Prenatal Care FAQ

Are you looking for more information about Prenatal Care?

Please visit our main page about prenatal care.

Taking care of your baby begins with taking care of yourself during pregnancy. With regular check-ups at The Woman’s Health Pavilion, you will allow us to do everything we can to help you have a smooth pregnancy and deliver a healthy baby. If complications or concerns arise, our experienced team of OB-GYN specialists in Queens and Long Island, NY will be right there to help you through. Our team has many years of experience supporting and caring for women during routine and high-risk pregnancies with one baby, twins, or other multiples. Review our FAQ to learn about prenatal care.

If you are pregnant or are planning to have a baby, request an appointment at one of our multiple offices in Queens or Long Island. Our OB-GYN specialists see patients 7 days a week and offer same-day appointments for urgent conditions.

What is prenatal care?

Prenatal care is a series of regular visits to an OB-GYN or other medical professional while you are pregnant.

Is prenatal care covered by medical insurance?

Under the Affordable Care Act, prenatal care must be covered by all health plans in the United States. In addition, pregnancy cannot be considered a pre-existing condition if you acquire insurance while you are pregnant.

When should prenatal care start?

Ideally, you should see us for a pre-conceptual visit before even trying to get pregnant: This gives us an opportunity to review your history, adjust any medications, and get you started on prenatal vitamins before conception. Otherwise, prenatal care should begin as soon as you’ve had a positive pregnancy test at home or in the office.

How often do I need to have prenatal check-ups?

After your initial prenatal appointment, we will see you approximately every 4 to 5 weeks in the early part of pregnancy. In most cases, more frequent visits are recommended after 28 weeks (7 months) of pregnancy. See our Prenatal Care Schedule for details.

What happens at the first prenatal appointment?

The first prenatal appointment is usually the longest and most comprehensive. The goals of the first prenatal visit are to accurately determine how far along you are in pregnancy; to obtain a thorough health history; to identify risk factors which might be relevant during pregnancy; and to counsel you about do’s and don’ts in pregnancy. During this appointment we will:

  • Review your health history including the date of your last menstrual period; medications you are taking; and any prior pregnancies, illnesses, diseases, operations, and hospitals stays.
  • Go over your family’s health history (parents, siblings) and your partner’s health history.
  • Record your blood pressure and weight.
  • Perform a complete physical exam including a pelvic exam and Pap test if due.
  • Collect blood and urine samples.
  • Discuss nutrition, supplements, exercise, and healthy habits.

This first visit is also a time for us to address your questions and concerns. It is helpful to bring a list of questions to your first prenatal visit.

What happens at regular prenatal appointments?

Subsequent prenatal appointments are usually shorter than the first one. A doctor, nurse practitioner, physician assistant, or midwife will make sure you are healthy and your baby is growing as expected. Most prenatal visits will include:

  • Listening to your baby’s heartbeat (beginning around week 15).
  • Testing your urine for signs of infection, diabetes, preeclampsia, and other conditions.
  • Checking your blood pressure.
  • Recording your weight.
  • Assessing the size of your uterus (womb).

At various points in your pregnancy, you will have routine lab tests and ultrasound examinations, as well as additional tests as needed for your specific genetics, age, and other factors.

Why don’t patients see one doctor for all of their prenatal appointments?

We want each patient to have the reassurance of knowing she is in good hands on delivery day. Because babies tend to arrive when they are ready, day or night, we usually cannot control which doctor will be on call when a patient goes into labor. Therefore, we encourage appointments with each of our delivering doctors over the course of your prenatal care. We rely on our physician extenders, including physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and midwives to contribute to your prenatal care while the delivering physicians are attending to patients in the hospital.

If I’m not having any problems, do I still need to come in for check-ups?

Yes. Your prenatal appointments enable us to regularly monitor your health and the health of your baby. By keeping all of your appointments, we are better able to address any problems with you or your baby early, ideally before they become serious. In addition, many moms-to-be find it reassuring to hear their baby’s heartbeat and see a sonogram of the baby periodically.