What to expect for prenatal visits to your health care provider.

Throughout your pregnancy journey, your health care professional will recommend tests and procedures to check your and your baby’s health.

A guide to all your visits

The Pregnancy Passport will guide your visits with your health care provider.

Urine test, blood pressure and weight checks

  • You can expect on most visits throughout your pregnancy to have a routine urine test, blood pressure check and weight check.
  • Your urine is checked for any sugar, protein or urinary tract infections.
  • Your blood pressure is monitored throughout the pregnancy to ensure it is safe for you and the baby.
  • Your weight is monitored to ensure optimal growth and health for you and the baby.

Blood tests

In your first trimester (zero to 14 weeks), a blood test will be taken to check your blood type, Rh type, and antibody screen - test for syphilis, HIV (recommended), hepatitis and protective levels against rubella (German measles).

If your initial blood test notes that you are Rh-negative a shot of Rh-immune globulin will be given around 28 weeks.

Ultrasounds

  • Ultrasounds are used to check the development and position of the baby.
  • The timing and number of ultrasounds may vary from woman to woman.
  • It is now recommended that all women receive an early ultrasound to confirm the due date, even if you know the date of your last menstrual period.
  • Another ultrasound is performed around 18-20 weeks to take detailed pictures of the baby’s growth and development.
  • If you’re curious about the gender, book your ultrasound closer to 20 weeks.
  • Some women may have additional ultrasounds throughout the pregnancy to check the fluid around the baby, placement of the placenta, position of the baby, and signs of a possible genetic problem.

Prenatal genetic screening

Early in your first trimester of pregnancy, your health care provider will give you the option to have a test done to screen your baby for an increased risk of Down’s syndrome, Trisomy 18 and open neural tube defects (ONTD).

Prenatal genetic screening generally involves two blood tests, one in the first trimester and one in the second. For some women, they may also need an ultrasound in the first trimester. These tests will only tell you your chance of having a baby with one of these conditions and do not tell you that your baby will be born with one of the conditions listed.

To learn more about making an informed decision, visit BC Prenatal Genetic Screening Program.