Obstetrical Appointments

It can be confusing to figure out “how far along” you are.  A normal pregnancy is dated most times by a patient’s last menstrual period.  If a patient is uncertain of when her last menstrual period occurred then an ultrasound may be used to date the pregnancy.  A normal pregnancy lasts 42 weeks and your due date is 40 weeks from your last menstrual period.  A full term pregnancy is any pregnancy beyond 37 weeks.

What to Expect at Your Visits

+ Calculating Your Due Date

The estimated date of delivery (EDD), also known as your due date, is most often calculated from the first day of your last menstrual period. In order to estimate your due date take the date that your last normal menstrual cycle started, add 7 days and count back 3 months.

Pregnancy is assumed to have occurred 2 weeks after your last cycle and therefore 2 weeks are added to the beginning of your pregnancy. Pregnancy actually lasts 10 months (40 weeks) and not 9 months. Most women go into labor within 2 weeks of their due date either before or after their actual EDD.

+ 6-12 Weeks

This will be your initial visit with a WHS provider.  At this visit you will receive a prenatal vitamin prescription and information about office fees and polices.  This is an important visit in that much of your medical history will be obtained including informatiion about previous pregnancies.  Your blood will be drawn for the initial standard prenatal labs including an HIV test and urine will be collected to rule out any infections and for a drug screening at this visit. You will have a physical exam and Pap smear with cervical cultures done as well.  An ultrasound will be done to confirm your gestational age “due date” and to confirm that the pregnancy is in the uterus.

+ 12 Weeks

This will be a routine ob visit.  We will listen to the fetal heartbeat at this visit and offer you part I of the Integrated Screen Test.  This is a blood test that has two parts that is a screening for Down’s syndrome, a common genetic disorder which can cause mental retardation and an AFP test for neural tube defects such as spina bifida.  A patient has the option to refuse this test but must sign a refusal letter.

+ 16 Weeks

This will be a routine ob visit.  We will listen to the fetal heartbeat and part II of the “Integrated Screen” will be done.

+ 20 Weeks

This will be a routine ob visit.  You will have your 20 week ultrasound at this visit.  This is a very detailed exam of the fetal anatomy and includes confirming the sex of the baby if desired.

+ 24 Weeks - 28 Weeks

This will be a routine ob visit.  You will have your Glucose (sugar) checked at this visit to make sure you do not have Gestational Diabetes (diabetes developed during pregnancy).  At this visit you will be asked to drink a sweet drink in less than 5 minutes and we will draw your blood 1 hour later. You are not permitted to leave the office with the drink or at any time during the hour before your blood is drawn.  This is not a test that requires fasting but we do not recommend that you eat anything for at least two hours.  If this test is abnormal, you will need a three hour test to determine if you have gestational diabetes.

+ 28 Weeks

This will be a routine ob visit.  If your blood type is Rh negative you will be given a Rhogam shot to protect future pregnancies against a potentially life threatening disease.  Not every patient requires this shot and your doctor will inform you if you need it.

+ 32 Weeks - 36 Weeks

You will have vaginal cultures done for Group B Strep.  This is an organism that can be responsible for pneumonia or meningitis in babies.  If your culture reveals the presence of Group B strep, you will receive an antibiotic when you are in labor.  You will now be scheduled for a visit every week.

+ 37 Weeks - 41 Weeks

You will have a visit every week.  You will have a cervical exam at these visits to determine if you are ready for labor.

+ Postpartum

 After your delivery, you will need to schedule a visit at six weeks to discuss birth control and to have an exam.  Birth control measures need to be taken whether you are breastfeeding or not.  If you have a cesarean section you need to schedule an appointment at one to two weeks to have your incision looked at and at six weeks for an exam.


These are just a general explanation of what your prenatal schedule will be and what will happen at those visits. Routine visits consist of weight, blood pressure, uterine growth and confirmation of fetal heartbeat.  Please understand that should your pregnancy be deemed high risk this timeline may no longer apply to you.


Our office hours are 9:00-12:00 and 1:00-4:00 Monday through Friday.  We are closed on the weekends.  If you need to reach a doctor after hours or on the weekend please dial 770-474-0064 and instructions will be given.