Congratulations on your expected bundle of joy that will be arriving in the next nine months! It’s a very exciting time, but it can also be a time of uncertainty. Knowing what to expect during your prenatal appointments in Alexandria, Virginia can help put your mind at ease. Here’s what you should know about scheduling frequency and what happens during each visit for prenatal care.
Here’s a Timeline of Your Prenatal Appointments in Alexandria, Virginia, and What to Expect at Each
Prenatal care is crucial for the health and well-being of you and your developing fetus. The frequency of your appointments and the specific activities conducted during each visit can vary, but a general guideline is as follows.
First Trimester (Only One Visit Likely From Weeks 1 to 12)
- Confirmation of pregnancy: Confirming the pregnancy and estimating the due date through an initial appointment
- Medical history and physical exam: A thorough review of medical history, family history, and a physical examination
- Blood tests and screenings: Blood tests to check for blood type, Rh factor, anemia, and screening for infectious diseases
- Ultrasound (in some cases): Early ultrasound performed to confirm the gestational age and/or viability of pregnancy
Second Trimester (Monthly Visits Weeks 13 to 27)
- Blood pressure monitoring: Vitals monitored, as well as weight gain
- Fetal heartbeat check: Listening to the fetal heartbeat using a Doppler device
- Blood glucose screening: To check for gestational diabetes
- Anatomy scan: A detailed ultrasound to assess the baby’s growth and development, including organ structure around week 20
- Genetic testing (optional): Amniocentesis or non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT)
Third Trimester (Bi-Weekly Visits Weeks 28 to 36, Then Weekly Visits Weeks 37 to 40+):
- Group B streptococcus (GBS) testing: Testing for GBS, a common bacterium that can be harmful if transmitted to newborns during delivery
- Cervical exams: Cervical checks at each of these visits to assess the cervix’s readiness for labor after week 36
- Monitoring fetal movement: Monitoring movement patterns and kick counts
- Discussing birth plan: Reviewing and discussing the birth plan, preferences, and any concerns
- Preparing for labor: Education on signs of labor, when to go to the delivery center, pain management options, and more
Why Is Prenatal Care so Important?
The main reason there are so many prenatal appointments in Alexandria, Virginia, and that they’re essential to keep is to ensure the health of you and your developing fetus.
Regular visits not only provide maternal support in terms of guidance and education, but they can also help reduce your risk of preterm delivery, prevent complications, manage any complications that do arise as quickly as possible, and prepare you for labor and delivery.
Another key role prenatal care plays is in developing a relationship with your obstetrician (OB). This partnership contributes to having a positive experience during your pregnancy and delivery. It’s also important for receiving personalized care.
Your relationship with your OB allows you to maintain open and effective communication, which is vital in any area of healthcare, especially during pregnancy.
Consistent care throughout this term makes it easier for you to feel safe and comfortable asking questions and addressing any concerns you may have. It empowers you to use your voice when it comes to hard or embarrassing topics, so you’re an active participant in your care. There is nothing more important than feeling like you have a trusted healthcare partner during this time when there can be so many unknowns!
The Best Prenatal Care for You and Your Growing Family Is Here at Annandale Ob-Gyn
Choose our team for outstanding prenatal care and beyond! Call Annandale Ob-Gyn today at 703-642-7522 to book your first prenatal visit. We look forward to caring for you throughout your journey to motherhood!