Just a few weeks to go before you meet your little one! As you enter your last month of pregnancy, your doctor will start monitoring you weekly. Today, they will give you an important test to help ensure the well-being of your baby during delivery. Your doctor will also check your progress and answer any questions.
What You Can Expect
Today your doctor will test your Group B Streptococcus (GBS) status by swabbing your vagina and rectum. GBS is a bacterium that some people have in or on their bodies. It usually doesn't make them sick, but it can make babies very ill if it's passed to them during delivery. GBS-positive women are given IV antibiotics during labor and delivery to prevent GBS transmission to their babies.
Also during this visit, your doctor will:
- Give you paperwork to preregister at the hospital. That way you won't be slowed down when you arrive to deliver your baby.
- Explain that you should avoid airplane travel for the remainder of your pregnancy.
- 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 at your last appointment.
- Ask you to leave a urine sample to check sugar and protein levels.
Be Prepared to Discuss
As you enter the final weeks of your pregnancy, your doctor will want to make sure that you're attuned to your body. Be prepared to discuss:
- Signs of preterm labor. Your doctor will ask if you have experienced any signs of preterm labor, such as cramping, mild contractions, or a change in your vaginal discharge.
- Your urinary habits. Do you leak a little urine when you cough or sneeze? Do you have the urge to go frequently because your baby is pressing on your bladder? Your doctor may be able to offer suggestions to ease your discomfort.
Ask Your Doctor
- Why do you need to see me weekly from now on?
- Can I travel several hours from home now if I drive?
- What if I go into labor before learning my GBS status?
- Will I still leak urine when I sneeze after giving birth?
- What should I do if I have symptoms of preterm labor?
If you're having twins, you should ask: