How Often Should You See Your Doctor During Pregnancy?

You know you need more checkups than normal when you’re pregnant. But just how often do you need to come in for an OB/GYN appointment? Keep reading to learn what you can expect about prenatal exams from conception to delivery.

If you’re pregnant or are thinking about having a baby soon, chances are you’ve given a lot of thought to the ways you’ll care for your infant after their arrival. But your baby’s health care actually begins well before their due date with prenatal care. 

At New Beginnings OB/GYN in Shenandoah, Texas, our experienced OB/GYN providers, Dr. Rania Ibrahim and Dr. Christina Parmar, work hard to help you maintain excellent health throughout your pregnancy and ensure your baby has the healthiest start possible with comprehensive prenatal care. 

Many of our newly expectant patients wonder just how often they should come in for visits while they’re pregnant. The answer depends on many factors, including your age. We created this informative guide to help you better understand what to expect with prenatal visits and how often to expect them, from conception to delivery.  

Why should I have regular prenatal appointments?

Regular prenatal care is one of the best ways to protect your baby’s health and ensure a healthy pregnancy and delivery. In fact, prenatal care is so beneficial, that babies born to mothers without it are five times more likely to die before or during birth and three times more likely to have a low birth weight, which is associated with other health concerns. 

Prenatal care offers many benefits, both to you and your baby. Some of the benefits of regular prenatal care include:

  • Nutritional wellness checks to promote normal fetal development
  • Emotional support and help with any pregnancy-related anxiety
  • Protection against complications that may arise, like preeclampsia 
  • Help managing existing medical conditions, like diabetes or hypertension
  • Assistance developing an effective birth plan

Prenatal visits also give Dr. Ibrahim and Dr. Parmar an opportunity to monitor the progress of your pregnancy and make sure any concerns or issues are found and addressed as soon as possible. 

What’s involved with prenatal care visits?

Prenatal care includes regular visits with your board-certified OB/GYN at New Beginnings OB/GYN. 

These visits give your doctor a chance to examine your progress, order any screenings or lab tests needed to help with early detection of pregnancy-related complications, check that you’re getting the right nutrients, and monitor your baby for birth defects.

Every visit is a little different depending on where you are in your pregnancy and any factors affecting your health or your baby’s health. Generally, over the course of your prenatal visits, you can expect:

  • Urine testing
  • Checking the baby’s heartbeat
  • Nutrition and diet counseling
  • Pelvic and breast exam as needed
  • Blood pressure and pulse checks
  • Growth measurement of your baby
  • Blood tests for genetic screenings and other health conditions
  • STD screening

Your prenatal visits are also the time to schedule and have sonograms and ultrasounds, which help your provider assess the development and health of your baby.  

How often will I have prenatal visits?

If you’re not yet pregnant but are planning to conceive soon, consider booking a preconception appointment with your New Beginnings OB/GYN provider. This gives your doctor an opportunity to look for underlying conditions that might impact your pregnancy or chances of getting pregnant.

Once you think you're pregnant, it’s time to schedule your first prenatal visit. Come in as soon as possible so we can confirm your pregnancy and start your ongoing prenatal care. 

While the exact number of visits you’ll need varies based on your unique needs, most prenatal care appointments take place following a similar timeline. After your initial appointment, you can expect: 

  • Visits every 4-6 weeks through week 31 
  • Visits every 2-3 weeks during weeks 32-37 
  • Visits every week through week 37 

If you have a high-risk pregnancy, are 35 or older, or if you have an underlying medical condition, your provider may ask you to schedule additional appointments.  

Give your baby the best start possible by scheduling a prenatal visit online or over the phone with your provider at New Beginnings OB/GYN in Shenandoah, Texas.