In Canada pregnancy care involves a standard routine of visits. The goal of these regular visits is to let us talk about what is going on at each stage of pregnancy, to organize the relevant monitoring, and to identify any issues and act on them to keep both mom and baby healthy and thriving. This schedule is adapted to the unique needs each patient.
Frequency of visits
- Every 4 weeks from week 0 to 28
- Every 2 weeks from week 28 to 36
- Every 1 week from week 36 until you deliver
Some visits have specific functions and associated testing.
Special visits and associated testing
1st trimester (weeks 0-12):
Your first visit
This is a big one! We’ll talk about how your pregnancy has been so far and address any concerns. The first visit is an opportunity to review your history, give you lots of information about us and our practice, and start getting to know you. We’ll also organize some testing, including:
- Blood tests to determine your blood type, your level of hemoglobin (oxygen-carrying red blood cells), and your thyroid function
- A urine test to look for bacterial colonization in the bladder
- Blood tests to look for either the presence of or immunity to certain infectious diseases such as rubella, hepatitis B, syphilis, or HIV (note that HIV testing is strongly encouraged but certainly your choice)
- Integrated Prenatal Screening (IPS) testing, if you choose to have it
- A first trimester ultrasound, which is not always necessary if you have regular periods and are certain of your conception date. Otherwise, it is the most accurate method to establish your due date. Other factors specific to you and your health may make a first trimester ultrasound a good option
Your second visit
We’ll do a pregnancy-specific physical exam, vaginal swabs, and a pap test, if you are due for one.
2nd trimester (weeks 12-28)
During this trimester, we will organize 2 sets of tests.
A morphology ultrasound, which is essentially a full anatomical scan, will be conducted. It is a routine check to see that your baby is growing and developing normally. If you want to know the sex of your baby, you can ask at this visit. This second trimester ultrasound is usually the last one of your pregnancy.
A test for gestational diabetes and repeat test of your hemoglobin levels are conducted. If your blood type is Rh negative, we’ll organize for you to receive your Rho(D) immune globulin.
3rd trimester (weeks 28-delivery)
At 36 weeks, we will do a swab for group B streptococcus infection (GBS bacteria).