Your pregnancy and prenatal care
Your monthly visit
You will then visit your gynecologist (or midwife) monthly throughout your pregnancy and weekly during the last month. Depending on the hospital where you are registered, your visit will either be in the doctor’s office up until you give birth or in the hospital after a certain stage in your pregnancy. If you go past your due date, you will have to go the hospital every day for a checkup until you give birth.
All monthly visits follow the same procedure. They start with a discussion, during which you can ask your doctor questions or express any concerns you may have, such as minor aches and pains, contractions, bleeding and vaginal discharge. The doctor will then conduct several procedures:
- A urinalysis to test for sugar, albumin and urinary infection.
- Blood pressure.
- Pelvic exam to check for cervical changes. Some hospitals and gynecologists, however, only carry out this exam if necessary rather than making it a regular practice. So don’t worry if your doctor doesn’t do it.
- Measurement of the fundal height (from the pubic bone to the top of the uterus) to determine fetal growth.
- Listening to the baby’s heart.
If you haven’t been immunized against toxoplasmosis and/or measles, your doctor will also prescribe a blood test each month to make sure you haven’t contracted these diseases, which are very dangerous for the fetus.