Prenatal care, by definition, is the medical care a woman receives during her pregnancy. To us here at Aishling Obstetrics & Gynecology, however, prenatal care is more than merely delivering standard medical care. We take it as an opportunity to partake in our patients’ joyful anticipation and to live up to our commitment to delivering unsurpassed quality prenatal care and obstetric services.
Just as we have helped countless expectant mothers in Plainfield, Sandwich, Yorkville, and Aurora and all of their neighboring areas have a healthy pregnancy and successful delivery, we will guide you every step of the way and provide you with all the support you need on this amazing journey. We delight in answering all of your questions and equipping you with the right information to help you navigate your pregnancy.
With that in mind, here is a quick guide that we have prepared to help set your expectations about your prenatal care.
Prenatal Appointment Schedule
Prenatal appointment schedules can vary from provider to provider. Here at Aishling Obstetrics and Gynecology, we highly encourage expectant mothers to see one of our board-certified OB/GYNs for prenatal care based on the following schedule:
- Every month from week four through week 28
- Every two weeks from week 28 through week 36
- Weekly from week 36 through birth
What to Expect at Your Prenatal Care Appointments
Your first prenatal checkup is usually the longest because your OB/GYN will ask you a lot of questions about your health. Your OB/GYN will also perform a transvaginal ultrasound to confirm your pregnancy and check your cervix, uterus, and placenta. After that, they will perform a physical exam, check your vital signs, do a pelvic exam (and a Pap Smear), discuss your vaccinations, order blood work and other lab tests, and talk about all other things relevant to your overall health and pregnancy. At this time, your OB/GYN will likely start prescribing vitamins and supplements.
At each of your visits thereafter, your OB/GYN will check your weight and vital signs as well as monitor your baby’s growth and development. Your OB/GYN will also order another set of blood work and urinalysis to test for gestational diabetes, anemia, and other health problems.
At around weeks 18 to 22, you can see us for an abdominal ultrasound to determine the sex of your baby. Within the same appointment, your OB/GYN will start measuring your fundal height—the distance from your pubic bone to the top of your uterus. This helps your OB/GYN estimate your baby’s size and evaluate their growth rate and position.
After week 20, your OB/GYN will continue to check your urine, for signs of infection and your protein level. Elevated levels of protein in your urine (proteinuria) are a hallmark of preeclampsia, which is a life-threatening pregnancy complication characterized by high blood pressure. We will make the necessary lifestyle and dietary recommendations to reduce your risk of preeclampsia and other complications.
After week 32, you will likely be required to take a biophysical profile (BPP) test, which combines fetal ultrasound and heart rate monitoring (nonstress test) to assess your amniotic fluid level as well as your baby’s breathing, heart rate, movements, and muscle tone.
Symptoms That Warrant a Call or Visit to Our Clinic
If you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms during your pregnancy, please call or see us right away:
- Significant decrease in fetal movements especially during the third trimester (after monitoring your baby’s movements for a number of hours)
- Sudden swelling of your hands and feet
- Severe abdominal cramps and/or diarrhea
- Gush of fluid
For first-rate prenatal care services in Plainfield, Sandwich, Yorkville, or Aurora, visit us at Aishling Obstetrics & Gynecology. Give us a call at (815) 786-1088 to schedule a prenatal appointment with one of our OB/GYNs. We look forward to serving you!