Everything You Need to Know About Your Prenatal Appointments

Congratulations, you’re expecting! Finding out that you’re pregnant is exciting, but it can also fill your mind with questions. Throughout your pregnancy, you’ll have prenatal visits to answer those questions and monitor the health of you and your baby. Learn more about what to expect when you have your prenatal appointments with Dr. Howerton.

You should schedule your first prenatal appointment as soon as you find out you’re pregnant. Dr. Howerton and her team typically schedule initial prenatal visits between eight and 10 weeks, unless you’re experiencing abnormal symptoms.

At every prenatal appointment

There are some things you can expect at every one of your prenatal visits, whether you’re 10 weeks or 40 weeks along. Dr. Howerton will usually check:

Your weight

Women at a normal weight before pregnancy should gain 25-35 pounds.

Blood pressure

Blood pressure indicates how much blood and oxygen the baby is getting.

Urine

A urine test will show whether you’re at risk for developing preeclampsia or gestational diabetes.

Fetal heart rate

We monitor your baby’s heart rate at every visit.

Your prenatal appointments are the time for you to ask us questions. Keep a list of questions that you think of between visits, because we know you’ll have many of them!

Prenatal visits during your first trimester

Your first prenatal visit will probably be the longest, so be sure to allow plenty of time for it. Be prepared to discuss your complete health history, including past pregnancies and any genetic conditions you know about.  

At your first prenatal appointment with Dr. Howerton, you can expect:

During your first trimester, you may also have genetic testing, including the nuchal fold test, chorionic villus sampling, and amniocentesis. These tests can help estimate the odds that your baby has Down syndrome or other genetic conditions.

During your first trimester, you’ll usually have one to two prenatal appointments, or about once per month.

Prenatal visits during your second trimester

You’re generally feeling better during your second trimester. At around 16 to 20 weeks, you may start wearing maternity clothes and feeling your baby move. During this trimester, your prenatal visits will still be about once per month.

Along with the usual screenings, like weight measurement and urine and bloodwork, Dr. Howerton will begin taking abdomen measurements (fundal height) to track your baby’s growth.

It’s during the second trimester — around 18-20 weeks — that you’ll have a thorough ultrasound to examine your baby’s growth and screen for possible abnormalities. This is the time when you can usually learn your baby’s gender. (If you want to know, that is!)

Prenatal visits during your third trimester

As you enter your third trimester, your prenatal appointments will be scheduled biweekly. At 36 weeks, we usually want to see you weekly.

At your third trimester prenatal visits, Dr. Howerton will continue to monitor your weight and blood pressure, and take other measurements, and she will begin to check your baby’s position to help predict labor. She may also perform more pelvic exams, including cervix checks, depending on your condition.

If your pregnancy extends past 40 weeks, we may see you every few days until your baby is born. Dr. Howerton may perform a non-stress test or biophysical profile to help determine if your labor should be induced vs. letting the pregnancy continue.

 

Because women are unique, so are their pregnancies, and Dr. Howerton and her team guide you through each step of yours, giving you a safe place to get your questions answered and learn about your baby’s growth.

If you’re newly pregnant and living in Tulsa, Oklahoma, call our office or schedule your first prenatal appointment online today.

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