At University of Minnesota Physicians Broadway Family Medicine Clinic, we provide comprehensive care for mom AND baby.
It’s important for expectant moms to receive regular medical care throughout their pregnancies to treat and prevent potential health problems and promote a healthy pregnancy and birth.
Resident physician Ying Guo, MD, answers some frequently asked questions about pregnancy (or prenatal) care at Broadway.
What is prenatal care?
Prenatal (or pregnancy) care is preventive medical care for expectant moms. Regular check-ups keep mom and baby healthy and promote a healthy birth.
Note: It is important for expectant moms to start prenatal care as soon as they know they’re expecting.
How frequently do pregnant women visit the doctor?
On average, expectant moms visit the doctor:
- Every four weeks from 0 weeks through 32 weeks of pregnancy.
- Every two weeks from 32 weeks through 36 weeks of pregnancy.
- Once per week after 36 weeks of pregnancy until delivery.
Why are there so many prenatal appointments?
Regular check-ups are important during pregnancy to monitor the baby’s health, growth, and development as well as the health and well-being of the expectant mom.
What happens at prenatal appointments?
At the first prenatal visit, the doctor will:
- Review mom’s health history and previous pregnancies, if applicable.
- Check mom’s blood pressure, height, and weight.
- Calculate mom’s due date.
- Perform a complete exam, including a pelvic exam and pap test.
- Answer any questions.
All subsequent prenatal visits will include:
- A check of mom’s blood pressure, height, weight, and pulse.
- Education about what’s to come in the upcoming stage(s) of pregnancy.
- Any necessary prenatal labs or testing.
- Time for questions.
After mom is 12-weeks pregnant, she will also be able to listen to her baby’s heart beat at each visit.
What lab tests are performed during pregnancy?
While testing needs may vary by person and pregnancy, the following lab tests are typical for most expectant moms at Broadway.
At the first visit, mom will have a blood draw for routine prenatal labs, including STD testing for gonorrhea, chlamydia, trichomonas, syphilis, and HIV. We do STD testing for everyone at their first prenatal visit.
Between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy, a one-hour glucose test will be done to screen for gestational diabetes. This test may/may not require follow up testing.
At 28 weeks of pregnancy, we will do another blood draw to check mom’s blood level and also repeat syphilis testing.
What can be expected with prenatal glucose testing?
The glucose test to screen for gestational diabetes will take one to two hours to complete. Mom will need to be at the clinic for the duration of the test.
Fasting or limiting certain foods/drinks before the test is not necessary. That said, it’s not recommended to eat a large meal right before the test.
At the beginning of the visit, mom will drink a sugary drink. A blood draw will be done one hour after mom has finished the drink.
Depending on the results, follow up testing may or may not be needed.
When are ultrasounds performed during pregnancy?
The average expectant mom will have two ultrasounds at Broadway.
First trimester: An early ultrasound to help calculate due date.
Second trimester: An ultrasound to take a close look at the baby and his/her development, looking at the baby’s heart, kidneys, and other organs.
There may or may not be additional ultrasounds depending on a variety of factors for mom and baby.
When can mom find out the sex of the baby?
Most moms are able to find out whether or not they are having a boy or girl during the second trimester ultrasound.
Are prenatal vitamins necessary during pregnancy?
Yes. Taking prenatal vitamins ensures that mom and baby have the proper nutrition they need.
What is group prenatal care at Broadway?
Group visits offer expectant moms the opportunity to meet with a team of providers AND moms in a similar stage of pregnancy for their pregnancy (or prenatal) care.
Each group visit lasts about two hours, incorporating the following:
- Healthy snack time.
- Socializing with other moms.
- One-on-one time with a physician.
- Group discussion on a pregnancy-related topic.
Moms also get the opportunity to check their own vitals, like blood pressure, belly measurement (or fundal height measurement), and baby’s heart rate. They learn to take vitals themselves as part of the group visits.
Broadway’s group pregnancy care is based on the CenteringPregnancy model.
Read more about our group pregnancy care offerings at broadwayfamilymedicineblog.com/2017/09/01/pregnancy-groups-for-expectant-moms-at-broadway-family-medicine.
Where do Broadway patients deliver their babies?
University of Minnesota Physicians Broadway Family Medicine Clinic providers deliver babies at North Memorial Health Hospital in Robbinsdale.
Expectant moms and families are able to schedule a tour of the hospital rooms and birthing center before delivery. More at northmemorial.com/specialty/pregnancy-birth.
Need an appointment? Call the clinic at 612-302-8200, and/or visit us at 1020 West Broadway Avenue in North Minneapolis.