3rd Trimester: 4th Prenatal Visit

As you get closer to your due date, you're probably busy preparing for your little one's arrival. At this appointment, your doctor will help prepare you for your upcoming delivery. He or she will also check your progress and answer any questions.

What You Can Expect:

When your doctor feels your belly, he or she may get a rough estimate of your baby's weight. Your doctor may also try to determine your baby's position, if it's still unknown. Breech (bottom-down) babies can still turn on their own.

Your doctor may want to know if you plan to submit a birth plan for your medical file. Some women put their goals for labor and delivery in writing, such as being allowed to walk around during labor or trying a drug-free birth. Birth plans can be very helpful, but keep in mind that while your doctor will try to honor your wishes, he or she will consider the safety of you and your baby above all else.

Just like at your other appointments, 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 to prepare you for what may lie ahead during pregnancy and beyond. Be prepared to talk about:

  • Recognizing contractions. Your doctor will want you to be familiar with signs that labor is starting, including contractions. Some women feel false-labor contractions (called Braxton Hicks contractions) days or weeks before they go into labor. Your doctor can help you determine the difference between the two.
  • Postpartum depression and your family history of depression. Up to 15% of new moms experience postpartum depression in the first few weeks after the baby is born. Your doctor will explain the warning signs and when you should call your doctor.

Ask Your Doctor:

Tap the Share Button above to select questions to ask your doctor.

  • If my baby is breech, can I still have a vaginal delivery?
  • Can I change my birth plan at the last minute?
  • What if I can't tell if my contractions are real or false?
  • Are the “baby blues” the same as postpartum depression?
  • How is postpartum depression treated?
WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson, MD on July 02, 2018

Sources

SOURCES:

ACOG: "If Your Baby Is Breech."

ACOG: “Postpartum Depression.”

ACOG: "Your Pregnancy and Childbirth Month to Month, 5th ed."

AAP and ACOG: "Guidelines for Perinatal Care, 6th ed."

Vicki Mendiratta, MD, associate professor of obstetrics & gynecology, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle.

Sharon Phelan, MD, professor of obstetrics & gynecology, University of New Mexico School of Medicine, Albuquerque.

Sonja R. Kinney, MD, associate professor, director of the division of obstetrics & gynecology, medical director of the Olson Center for Women's Health, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha.

© 2018 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.

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