A complete guide to prenatal care visits

A complete guide to prenatal care visits

"One step in ensuring a healthy pregnancy involves regular prenatal care visits," says Shao-Chun Rose Chang-Jackson, MD, FACOG, Obstetrics/Gynecology (Ob/Gyn) at ARC Center Street in Kyle. "Each and every visit plays a crucial role in monitoring the well-being of both the expectant mother and the developing baby."

In this guide, we will walk you through the essential aspects of prenatal care visits, providing insights into when to schedule, what to expect, and the topics that might be covered.

How soon should you see an Ob/Gyn for a prenatal care visit?

One of the first steps toward a healthy pregnancy is scheduling your first prenatal care appointment with an Ob/Gyn. Ideally, this should be done as soon as you discover you're pregnant. Early prenatal care is associated with numerous benefits, including the identification and management of potential issues, creating a solid foundation for a healthy pregnancy.

What happens during your first prenatal visit?

Your first prenatal care visit is a crucial milestone, setting the tone for the entire pregnancy. The visit typically involves a comprehensive discussion about your health, medical history, and lifestyle. Expect your Ob/Gyn to cover topics such as your pregnancy history, underlying health conditions, medications, and any concerns you might have. Physical examinations, including a pelvic exam, pap smear, and blood tests, may also be conducted to assess your overall health.

Topics your Ob/Gyn might discuss during a prenatal visit

Subsequent prenatal care visits will delve into various aspects of your pregnancy. Your Ob/Gyn may discuss your weight, emotional well-being, and any signs of depression or stress. Topics such as diabetes management, potential complications, and lifestyle adjustments will be addressed to ensure a smooth and healthy pregnancy. These visits may also include guidance on things to avoid while pregnant, safety measures, and preparations for childbirth.

How often are prenatal care visits typically scheduled?

The frequency of prenatal care visits is often determined by the trimester and whether it's a low-risk or high-risk pregnancy. In the first trimester, monthly visits are common, increasing to bi-weekly or weekly as the due date approaches. High-risk pregnancies may require more frequent monitoring to address specific concerns and ensure the well-being of both mother and baby.

"From those initial appointments to the regular checkups, each prenatal visit is a positive step in ensuring the well-being of both you and your baby," says Dr. Chang-Jackson. "You and your Ob/Gyn are a team, working together to make your pregnancy journey not only healthy but also joyful. Following a regular prenatal care schedule will be key to achieving this goal."

Don't forget pre-pregnancy care visits!

In a recent ARC DocTalk video, Dr. Chang-Jackson also reviewed the importance of a pre-pregnancy exam. "When you decide that you want to have a baby, you should visit your Ob/Gyn before the pregnancy begins," said Dr. Chang-Jackson. "You want to make sure that you're in the best health possible." Learn more about the pre-pregnancy exam.

Make an appointment today

ARC Ob/Gyn doctors are primary care physicians who focus on women's health issues, including pregnancy, fertility, birth control, mammograms, menopause, STI (STD) testing, ultrasounds, and more.

Let Dr. Chang-Jackson help you with your pregnancy journey or other women's health issues today. Dr. Chang-Jackson accepts new patients, ages 12 and older, at ARC Center Street in Kyle. Call 737-404-0347 or make an appointment online through MyChart or ARC Help Me Book today.

Tags: Women's Health, Prenatal Care, Prenatal Visits