3rd Trimester: 1st Prenatal Visit

You're in your third trimester, and your baby is growing fast! Your doctor will now monitor you every two weeks to ensure that your baby is growing well. Today, your doctor will help prepare you for decisions you'll need to make after your baby is born. He or she will also check your progress and answer your questions.

What You Can Expect:

During this visit, your doctor will:

  • Let you know if you're gaining weight at an ideal rate; he or she will suggest different foods for you to eat if you're gaining too quickly or too slowly. If needed, your doctor may refer you to a nutritionist to help.
  • Examine your skin to see if you're developing stretch marks, dry patches, or dark spots
  • 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 discuss important decisions that you'll make after delivering. Be prepared to talk about:

  • Cord-blood banking. Cord blood is the blood left in a baby's umbilical cord or placenta after birth. Cord blood contains stem cells, which help treat some diseases such as blood or immune system disorders. You may have the option to have the cord blood collected and stored in a cord-blood bank in case it's needed by your baby or a family member. Your doctor can explain the pros and cons of saving cord blood.
  • Circumcision. If you are having a baby boy, you and your partner should decide whether to have him circumcised. This is normally done in the first few days after birth. It is not a required procedure. It's the parents' choice whether to have it done. Your doctor can explain the benefits and risks of circumcision.
  • Birth control. You can get pregnant again after giving birth, so you should choose a form of birth control before you and your partner start having sex again. Your doctor can explain your options. If you plan to breastfeed, your doctor can help you choose a type of birth control that won't decrease breast milk production.
  • Preterm labor. Preterm labor occurs when a baby is born before 37 weeks. It's important to recognize signs of preterm labor early. Your doctor will explain the symptoms to watch for and tell you who to call, what to do, and where to go if you experience preterm labor.

Continued

Ask Your Doctor:

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

  • Can I do anything to prevent or minimize stretch marks?
  • Is public cord-blood banking available in our area?
  • Should I bank cord blood if no diseases run in our family?
  • Is breastfeeding a foolproof birth control method?
WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson, MD on January 15, 2019

Sources

SOURCES:

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists: "Your Pregnancy and Childbirth Month to Month, 5th ed.," "Cord Blood Banking," "Newborn Circumcision."

American Academy of Pediatrics and American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists: "Guidelines for Perinatal Care, 6th ed."

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

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

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

© 2019 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.

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