During pregnancy, you will need to have regular and frequent visits with your provider in order to keep you and your baby healthy. Below is a standard timeline to help you prepare and understand your prenatal care.

First trimester

  • Initial appointment (6-10 weeks) – This should be scheduled as soon as you think you are pregnant. This will likely be the longest visit as it includes discussing your medical history as well as performing a physical exam, routine prenatal lab tests, and an ultrasound. Your partner may want to join you during this visit. Your due date will also be established using your last menstrual period. It is important to note that this due date is an approximation and many women do not give birth on their actual due date.
  • The second appointment should be scheduled two weeks after your initial appointment (8-12 weeks) – At this appointment, your blood pressure will be checked, and you will be able to hear your baby’s heartbeat.
  • An ultrasound appointment will also be scheduled at approximately 20 weeks to screen for certain chromosomal abnormalities.
  • Genetic screening can be also performed during the first trimester.

Second trimester

  • Appointments should be scheduled every four weeks to check your blood pressure and weight and measure your baby’s heartbeat.
  • 13-16 week appointment – A blood test will be performed to screen for certain chromosomal abnormalities and neural tube defects.
  • 18-20 week appointment – A regular check-up
  • 20-week ultrasound appointment – This ultrasound looks at the baby’s anatomy. This is when you can determine your baby’s gender.
  • 24-28 week appointment – A regular checkup. A glucose test may also be performed to screen for gestational diabetes.

Third trimester

  • Appointments should be scheduled every two weeks until 36 weeks to monitor your blood pressure and weight, and your baby’s heartbeat.
  • 29-34 weeks – During these appointments, your provider will discuss childbirth, breastfeeding, and postpartum care. A Tdap vaccine is also offered during this time.
  • 35-37 weeks – At this appointment, a pelvic exam will be performed to test for Group B strep.
  • After 36 weeks, appointments should be scheduled weekly until you deliver to check your cervix.

All information is provided by:

UCLA Health