From 28-36 weeks of pregnancy, your appointments are likely to be every two weeks. From 36 weeks, you’re likely to have weekly appointments until the birth. For women having their second or subsequent baby, if all is going well, the last few appointments might be two weeks apart. At these appointments, your doctor, obstetrician or midwife will:
- ask you about your general health
- check your blood pressure
- possibly check your weight and urine
- check your baby’s growth, listen to baby’s heart and ask you about your baby’s movements
- check what position the baby is in
- possibly recommend extra tests or ultrasound scans if you need them
- talk about labour signs and managing pain in labour
- talk about your birth plans and what will happen if there are problems – for example, premature birth
- talk about taking your baby home (if you’re giving birth in hospital)
- ask about your plans for feeding your baby and give you information about this choice
- answer any questions or worries – for example, you might like to ask about vaginal and caesarean birth, planned caesarean or what will happen if your baby is overdue.
If you haven’t had your baby by 41 weeks, you’ll have more frequent checks to make sure your baby is healthy. Your doctor, obstetrician or midwife will talk about your options at this stage, including induction of labour.
Antenatal appointments are your chance to talk about your health, lifestyle and wellbeing, both physical and emotional. If you’re worried about becoming a parent or having problems in your relationship, including family violence, it’s a good idea for you to talk about this too. In fact, most antenatal services routinely ask women about domestic violence during pregnancy, to give them the chance to talk about it and to let them know that there is extra support and care available. Your health professional can let you know where to get support if you need it.
Your late pregnancy appointments will be with a midwife or obstetrician at the hospital or in the community. If you’re in shared care, your appointments will most likely be at the hospital as you get closer to the birth. If you haven’t done antenatal classes yet, your midwife might give you information about them – what they are, where you can do them and why they might be useful.
Your late pregnancy appointments are likely to be with your obstetrician at the obstetrician’s consulting rooms. If you haven’t done antenatal classes yet, your obstetrician might give you information about them – what they are, where you can do them and why they might be useful.
Your late pregnancy appointments will be with your midwife at the birth centre. If you haven’t done antenatal classes yet, your midwife might give you information about them – what they are, where you can do them and why they might be useful.
Your late pregnancy appointments will be with your midwife in your home, hospital or in the community. Your midwife might give you information about antenatal classes – what they are, where you can do them and why they might be useful. The midwife will most likely visit your home and talk about your home set-up for the birth.
Planning some help
It’s a good idea to plan practical and emotional ‘back-up’ for after your baby is born. For example, could extended family, friends or other people cook you a meal, drop in for a visit or give you a call? You don’t have to do everything if others are willing to lend a hand. It’s OK to ask for help too. In fact, some people will appreciate you telling them exactly what you need.