Some doctors will want to see you every other week, some once a month, and others weekly – it all depends on the doctor. For instance, during my pregnancy, I didn’t see my doctor weekly until my ninth month.
Below is a list of what you can expect will be covered during the visits at the end of your pregnancy. As always, this list is in addition to the normal procedures of checking your blood pressure, heart rate, and weight.
1. Cervix Check: This will be very important come your ninth month, but your doctor will do a quick check to see if any dilation is taking place. Changes such as the cervix softening, effacing, or dilating can be warning signs of pre-term labor.
2. Urine Test: This is done routinely to check the sugar and protein levels in your urine.
3. Check For Swelling: Especially in the final month of your pregnancy, swelling can creep in from anywhere so your doctor will pay close attention for any signs of fluid retention.
4. Fundal Height: Your baby will be growing a lot in this final trimester so you can expect your uterus will be expanding rapidly to compensate. Because of this, your doctor will want to keep a close eye on not only the size of your uterus, but also the height of it as well - he/she will use the measurements as a guide to where your baby lies in utero.
5. Listen To The Baby’s Heartbeat: A Fetal Heart Monitor will be used to listen to your baby’s heartbeat.
Once your due date gets closer, your doctor may opt for another ultrasound to ensure that your growing baby is where they should be in reference to fetal size and growth. This ultrasound can also help the doctor to see the baby’s position.
If you chose a midwife for your pregnancy, this later ultrasound may be bypassed and the midwife will use her hands and measurements to check the aforementioned few things. Because I had a midwife for my pregnancy, I did not have an ultrasound late in my pregnancy but rather the midwife was able to correctly estimate my baby’s weight, position, and growth by her tactile senses.
If you are still toying with the idea of having a birth plan and haven’t discussed this with your OB-GYN, then now is the perfect time. Your doctor will be able to answer any questions and discuss your concerns for how you’d like to give birth and what options are available to you.
Also, as your pregnancy nears its end, you and your doctor may be having discussions for induction. Do your own research online and come to your doctor’s visits prepared about any and all topics involving your health and that of your child.
About the author: Danielle is a freelance blogger and editor specializing in parenting, family, pregnancy, social media, and entrepreneurial topics. To learn more about Danielle, please visit her website at www.PenPointEditorial.com.