When you find out that you’re expecting, it’s normal to feel a rush of emotions. You may feel excited about expanding your family but nervous about taking on more responsibility. Many newly expectant parents think about when the baby is born, but it’s important to be focused on your baby’s growth and development. This can be learned at your prenatal checkups.
Let’s learn more about when prenatal care should start and what to expect at each visit. Get ready to enjoy a full calendar of checkups with your baby!
When to Start Prenatal Care
Your first prenatal visit will be scheduled around 4 to 8 weeks from your last menstrual period (LMP). This appointment should be scheduled as soon as you find out that you are pregnant.
The first prenatal visit is one of the most exciting visits! This is the time when you will learn your baby’s estimated due date and hear your baby’s heartbeat. Your doctor will also monitor your baby’s health, explain what to expect for labor and delivery and go over nutritional guidelines.
You will continue to see your doctor once a month until 28 weeks. From weeks 28-36, you will see the doctor twice a month. At 36 weeks, you will see the doctor every week until your baby is born. Of course, this schedule is for the typical pregnancy. Depending on your risk factors and your baby’s development, your doctor may request more appointments.
Why is Prenatal Care Important?
Prenatal care keeps you and your baby healthy. Even though the appointments may seem routine, it is important for your doctor to listen to your baby’s heartbeat, track your baby’s growth and keep an eye on your vitals. This will allow your doctor to catch any issues early on and ensure you and your baby are hitting the right milestones.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, babies whose mothers do not receive regular prenatal care are three times as likely to have low birth weight and five times as likely to die compared to babies whose mothers do receive prenatal care. It’s clear that regular prenatal care is an important part of having a healthy pregnancy and delivery.
Prenatal Care Services from VNA Health Group
VNA Health Group offers prenatal care for mothers in New Jersey. We have partnered with the State of New Jersey Department of Health and Monmouth Medical Center to provide the very best care possible. Our Certified Nurse Midwives provide regular checkups, nutritional counseling, education and more. All deliveries are scheduled at Monmouth Medical Center. To learn more, contact the VNA Health Group today.