As soon as a woman discovers she is pregnant, she should establish a schedule of prenatal care with her physician for the entire duration of the pregnancy. For normal pregnancies without significant complications, prenatal exams are usually scheduled as follows:
- every month from the first week through the 28th week
- every two weeks from the 29th week through the 36th week
- weekly from the 37th week until delivery
This schedule may vary depending on the woman’s personal medical condition and her physician's preference. Additional prenatal care may be necessary if there are any pre-existing medical conditions (i.e., diabetes) present in the mother and/or if complications arise while carrying the baby to term.
At North Shore-LIJ Health System, prenatal care is provided by a staff of well-trained and experienced obstetricians who guide the pregnant woman and her family through each trimester of pregnancy. A variety of services are available, including genetic counseling, fetal monitoring, ultrasound and nutritional counseling. A strong emphasis is placed on patient education regarding pregnancy, delivery, breastfeeding and newborn care.