What to Expect at Your Prenatal Visits

First and foremost, congratulations! Pregnancy and welcoming a child into the world is an incredible experience. At Kernodle OB/GYN, we understand that for first-time moms and new patients, in particular, it can often feel like sailing into uncharted territory. To help give you the most positive experience possible, here is what to expect at your prenatal visits:

Our Approach to Care

At Kernodle OB/GYN, we provide patients with a team approach through physician and midwifery care. Our physicians and midwives perform deliveries at the hospital on a rotating basis, so we recommend that you see all providers during your pregnancy.

The following is a summary of routine prenatal care that we provide throughout an uncomplicated pregnancy. Please keep in mind that each woman and each pregnancy is different, and events may vary to reflect that.

Overview of Prenatal Care

Your first OB visit will typically be around 8 weeks. Upon confirmation of your pregnancy, you will meet with the doctor or midwife to discuss your medical history and other information about what to expect throughout your pregnancy. She will also give you information about the group practice and important telephone numbers.

You will return to Kernodle OB/GYN every 4 weeks until you reach 28 weeks (about 7 months). From 28 to 35 weeks, you will be seen every two weeks, then weekly beginning at 36 weeks until you deliver your baby. Six weeks after delivery we will see you for a postpartum checkup.

At each visit, we will check your blood pressure and weight. You will also be asked to provide a urine sample at your first visit and each visit beginning with the 20th week of pregnancy. You can expect your provider to check fetal heart tones, measure your abdomen, and review your blood pressure, weight and test results.

All tests are reviewed by your provider. Should any have an abnormal value that requires immediate attention, one of our nurses will notify you. Otherwise, your provider will review the results with you at your next visit.

Between appointments, we encourage patients to write down any questions you may have and bring them with you to your next appointment. At any time, you can view lab results, appointments and other useful information online through our patient portal, Duke MyChart.

Prenatal Screenings

Throughout your pregnancy, you can expect several routine screenings. Your provider will also talk to you about optional screenings that are available to you.

    • 8 Weeks: During your first OB visit, you will receive information regarding the First Trimester and Cystic Fibrosis screenings. Your NOB lab panel will be drawn, including blood type and screen, complete blood count, urine culture and screenings for hepatitis B, syphilis, rubella and HIV.
    • 10-12 Weeks: Your next visit will be the busiest. You will have a physical and pelvic exam including Pap smear, gonorrhea and chlamydia cultures. Your provider will review your lab results from your first visit. If you elect to have the First Trimester Screening, it will take place between 11-13 weeks.
    • 15-16 Weeks: If you elect to have this study, you will have blood drawn for the AFP/Tetra Screen (or Quad Screen) which used to evaluate whether your pregnancy has an increased chance of being affected with certain conditions, such as Down syndrome or neural tube defects.
    • 16-20 Weeks: You will have a detailed ultrasound exam and if medically indicated, genetic counseling and/or amniocentesis may be performed. This point in your pregnancy is a good time to register for any OB classes. You can register for prenatal classes at Alamance Regional Medical Center online or by call (336) 586-4000 during regular business hours.
    • 28 Weeks: One hour after drinking a glucose concentrate, you will have blood drawn to screen for Gestational Diabetes. A repeat HIV Screening will be performed and you will be offered the Tdap vaccine which protects against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (whooping cough). Patients with an Rh-negative blood type will receive RhoGAM, a prescription medicine that is used to prevent Rh immunization.
    • 35-36 Weeks: Your final routine prenatal screening, a vaginal swab will be performed to test for the presence of vaginal beta strep. During this appointment, your cervix may also be examined for changes as your body prepares for delivery.

Patient Portal

As a patient at Kernodle OB/GYN, you can view lab and test results as well as a summary of your health history at any time through the convenience of our online patient portal, Duke MyChart. You can also view and schedule upcoming appointments, request prescription refills, view and pay your bill, and send a secure message to your healthcare team about any non-urgent needs. If you have questions about Duke MyChart, including how to sign in or receive an activation code, contact Duke Customer Services at (919) 620-4555 or toll-free at (800) 782-6945.

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