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Prenatal care, also known as antenatal care, is a type of preventive healthcare. Its goal is to provide regular check-ups that allow doctors or midwives to treat and prevent potential health problems. Prenatal visits will usually include a physical exam, weight checks, and providing a urine sample. Depending on the stage of the pregnancy, health care providers may also do blood tests and imaging tests, such as ultrasound exams.
If you did not meet with your health care provider before your were pregnant, your first prenatal visit will generally be around 8 weeks after your LMP (last menstrual period). If this applies to you, you should schedule a prenatal visit as soon as you know you are pregnant!
A lack of prenatal care can be dangerous. For example, a doctor may modify or stop medications that can harm the developing baby, particularly during the first trimester. High-risk pregnancies carry a greater risk for problems. For moms who skip prenatal care, the risk for a negative outcome increases when the problem remains untreated.
For a healthy pregnancy, your doctor will probably want to see you on the following recommended schedule of prenatal visits: Weeks 4 to 28: 1 prenatal visit a month. Weeks 28 to 36: 1 prenatal visit every 2 weeks. Weeks 36 to 40: 1 prenatal visit every week. Please contact our office to schedule your visit!