What to Expect from Prenatal Care During Pregnancy

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Seeing that positive pregnancy test is one of the most exciting times in a woman's life. It marks the beginning of a new journey. Most tests will read positive between four to eight weeks after conception. After receiving positive results, you should make an appointment with your OBGYN to start prenatal care.

Prenatal care is really important in pregnancy. After testing positive on a home test, you should start taking prenatal vitamins. These help provide essential nutrients to both you and the baby. You can either buy them over the counter or your doctor can prescribe them for you. Taking them daily is important because while pregnant your baby needs the vitamins and minerals to grow and be healthy.

There are some extremely important tests taken during pregnancy. During your first visit, you can expect and routine like gynecological exam. This would include a pap smear along with testing for any STDs. Further on down the line, you will have the option to have blood work done for the testing of possible birth defects with the baby, including down syndrome. This is an optional test for mothers under thirty five. Mothers older than thirty five are also recommended to have an amniocentesis. This is because the rate of birth defects increases with age. Somewhere around 22 weeks, you can expect an ultra sound to be scheduled. This is the visit when the sex of the baby can more than likely be determined. It is used to check on how the baby is growing and make sure everything is normal with development. At about 28 weeks, you should have a glucose test scheduled. This is the test where they screen you for gestational diabetes. You will have to fast twelve hours before hand. You will then drink some sort of glucose induced drink and hold it for about an hour. After the hour has passed, the lab will drawn your blood and it will be screened.

During your in office prenatal visits, you should expect pretty routine things. Most visits will include a urine sample, weigh in, uterus measurement, blood pressure check, and a listen for the baby's heartbeat. From the first appointment until about 28 weeks, you will be seeing the doctor about every four weeks. This of course is based on a normal pregnancy. After about 28 weeks, visits should drop to every two weeks. When you hit about 35 weeks, visits will include a check for dilation and drop to once a week.

Remember to enjoy every moment of your pregnancy because it may seem to drag now, but before you know it, it will be time to hold that bundle of joy in your arms!

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