What to Expect During Appointments

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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.

What to Expect from Norton Women’s Care

More mothers in Louisville and Southern Indiana choose to deliver their babies at Norton Hospital or Norton Women’s & Children’s Hospital than with any other hospital system in the area.

We deliver more than 8,000 babies a year. We’re close to you with more than 90 providers at more than 25 locations around Louisville and Southern Indiana. Choosing Norton Women’s Care gives you many options for how delivery day could go — all with the confidence of knowing that our obstetrics and pediatric specialists are there to help. With Norton Women’s Care, you’ll find:

  • The birth experience you want: You can choose natural childbirth, a midwife, labor tub, nitrous oxide and other birthing options. We’ll recommend a C-section (cesarean section) or induced labor only if it’s medically necessary.
  • Preparation: Our specialists offer the support you need, including free Lamaze and other childbirth classesnew parent classesbreastfeeding supportchild safety classes and more.
  • Confidence and quality in care: Norton Women’s Care has been recognized as High Performing — the highest rating available — for maternity care with fewer complications and C-sections, plus breastfeeding support and other benefits.
  • We offer the highest-level (Level IV) neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) in Louisville and Southern Indiana at Norton Children’s Hospital, and a sophisticated Level III NICU at Norton Women’s & Children’s Hospital.
  • Around-the-clock OB/GYN care is available at Norton Hospital and Norton Women’s & Children’s Hospital emergency departments.
  • Our board-certified maternal-fetal medicine specialists  can help guide you through a high-risk pregnancy, from treating preexisting diabetes in the pregnant patient to a fetal echocardiogram to diagnose a congenital heart condition before a baby is born.
  • Medicare, Medicaid and most major commercial insurance plans are accepted.
  • Convenient access to your medical record: Communicate with your health care provider, get lab results, renew prescriptions and more through your free Norton MyChart account.

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