OB ABCs

Week 32

week_32As you continue through your third trimester, you’ll want to increase your routine prenatal visits to ensure the health of you and your baby.

By 32 weeks you should be visiting your provider’s office every other week. At week 36, your scheduled visits will increase to once a week until your baby is born.

If you have a special circumstance, such as a high-risk pregnancy or are carrying more than one baby, your healthcare provider may want to see you more frequently. You and your provider will develop an appointment plan that best meets your needs depending upon your medical history and pregnancy.

What Can I Expect?

During your third trimester checkups, your provider will perform many of the tasks you are already used to having done, such as checking your weight and blood pressure.

Your baby’s size and heart rate also will be checked followed by vaginal and cervical exams toward the end of pregnancy. These exams will help your provider determine the baby’s position inside the uterus and whether your cervix has begun to soften or dilate in preparation for labor and birth.

However, because pregnancy can bring about various temporary conditions in women, you physician may order additional testing for the following:

  • Anemia is a condition that may develop during pregnancy. Anemia is characterized as an abnormally low level of red blood cells or hemoglobin-a protein that contains iron. Instances of severe anemia during pregnancy can slow the baby’s development or trigger preterm labor.
  • Gestational diabetes is a temporary type of diabetes that sometimes manifests during pregnancy. With proper diagnosis, prompt treatment and healthy lifestyle practices, blood sugar levels can be managed and a healthy baby delivered. Many women return to normal following pregnancy, but they have increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes later in life.
  • Group B Streptococcus can live in your vagina or rectum. A type of bacteria that doesn’t make you sick, Group B Strep can cause serious infections for your baby after birth.

TIPS

  • There is no such thing as a bad question. Keep asking your provider questions as your due date approaches.
    • How will I know I am in true labor?
    • Is it normal for my feet and hands to have mild swelling?
    • When should I go to the hospital?

    Understanding what to expect can help ease your nerves and encourage a more positive pregnancy and delivery experience.

  • Even though you’re toward the end of pregnancy, continue encouraging your partner to accompany you on routine prenatal visits as often as possible. Attending appointments together helps strengthen your bond into parenthood and reassures your commitment to each other and your baby.