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Prenatal Visit Week 39

You're almost there -- and probably very ready to have your baby! This will be one of your last pregnancy well-visits. Your doctor will make sure that you're prepared for labor, delivery, and motherhood. He or she will also check your progress and answer any questions.

What You Can Expect:

Your doctor will tell you your Group B Streptococcus (GBS) status, which you may need to know in the hospital.

Your doctor will ask if you have any questions about:

  • Breastfeeding
  • Choosing an appropriate birth control method
  • Recognizing symptoms of postpartum depression

As with other visits, your doctor will:

  • Check your weight and blood pressure
  • Measure the height of your uterus to gauge your baby's growth
  • Check your baby's heart rate
  • Ask if your baby's movements are occurring about as often as your last appointment
  • Ask you to leave a urine sample to check sugar and protein levels

Be Prepared to Discuss:

Your doctor will want you to know what to expect after the birth. Be prepared to discuss:

  • Lochia. For several weeks after the birth, women have a vaginal discharge called lochia. Initially, it's heavier than menstrual flow, with a similar consistency. Gradually, the flow slows and the color lightens.
  • Recovery from a vaginal birth. Your vaginal area will be swollen for a few days. Your doctor will recommend ice packs at first, then warm baths, for relief. You also may receive pain medication.
  • Recovery from cesarean section. If you have a C-section, your incision may hurt for a few weeks, so you'll receive pain medication. Your doctor will remind you to avoid heavy lifting while your body heals from surgery. This includes lifting your baby in a car seat, so your partner or someone else will have to do it for you until you heal.
  • Your postpartum visit. Your doctor will examine you again 6 weeks after the birth. He or she may recommend that you wait until after this appointment before having sex again.

Ask Your Doctor:

Tap the Action button above to select questions to ask your doctor.

  • What circumstances require a C-section?
  • Will I have lochia after a C-section?
  • What is operative delivery and when is it done?
  • What is an episiotomy and will I need one?
  • Will I be able to sit comfortably after a vaginal birth?
  • What should I do to recover after delivery?
  • How soon should I expect to get my period again?

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Kecia Gaither, MD, MPH on June 01, 2014

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