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Looking ahead: Your path to parenthood

Congratulations—you’re pregnant! A lot is going to change over the next ten months, but one thing you don’t need to worry about is the schedule of your doctor’s visits.

Here’s our typical timeline of when you’ll be seeing your healthcare provider at Welia Health, and what you can expect at each appointment.

While this is a good guide to our usual process, every parent and every pregnancy is different. Especially if you have a high-risk pregnancy, are getting pregnant later in life, or have other potential complications, this schedule will reflect some changes. Your provider will be able to give you specific recommendations and referrals at every stage to make sure you’re getting the care you need for your specific health needs.

Starting out: Your first trimester

At most of your appointments, your doctor will provide you with prenatal education tailored to the stage of your pregnancy. They’ll conduct a series of tests, including measuring your abdomen to check the baby’s growth and listening to the baby’s heart rate. As you get closer to your due date, they will also check your abdomen to determine the baby’s position.

Most people will have two visits to their obstetrician during the first trimester. At the first visit, which takes place between weeks four and nine, your provider will confirm the positive home pregnancy test. They will discuss prenatal vitamins (and give a prescription if needed) as well as lifestyle factors including diet, healthy habits, and self-care.

Your provider will give you more information on Welia Health’s breastfeeding and prenatal classes, as well as useful resources from local public health and WIC. Finally, the doctor will calculate your estimated due date.

At the second visit, which takes place between weeks 10 and 12, you may have the chance to listen to your baby’s heartbeat. At this stage, our team offers the option of genetic testing to screen for the baby’s sex as well as common genetic disorders and chromosomal abnormalities. This is entirely up to you as parents—our job is to offer you the information and options that you need to make the best choice for your family. You will also have the chance to sign up for prenatal classes.

Onward and upward: Your second trimester

Your second trimester will most likely include three more doctor’s visits to make sure everything is moving forward normally, as well as lactation counseling, as desired.

Your third visit, during weeks 15 to 16, will consist of a routine check-up. At the fourth visit, during weeks 19 to 20, your doctor will order your ultrasound and then visit about the results. This scan will check for physical development, screen for anything unusual, and confirm the official due date given to you at your first appointment. You’ll also have the option to receive your flu vaccination to protect your health and the health of the baby.

The fifth visit takes place around week 24, or about six months into pregnancy. This is another routine check-up, and may also include a test for gestational diabetes. This condition is relatively uncommon, affecting 6% to 7% of pregnancies, but can cause health problems for your newborn if it’s not addressed.

During weeks 20 to 30, you may also choose to visit Welia Health’s Lactation Counselor. Our dedicated team provides breastfeeding education and helps you plan for after the baby is born.

The final stretch: Your third trimester

The third trimester is when things really get busy. Our usual schedule includes a hefty seven visits, with a check-up every week.

At your sixth visit, which takes place during week 28, you’ll go through a regular check-up and receive your Tdap immunization. The Tdap vaccine protects your baby against tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (or whooping cough). The doctor will also discuss your birth plan with you. This document outlines what’s important to you in your delivery and gives your team the information they need to take care of you during birth, this can include parameters around pain medication, to important information about your pregnancy, to whether someone special should cut the umbilical cord.

You will meet with your obstetrics team once a week for a regular check-up for the next six weeks. These routine meetings will help your doctor continue to check that everything is going according to plan and give you the opportunity to address your questions as they arise. On or around your thirteenth visit, which takes place during the fortieth week of your pregnancy, you and your doctor will also prepare for delivery.

A pregnancy plan built for you

We design our care schedule at Welia Health to help you know what to expect out of your pregnancy—and to ensure that our doctors are there with you every step of the way. No two pregnancies are alike, and you and your doctor will work together to build a unique schedule for you, your family, and your baby.

We’re honored to be part of this journey and understand the trust you place in us by coming to Welia Health for your care. If you have questions about your pregnancy journey or want to know more about the services that we offer, explore the Birth Center virtually or simply reach out to our team at 320.225.3525.

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