At your first prenatal care visit, your healthcare provider will talk to you about your health history and your family health history and will perform a physical exam. The physical exam will include checks of your blood pressure, height, and weight, as well as an exam of your pelvic organs. There will be tests of your blood and urine. Your healthcare provider will be able to tell you when to expect that your baby will be born. This visit is also a chance for you to learn about staying healthy during pregnancy.
At your later prenatal care visits, your healthcare provider will check how you are doing and how the baby is developing. You may have a number of tests done as your pregnancy progresses. Ultrasound exams are often used to check on the baby's growth and health. You may have more urine and blood tests, as well as special tests if needed.
(Click First Trimester, Second Trimester, or Third Trimester for information on specific prenatal care during these pregnancy stages.)
As you get older, there is more chance of having a baby born with a birth defect. However, most women in their late 30s and early 40s have healthy babies. See your healthcare provider on a regular basis before you get pregnant, and be sure to go for your prenatal care throughout your pregnancy. Your healthcare provider probably will want to do some special tests to check on your baby's health.