Pregnancy Prenatal Visits Schedule – How Often and What Happens in Each Visit

7 min read

Written by Suma rp

Suma rp

Prenatal visits schedule - a brief

When you are pregnant you want to be sure the baby is coming along just fine, at every possible juncture. Pregnancy prenatal visits schedule and timely scans help doctors ensure your pregnancy and the baby are developing as per expectation. In case of complications with the baby’s development or the mother’s health, prenatal visits help monitor both very closely. Your doctor will provide you with a proper pregnancy prenatal visits schedule during your first visit. 

As an expecting parent, you are bound to have many doubts throughout the pregnancy. Your prenatal visits are the perfect time to get all those doubts clarified so that you know what to do or not to do as the pregnancy progresses. Let’s break down your schedule to help you understand what to expect or ask during each of your prenatal visits.

In This Article

A prenatal visit may vary from woman to woman as per her health. The frequency of such visits can be more for women who are weak, have health issues, or are carrying more than one baby. The frequency of your prenatal visits will also increase as your pregnancy progresses.

However, there is a standard prenatal visit schedule set up by doctors to ensure a healthy pregnancy.

Week 4-28 – 1 Prenatal Visit Every Month

pregnant woman and a doctor

Week 4 – 28 covers your first two trimesters. Generally, you will have one prenatal visit every month.

Week 4 will mostly be your first prenatal visit where the doctor will confirm your pregnancy with the tests you have taken at home or will ask you to take a test immediately. Despite a positive home pregnancy test, your doctor will ask for a blood test and a urine test to measure the hCG and clinically confirm pregnancy.

Between weeks 8 and 12, your doctor will schedule an ultrasound or a transvaginal scan, followed by a check-up. The baby develops a heartbeat around this time and the scan will also rule out ectopic pregnancy and other such complications.

Towards the end of your first trimester, your doctor will schedule a genetic screening that involves both a blood test and an ultrasound. You will have a few more blood tests to check for gestational diabetes, hypertension, and other pregnancy-related health issues. You will also have at least another ultrasound before you complete 28 weeks.

[Read : Your Baby’s Heartbeat – Everything You Need to Know]

What Should I Ask My Doctor?

pregnant woman thinking

During these weeks, you can ask your doctor the following questions

  • Am I gaining weight as per expectations?
  • Is the baby’s weight satisfactory?
  • Can I have sexual intercourse with my partner?
  • Can I exercise? (be specific about the type of exercises you plan on doing)
  • What over-the-counter medicines are safe for regular illnesses like colds, coughs, stomach upset, etc?
  • Do I need to change my diet?
  • Do I need to change my beauty routine or discontinue using certain products?
  • What vaccinations should I get?
  • What symptoms should I watch out for?
  • When should I rush to the doctor?

Possible Complications

Some of the possible complications pregnant women might face during weeks 4-28 are

Things to be Prepared For

During the first two trimesters, you can expect to experience the following

  • Your first scan can be a transvaginal scan, which can be uncomfortable for many women.
  • Baby will start moving and kicking from inside. You may feel light flutter kicks at first and they get harder as the baby grows.
  • You may vomit and feel nauseated more than you expected
  • Some women can have morning sickness at any time of the day and can even extend beyond the first trimester.
  • You will hear the baby’s heartbeat and also have your first look at the baby during the scans during this time.
  • Your baby will develop all the major organs, including hair, ears nose, and limbs.
  • Your baby will gain weight and increase your appetite
  • You may have food cravings or aversions, which can keep changing as the weeks go by.

Week 29-36 – 1 Prenatal Visit Every Two Weeks

pregnant woman getting checked by doctor

After 28 weeks of pregnancy, the frequency of prenatal visits will go up. Since you are in the third trimester, your doctor will schedule prenatal visits every two weeks.

As you get closer to your delivery date, the baby will get bigger and move more. Counting your baby’s kicks can help you know if and when the movement is lesser. Your doctor will monitor everything very closely hereon – your weight, your baby’s weight, baby’s position, movements, etc.

You need to alert your doctor if you feel anything is off. Do not ignore any symptoms at this stage.

What Should I Ask My Doctor?

During your prenatal visits during these weeks, you can ask your doctor the following

  • What are the pre-term labour symptoms to watch out for?
  • How to count my baby’s kicks?
  • When should I worry about the baby and labour?
  • Should I alter my diet or avoid any foods?
  • What are the types of labour and how can I decide my birth plan?
  • If I want an epidural, what is the process, pros, and cons?
  • Should I go for any labour classes or will the hospital offer them?
  • What are Braxton-hick contractions and how do I recognise them?

[Read : How To Identify Braxton-Hick Contractions?]

Possible Complications

As your delivery date gets closer, you need to be more careful. Some of the possible complications at this stage in pregnancy are

  • Preterm labour
  • Fluid leaking
  • Baby in breech position
  • Gestational diabetes and hypertension
  • Back and joint aches
  • Preeclampsia

[Read : Changing A Breech Baby’s Position]

Things to be Prepared For

During these 7 weeks, you may experience the following

  • Your frequency of urination will increase as the baby’s weight starts adding pressure to your bladder
  • You may have trouble finding a good position to sleep in
  • You will gain weight and find it difficult to move around like before
  • Your weight gain can affect your centre of balance
  • You may feel constipated and may even need a little help to digest your foods. You can use home remedies or over-the-counter medicines after consulting your doctor
  • You will have to decide on your birth plan and methods.

[Read : 6 Different Types of Delivery Methods You Must Know]

Week 36-40 – 1 Prenatal Visit Every Week

Doctor checking pregnant woman during prenatal visits schedule

You are in the final month of your pregnancy. These last few weeks are very critical and you need to keep a close watch on both yourself and the baby. Your doctor will schedule a visit every week this month. You will also have a final scan to know the position and weight of the baby. Your doctor might discuss your labour options depending on the result of the scan.

During the 9th month, doctors check your baby’s movement, lung development, etc, to see, “if the baby is ready to face the world?” By this time, your baby is fully equipped to come out and the doctors will determine the exact delivery date.

A timely prenatal visit ensures your baby’s genetic health and the right physical development. Do not ignore the tests your doctors recommend. Because these tests can help them rule out probable congenital complications in your baby.

What Should I Ask My Doctor?

As you near the end of your pregnancy, it is natural to be nervous and have many doubts and concerns. Here are a few questions you can ask your doctor

  • What are the signs of labour to watch out for?
  • What should I expect when labour starts?
  • Who should I contact when labour starts?
  • When should I choose a paediatrician?
  • How do I prepare for labour?

Possible Complications

Your baby is fully grown and is safe to come out now. However, these few weeks are crucial and the following complications can arise

  • Your blood sugar or blood pressure can fluctuate suddenly
  • Baby’s movements can reduce due to lack of space, thus worrying you
  • If you are weak or carrying multiple babies, you may suffer a placental abruption as the weight in the uterus increases.

Things to be Prepared For

As you near the delivery date, you should be prepared for the following

  • You may gain a lot of weight
  • Your birth plan may not work out
  • You may have to have to opt for a caesarean delivery
  • Labour may start when you least expect it
  • Once your baby’s head drops, it can be difficult to sit down, walk or even urinate like before
  • As the baby’s weight increases, you may have back pains or hip discomfort
  • Your ankles and feet can swell
  • As the baby starts pushing against all organs, you may experience acid reflux. You may feel hungry but won’t be able to eat much.

Prenatal visits are very important to ensure everything is smooth and on track throughout your pregnancy. Prenatal visits are spread across the 40 weeks to keep a close watch on the baby. Even if you feel the visits or scans are unnecessary, do not stop without your doctor’s consent.


1. Why Do Some Pregnant Women Don’t Go For Prenatal Visits?

Due to the lack of knowledge, and lack of understanding about the importance of prenatal visits, some women don’t go for them in the early stages of pregnancy which cause a preterm baby, low birth weight, and a high risk of premature internal organs.

2. What is The Recommended Prenatal Visits Schedule for a Healthy Pregnancy?

The recommended schedule is

  • 4-28 weeks:- 1 visit in a month
  • 28-36 weeks:- 1 visit every 2 weeks
  • 36-40 weeks:- 1 visit in a week

3. What is The Rhesus Factor And Why is it Important to Check During Pregnancy?

Rhesus factor is the inherited protein that distinguishes the blood into two categories, positive and negative. When the Rh-positive man marries an Rh-negative woman, and if the baby is Rh-positive. Then the woman’s body will produce antibodies that will destroy the growing fetus’s red blood cells.

4. Can Pregnant Women Take a Vaccine?

Yes, pregnant women can take the vaccine. Vaccines for smallpox, rubella, measles, etc are given during pregnancy to prevent diseases and protect the mother and the baby.

Read Also: What Prenatal Tests Are Done in The First Trimester

Suma rp,M.Sc (Organic Chemistry) Rayalaseema University B.Sc (Biotechnology) Sri Krishna Devaraya University.

Suma is a passionate content writer with a strong keenness to understand the miracle of pregnancy, birth, and parenting. Suma has successfully transitioned into a full-time content writer and a key contributor at Being The Parent. She leverages on her experimental background in chemistry and experience in writing to come up with well-researched content that helps parents struggling to deal with various medical conditions of their children.Read more.

Responses (0)

Please check a captcha

Want curated content sharply tailored for your exact stage of parenting?

Discover great local businesses around you for your kids.

Get regular updates, great recommendations and other right stuff at the right time.


Our site uses cookies to make your experience on this site even better. We hope you think that is sweet.