The timing of prenatal visits depends on two things: your health and the amount of risk present. Women with medical or obstetrical problems often need special care. Healthy women with no known risk factors typically need less care. If you develop a problem during your pregnancy, you'll need to see a doctor more frequently.

Since we are a group practice any of the Riverwalk Physicians may be present for your delivery (Depending on Night or Weekend call rotations). For this reason, every attempt will be made so that you can meet each one of them for your routine visits. This means that you will get to take advantage of six expert physicians overseeing and providing their expertise during your pregnancy. The majority of the time the physician whom you have chosen will most likely be at your delivery.

During each prenatal visit you will be examined to check how your pregnancy is coming along. Your health will be monitored closely to make sure no new problems occur. It is a good idea to write down your questions and concerns before each visit so they can be addressed during your visit. As long as you and your baby are doing fine your checkups will most likely follow a schedule similar to the one listed below.

Obstetrical Visits

Pregnancy Timeframe   Visit Frequency
From the 1st visit to 28 weeks   Every 4 weeks
From 28 to 36 weeks   Every 2-3 weeks
From 36 weeks to delivery   Weekly

During Each Visit

  1. Your weight will be measured and recorded on your chart
  2. Your blood pressure will be taken and recorded
  3. Your urine will be checked for protein and sugar and for possible infection
  4. The height of your uterus will be measured to gauge the baby's growth
  5. Your face, ankles, hands and feet will be examined for swelling
  6. At your 12th week and after the baby's heartbeat will be heard and checked
  7. The position of the baby will be felt later in the pregnancy to make sure the head is down
  8. If needed lab tests and pelvic exams will be done

Risk Factors That May Need Special Care During the Pregnancy

Medical Problems

  1. High Blood Pressure
  2. Heart, kidney, lung or liver disease
  3. STDs, urinary tract infections, or other infections caused by a virus or bacteria
  4. Diabetes
  5. Anemia
  6. Epilepsy or other seizure disorders
  7. Mental Health Problems

Obstetric Problems

  1. Problems in past pregnancies
  2. Being younger than 15 or older than 35 during the pregnancy
  3. Previous birth defects
  4. Multiple pregnancy (twins or more)
  5. Pregnancy Induced Hypertension (pre-eclampsia)
  6. Abnormal heartbeat
  7. Intrauterine Growth Restriction (fetus doesn't grow at the rate it should)

Lifestyle Problems

  1. Smoking
  2. Drinking Alcohol
  3. Taking drugs not prescribed by the doctor and not included in the list of allowable medication
  4. Eating poorly and lack of appropriate weight gain
  5. Having more than one sexual partner