What to Expect During Appointments

More expectant parents choose to deliver their babies at Norton Hospital and Norton Women’s & Children’s Hospital than anywhere else in the region. With more than 90 providers at 20 locations in Louisville and Southern Indiana, we offer expert prenatal care to ensure a healthy pregnancy journey.

Whether you choose an OB/GYN or midwife, here’s an overview of what to expect during your prenatal appointments.

If your pregnancy is complication-free, you can expect to have a prenatal appointment:

  • Once a month from four to 28 weeks
  • Every other week from 28 to 36 weeks
  • Weekly from 36 weeks until birth

What Happens at a Prenatal Appointment?

At every prenatal appointment, your provider likely will:

  • Check your weight
  • Take your blood pressure
  • Collect a urine sample
  • Listen to fetal heartbeat (starting at around 10 to 12 weeks)
  • Check your hands and feet for swelling
  • Measure your belly

Appointment Highlights

First appointment – This may include a Pap smear, cervical swab for infection and blood tests. Your provider will review your health history and discuss any genetic or medical risk factors. A due date will be determined.

Fetal heartbeat – Your practitioner may use Doppler to check your baby’s heartbeat, usually beginning at around 10 to 12 weeks.

Ultrasound – A screening ultrasound typically is performed at around 20 weeks. This will help assess your baby’s overall development and may reveal whether you’re having a boy or girl — assuming you want to know.

Gestational diabetes – A test to screen for gestational diabetes typically takes place in your provider’s office at around 26 weeks.

Pelvic exam. At 36 weeks, your provider will perform an exam to assess cervical changes, such as softening, thinning and dilation. Weekly visits will begin at this time.

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