From around 24 weeks, your antenatal appointments will usually become more frequent. However, if your pregnancy is uncomplicated and you are in good health, you may not be seen as often as someone who needs to be more closely monitored.
Your midwife or doctor should:
- Check your urine and blood pressure
- Feel your abdomen (tummy) to check the baby's position
- Measure your uterus (womb) to check your baby's growth
- Listen to your baby's heartbeat if you want them to
You can also ask questions or talk about anything that's worrying you. Talking about your feelings is as important as all the antenatal tests and examinations.
You should be given information about:
- Your birth plan
- Preparing for labour and birth
- How to tell if you're in active labour
- Induction of labour if your baby is overdue
- The "baby blues" and postnatal depression
- Feeding your baby
- Vitamin K (which is given to prevent bleeding caused by vitamin K deficiency in your baby)
- Screening tests for newborn babies
- Looking after yourself and your new baby
At each antenatal appointment from 24 weeks of pregnancy, your prenatal provider will check your baby's growth. This growth is recorded in your notes and is conducted by measuring the distance from the top of your womb to your pubic bone.
In the last weeks of pregnancy, you may also be asked to keep track of your baby's movements. If your baby's movements become less frequent, slow down or stop, contact your provider immediately. You'll also be offered an ultrasound scan if they have any concerns about how your baby is growing and developing.
Your midwife or doctor should give you information about preparing for labour and birth, including how to recognise active labour, ways of coping with pain in labour and your birth plan. They will discuss the options and choices about what happens if your pregnancy lasts longer than 41 weeks.
nhs.uk. (2017, November 6). Your antenatal care you pregnancy and baby guide. Retrieved from https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/antenatal-midwife-care-pregnant/