What happens during a routine prenatal exam?
Prenatal exams provide very important information about the health of the mother and the baby. During the exams, the mother will be weighed and her blood pressure will be measured and recorded. A blood test and urine test may be performed and the doctor may measure the belly. Depending on how far the pregnancy has progressed, the doctor may listen to the baby’s heartbeat using a monitor that allows the mother to listen as well, and an ultrasound may be ordered to assess the baby’s development, confirm a delivery date and potentially determine gender. Mothers will be asked about any symptoms they may be experiencing and will be provided with information and guidance to help them and their babies stay healthy.
What is a high-risk pregnancy?
High-risk pregnancies are those in which the health of the baby or the mother (or both) are compromised during pregnancy or delivery. Women who have high-risk pregnancies often need additional testing or special care throughout pregnancy to ensure they and their babies stay healthy. Some of the most common causes of high-risk pregnancies include:
- older age of the mother
- diabetes existing before pregnancy or developing during pregnancy (a condition called gestational diabetes)
- high blood pressure existing before pregnancy or developing during pregnancy
- alcohol or drug abuse
- having had several previous miscarriages
- being pregnant with more than one baby
- having large, symptomatic fibroids
- certain genetic disorders
- undergoing some cancer treatments
How often do I need to see the obstetrician during pregnancy?
Most women will see the obstetrician once a month for the first seven months or so of pregnancy, then every two weeks until the 36th week, at which time visits will be weekly until delivery. Women with high-risk pregnancies usually need to visit more frequently.
*Individual Results May Vary