Whether you're seeing a midwife or an obstetrician, the goal of prenatal care is to monitor your pregnancy progress and head off problems before they become serious. Your provider will use regular office visits to teach you about pregnancy, monitor your health, perform tests, and refer you to support groups, childbirth education classes, and other services. Research on prenatal care suggests that these visits -- even when you're feeling just fine -- are an essential step toward having a healthy baby, so keep all of your appointments.
How often you see your provider will depend on whether your pregnancy is considered low- or high-risk and whether you have any complications. If your pregnancy progresses without problems, your provider will probably schedule prenatal visits as follows:
- During weeks 4 to 28: One visit every 4 week
- During weeks 28 to 36: One visit every 2-3 week
- During week 36 to birth: One visit every week
Originally published in You & Your Baby: Pregnancy.
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