific risks during pregnancy. Dr. Pourzand may recommend a different prenatal care schedule.
You’re over the age of 35
The risk of complications during pregnancy is higher after 35 years of age, as is the risk of birth defects.
As you can see, there are plenty of variables when it comes to how many prenatal appointments you’re going to need. You can be sure that whatever schedule Dr. Pourzand suggests her goal is to keep you and your baby healthy!
If you’d like to learn more about prenatal care, schedule your appointment today. Dr. Pourzand is happy to answer your questions in the context of your personal situation.