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Your pregnancy: 12-40 weeks

  • You will begin to have frequent office visits to assess the physical well-being of you and your baby. Your PregnancyYour obstetrician's office staff will check your baseline weight, pulse, blood pressure, and other physical signs. You will have a pelvic examination as you get closer to your due date. Your baby's heart rate will be assessed. Laboratory tests will be ordered to obtain baseline information.
  • You will be taking prenatal vitamins. If needed, you may be referred to a dietitian to talk about your nutritional needs. You may find it more comfortable to eat several small meals rather than three large meals a day. Drink plenty of fluids. You will not want to take any medications (prescribed or over-the-counter) that are not first approved by your doctor.
  • An alpha-fetoprotein, or triple screen, may be ordered to check fetal well-being. Your doctor may order an ultrasound to check the size of your baby or to answer other questions. Sometimes, an amniocentesis is ordered to check fetal well-being and maturity.
  • A glucose tolerance test might be ordered to see if you have elevated blood sugar.
  • Your doctor will discuss exercise and activity with you. In most cases, there is no need to restrict normal activities. But you may need to change your activity level when you are excessively tired or uncomfortable. Listen to your body. If you are experiencing frequent back pain, discuss physical therapy options with your doctor.
  • Avoid smoking and alcohol.
  • You should select a pediatrician for your baby.
  • Begin to make plans for your support needs, such as baby equipment, help at home following the birth of your baby, etc.
  • You will want to consider taking childbirth classes.
  • This is the time to purchase a car seat.