You're in the homestretch of pregnancy! During this visit, your doctor may explain the warning signs of preeclampsia. Preeclampsia is a disease of pregnancy that causes high blood pressure and your kidneys to release more protein than usual. You may want to talk about how to relieve certain physical discomforts you may be feeling. Low back pain and difficulty sleeping are just a few of the common discomforts you may be feeling at this point in pregnancy. Your doctor will also measure your progress and answer your pregnancy-related questions.
What You Can Expect:
At this visit, your doctor will:
- Check your legs for varicose veins. This condition can develop because the uterus puts extra pressure on leg veins. Your doctor may recommend ways to help relieve the pressure, such as elevating your legs at night or wearing compression stockings during the day.
- 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:
To make sure that you are comfortable and healthy as your pregnancy progresses, your doctor may talk with you about:
- Preeclampsia. Your doctor monitors your risk of preeclampsia at every visit by checking your blood pressure and testing your urine. Preeclampsia can cause serious complications in mothers and babies. If you have preeclampsia, your doctor will monitor and test you and your baby more often to make sure you are both healthy. Your doctor will explain the symptoms of preeclampsia and when to call your doctor.
- Back pain. Your center of gravity changes as you get bigger. You may lean backward to compensate, which can strain your lower back. Your doctor will suggest ways to support your back during the day and while you sleep.
- Sleep issues. You may be having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep because your growing belly makes it harder to get comfortable. Your doctor can suggest helpful sleep positions and good places to place pillows for extra support.
Ask Your Doctor:
Tap the Action button above to select questions to ask your doctor.
- Will my varicose veins go away after I give birth?
- What increases the risk for preeclampsia?
- What symptoms should I call you about?
- Is it safe to get a professional massage during pregnancy?
- Is exercise good for an aching back? What about bed rest?
- If I'm having trouble sleeping at night, can I take naps?