Most women with access to health care services visit the doctor more during the course of their pregnancy than they do at any other time in their life. It can be overwhelming and alarming the first time around, but it's only for the benefit of mommy and baby.

Prenatal visits are typically scheduled every four weeks during the first 32 weeks of gestation, every two weeks from 32 to 36 weeks gestation and weekly from 36 weeks to delivery. It is quite common for the doctor to tack on additional weekly appointments if she sees anything that she wants to monitor. The extra visits can be nerve racking, but they work wonders in the stress relief department.

For a look at your doctor's primary prenatal care goals,


The goals of prenatal care are to:
  • Monitor both the mother and baby throughout the pregnancy
  • Look for changes that may lead to a high-risk pregnancy
  • Explain nutritional requirements throughout the pregnancy and postpartum period
  • Explain activity recommendations or restrictions
  • Address common complaints that may arise during pregnancy (for example, backache, joint pain, nausea, heartburn, headaches, urinary frequency, leg cramps, and constipation) and how to manage them, preferably without medications
  • Support you through the experience