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Schedule your first prenatal appointment as soon as you think you’re pregnant. Once your pregnancy is confirmed, regular prenatal checkups are important for your and your baby's health.
When you visit your doctor, be prepared to answer questions about:
- Your menstrual cycle
- Birth control
- Past pregnancies
- Your personal medical history
- Your family medical history
Using your last menstrual period, physical examination, and ultrasound, your doctor will estimate your due date. Although few women give birth on their actual due date, this information will help your doctor determine how old your baby is and monitor your baby’s growth.
During your prenatal visits, your blood pressure and weight will be checked. Laboratory tests may be performed to determine your blood type, measure your hemoglobin, or to check for disorders like gestational diabetes — a type of diabetes that can develop during pregnancy.
You will learn about the importance of proper nutrition, a healthy lifestyle, and exercise. Prenatal vitamins may also be recommended.
In the last weeks of pregnancy, your physician will talk to you more about your options for pain relief during labor and help coordinate a delivery plan.
You can also take prenatal classes at the Women’s Center at William P. Clements University Hospital without charge and tour the hospital’s Labor and Delivery Unit.
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