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. They 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:
- 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. They 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?