Monday, February 25, 2013

Ask Us Anything: How Often Will I Have to Visit My Doctor During My Pregnancy?

"How often will I have to visit my doctor during my pregnancy? How long are the visits?"

Dr. Bruce Rodgers Responds:

For routine obstetrical care, prenatal visits are every 4 weeks until 24 weeks, every 2 weeks until 35-36 weeks and then weekly thereafter.

The first prenatal visit will be at least 45-60 minutes since it involves a careful history, examination, pap smears, blood work and discussion about issues such as nutrition. Subsequent visits are generally only 5-10 minutes if no problems are encountered.

Interspersed with prenatal visits are ultrasounds. Most patients in the United States have one ultrasound in the first trimester where Down syndrome screening is offered and a second ultrasound around 18 weeks to assess the baby’s growth and anatomy. If you go past your due date, you will generally have another ultrasound. 

Risk pregnancies require many more visits, the number and duration of each depending on the clinical situation.

 – Dr. Bruce Rodgers

Dr. Rodgers is the Director of Maternal-Fetal Medicine at Catholic Health and Director of the Fetal Testing Unit at Sisters of Charity Hospital in Buffalo.

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