I usually begin prenatal care between nine and twelve weeks, or whenever the woman has contacted me. Prenatal visits are scheduled every month until the seventh month, at which time they increase to every other week. At thirty six weeks (roughly the ninth month), I visit clients in their home to make sure that everything is prepared for the birth and that I know how to get to their home. Visits are scheduled weekly thereafter until the woman begins labor.
Prenatal visits usually last from forty-five minutes to one hour. At each visit I assess blood pressure and pulse, measure the uterus to check fetal growth, check urine and weight gain, palpate the position of the baby in the uterus and listen to fetal heart tones. Mothers are also asked about their diets, exercise and any symptoms they may be experiencing.
I believe what a pregnant woman does every day for herself and her baby is the heart of prenatal care. I suggest that women eat whole foods, building meals around protein and adding fruits, vegetable, and whole grains. Women also need to drink lots of water and exercise three to four times per week. And last, but not least, pregnant mothers need to have happy thoughts and enjoy their pregnancies. How often in our lives do we get to make a baby?
Visits begin between 9 and 12 weeks
Monthly visits continue up to the 7th month
Visits shift to every 2 weeks from 7th month to 36 weeks.
A home visit occurs at the 36th week
After the home visit, weekly visits begin and continue until labor begins