A New Way to Plan for Prenatal Checkups.
Pregnancy involves rolling with the punches (or rather, kicks). But staying on top of your doctor’s visits, your pregnancy week-by-week, baby’s development, your changing body, your emotional well-being—and the list goes on—can be a lot. Meet Planner+, a new way for pregnant women to schedule and prepare for every prenatal doctor’s appointment in .
Planner+ Appointment Guides
We teamed up with , New York’s largest healthcare provider, to create a prenatal appointments scheduling tool and prep guide, so every time you head to a doctor’s appointment you feel 100 percent prepared. (Note: Not all women will go to every appointment; it depends on your doctor.) Planner+ will show you appointment-specific information about the visit, all verified by Northwell Health experts. Because if a pap smear is potentially coming your way, it’s nice to know about it.
You can schedule and sync appointments on your iOS calendar through The Bump app—and we’ll send you a reminder email 48 hours before, complete with the full guide for that visit. Because is a very real thing.
First Trimester Prenatal Appointments
The first trimester is a whirlwind, sprinkled with moments of unfiltered joy and utter anxiety. It can go insanely fast or torturously slow. But knowing what to expect in the coming days and weeks—and having your upcoming appointments scheduled on the calendar—can help you feel prepared for the roller-coaster journey ahead.
After you get that fateful , you’ll want to schedule your for between 8 and 10 weeks. At that time, your ob-gyn or midwife will take your medical history, have you pee in a cup, order some basic blood work and perform a physical exam and pap smear. If all checks out, you’ll be seeing your provider for every four weeks for the next couple of months.
During the first trimester, your doctor will also offer some options. These screenings can reveal important information about baby’s health. The first of these is a two-part test scheduled for between 11 and 14 weeks. Aptly named the , it includes bloodwork and the that measures the back of baby’s neck and a blood test. Together, these assess baby’s risk for having , Trisomy 13 and other genetic conditions.
Around the same time or shortly after, you’ll have the option to move forward with cell-free fetal DNA screening, also called (NIPT). This is another blood test that screens for potential genetic conditions. It can also .
If earlier testing determines you’re at an increased risk for having a baby with a chromosomal disorder, your doctor may schedule you for (CVS), a slightly more invasive procedure that can provide more definitive results. It involves getting a small sample of the placental tissue transabdominally or via the cervix.
Second Trimester Prenatal Appointments
Appointments abound in trimester two. You’ll continue to see your provider every four weeks, but you’ll also pop in for some extra testing. Between weeks 15 and 22, you’ll have the modified sequential screening—also known as the . This blood test checks for the levels of four different hormones and evaluates baby’s risk for some genetic conditions, and growth issues. Your doctor will also combine the results of your first-trimester screening and the modified sequential screening to better assess baby’s risk for having Down syndrome.
Depending on your situation, your doctor may also recommend , between 15 and 20 weeks. A needle is used to carefully extract a small amount of amniotic fluid for genetic testing. It can more definitively identify a number of potential issues, including , Down syndrome, neural tube defects and some metabolic disorders.
Next comes the appointment you’ve been waiting for: the (aka the anatomy scan). Yes, around week 20, you’ll get to see baby’s adorable nose and toes on screen. Your ultrasound technician will take measurements to ensure baby’s growth and development is progressing as expected. And if you haven’t yet found out , you’ll have the opportunity to get that exciting newsflash.
Around week 26, you’ll have the . You’ll drink a super-sweet glucose drink and have your blood drawn one hour later to see how your body reacts to sugar. If the results are above the threshold, you’ll come back for a more definitive three-hour diagnostic test that’ll determine whether you have .
Third Trimester Prenatal Appointments
You’ve reached the homestretch: the third trimester. Ready to get this show on the road? First, you’ll want to get your many appointments lined up. Beginning in week 28, you'll likely start seeing your provider every two weeks, until you reach week 37, when you’ll start going in for weekly visits. But before you get to that point, you’ll have a at around 36 weeks. Your doctor will take a swab of the vagina and rectum to check for group B strep, a harmless-for-you bacteria that can pose a risk to baby during a vaginal delivery (don’t worry—proactive antibiotics will mitigate this concern). Around this time your doctor may also start performing cervix checks at your regular appointment to evaluate for potential and .
If your pregnancy is high-risk, you may also have additional ultrasounds and in the last few weeks of pregnancy to ensure everything is progressing well. All these appointments will culminate in the ultimate event: baby’s birth! The grand finale is approaching—hang in there!