Prenatal visits

5-8 Weeks: Pre-OB Visit with a Patient Navigator
We want your prenatal care to start early. So, your first clinic appointment is scheduled as soon as possible. You'll meet with a patient navigator. During this visit, the patient navigator will:

  • Answer questions and let you know what to expect from care at the clinic
  • Provide written and electronic resources about pregnancy and childbirth
  • Help you complete paperwork
  • Schedule your clinic visits
  • Help identify special resources or referrals you need right away

10-12 Weeks: Visit with a Nurse Midwife
This is your first individual visit with a certified nurse midwife. At this visit, the nurse midwife will:

  • Talk with you about how you're doing in the early weeks of your pregnancy
  • Help you understand what to expect from your body, your baby and your birth
  • Review your health history and identify special needs
  • Discuss your due date and prenatal testing options
  • Complete initial blood work and discuss results
  • Do a physical exam to check on how your baby is doing
  • Discuss whether or not an early ultrasound is recommended
  • Answer your questions

15-18 Weeks: First Group Session
This first group visit is a chance to meet other women at the same stage of pregnancy as you are and learn from them and a nurse midwife. Moms-to-be in the group are encouraged to offer up topics for discussion. This first conversation includes:

  • Basics about nutrition, exercise, healthy weight gain and the growth and development of your baby
  • Options for childbirth education and breastfeeding basics
  • Changes to expect during pregnancy and symptoms that need immediate medical attention

At the end of every group visit, your care team provides resources and tools to help you learn more about the topics discussed that day. At every group visit, each woman has a private "baby check" by the nurse midwife.

21-22 Weeks: Visit With a Nurse Midwife
Every individual visit with a nurse midwife includes a thorough health check of you and your baby. It's also a good time to ask questions about tests you've had – including the 20-week ultrasound. You and the nurse midwife discuss any special needs you may have, review specific questions about childbirth education options and answer questions not covered in group.

26-28 Weeks: Second Group Session
At this visit, we do important testing for gestational diabetes, anemia and special tests for women who are Rh-negative. These are fasting blood tests – so make sure not to consume anything but water that morning. There'll be three blood draws over the course of the visit. During this visit, we also:

  • Talk about choosing a pediatrician for your baby
  • Discuss how you're coping emotionally and physically
  • Watch a breastfeeding video
  • Cover the pros and cons of circumcision
  • Review recommendations for the whooping cough vaccine
  • Discuss options for family planning/contraception

32 Weeks: Visit with a Nurse Midwife
This is a good time to review blood test results and identify other special medical issues. We also follow up on your questions about labor and birth or other topics from your last group visit.

33-35 Weeks: Third Group Session
It's important to bring your partner or birth support person to this visit. A doula from the Family Maternity Center at Providence (where you'll give birth) joins us to talk about labor and birth and what to expect during your hospital stay. We talk about what's important to you during labor and options for coping with labor – including soaking in the tub, walking, birthing balls and pain medication options.

36 or 37 Weeks: Visit with a Nurse Midwife
At this visit, the nurse midwife makes sure your baby is "head down" and you will be tested for Group B streptococcus. Cervical exams are optional at remaining visits. And, as always, we talk about what to expect in labor and review your questions or concerns.

37-39 Weeks: Fourth Group Session
You're in the final stretch. You and the other moms-to-be are preparing for labor. At this visit, you talk about how you're preparing, and share your concerns and hear from others about how they are getting ready. The nurse midwife answers questions from the group and reviews what to expect in labor and during your hospital stay. We discuss the tests your baby needs before discharge from the hospital. We also talk about after-birth planning for you and your baby – including breastfeeding and what to expect emotionally after pregnancy.

40 Weeks (as needed): Visit with a Nurse Midwife
At this visit, the nurse midwife checks your cervix to see if your body is preparing for labor. We talk about what to do if your baby doesn't arrive soon.

41+ Weeks (as needed): Visit with a Nurse Midwife
Don't panic! The baby always comes out! At this visit, our focus is on safety for you and the baby – and reassurance. We offer our recommendations for inducing labor or for waiting, what happens if induction is needed and we arrange for testing to be sure your baby is doing well.