What to Expect

If this is your first child, it can be helpful to know what to expect throughout the next 9 months. Here is a schedule of doctor's visits and lab tests that you may experience during your pregnancy.

A Schedule of Visits   

Once you have had a positive pregnancy test, you need to schedule visits with the team of providers who will care for you throughout your pregnancy. The following describes the schedule of prenatal care — care during your pregnancy — that you will get as a member of BMC HealthNet Plan.  Remember: write down any questions you have and bring them to your visits. 

YOUR FIRST VISIT (please allow 1-2 hours) 

You will meet with a nurse who will: 

  • Discuss your pregnancy and what kind of labor and delivery you would like. 
  • Review your overall health and medical history. The nurse will ask you about past or current medical conditions. 
  • Give you a prescription for prenatal vitamins. These are good for your overall health and may help prevent birth defects in your baby. 
  • Schedule an appointment with an obstetrician (a doctor who delivers babies; this may be an OB/GYN or a family doctor), nurse-midwife or nurse practitioner. 
  • Schedule lab tests that will check your urine and blood. This is an important part of the care you get during pregnancy. 
  • Give you educational materials about a healthy pregnancy. 

VISIT WITH A SOCIAL WORKER OR OUTREACH ADVOCATE (within two weeks of your first visit if needed)

The social worker or outreach advocate will: 

  • Ask about your current housing situation and refer you to someone who can help if you need to find housing. 
  • Ask about any problems you may be having with family members, your spouse or your partner and connect you with counseling. 
  • Ask about your need for child care and connect you with information on child care options. Remember: it is important that you address your child care needs at the beginning of your pregnancy. 
  • Refer you to someone at the Plan or at your doctor's office who can help arrange transportation to and from your prenatal visits. It is important that you come to all your prenatal visits. 
  • Help with education. If you are a student, the social worker can help you arrange to stay in school throughout your pregnancy and after your baby is born. 
  • Refer you to one of the Plan's Community Resource counselors, who may be able to arrange financial help in the form of rent or fuel assistance or food stamps. 

VISIT WITH A NUTRITIONIST (within two weeks of your first visit) 

The nutritionist will discuss: 

  • The amount of weight you can expect to gain during your pregnancy. 
  • The kinds of foods you should eat. 
  • The kinds of foods that your baby needs. 
  • The Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program, which can provide your family with nutritious foods. 

    Note: This is a good time to ask questions about the role nutrition plays in your health and your baby's. Also, the nutritionist can direct you to a food pantry in your area where you can get certain kinds of food. 

YOUR SECOND DOCTOR VISIT (please allow one hour) 

At this visit, which will be one or two weeks after the first one, you will meet for the first time with your obstetrician, nurse-midwife or nurse practitioner. If you are at least 12 weeks pregnant, your visit will be scheduled as soon as possible. 

Your doctor will: 

  • Talk with you about your pregnancy. Perform a complete physical exam, including a pelvic exam. 
  • Perform a pap smear and check for possible infection. 
  • Discuss what will happen at your next visit. 
  • Discuss any additional services that may be helpful to you. 


After your first visit with your provider, your visits will be once a month until you reach the 32nd week of pregnancy. Then you will need to see your provider every two weeks until the 36th week of pregnancy. After that, you need to see your obstetrician, nurse-midwife or nurse practitioner once a week until your baby is born. 

If you cannot keep an appointment, please let your doctor know by calling the office at least 24 hours in advance. They will schedule another appointment for you. Any time you call or come for an appointment, please be sure to let the secretary know you are pregnant. Every prenatal visit is important for your health and that of your baby. Please come to every appointment! 


Your Lab Tests

Lab tests are used to make sure that your health is fine and that your baby is developing normally. Many of these lab tests will be performed during your pregnancy, and these include:

Blood tests

These provide important information about your health and your baby's health.

Urine sample

You will be asked to provide a urine sample at every visit. It will be checked to make sure you have no infection and that your sugar and protein levels are normal.

Blood pressure

Your blood pressure will be checked at every visit because high blood pressure during pregnancy can cause complications.

Triple screen

If there is a chance you may have a genetic problem you could pass on to your baby, your provider will offer you a triple screen test when you are between 15 and 21 weeks of pregnancy. This test can identify problems with your unborn baby's nervous system or find out if your baby might have Down Syndrome, which causes mental retardation.

Glucose screening 

This test, which finds out if you are developing diabetes during your pregnancy, takes about one hour and will be performed around your 26th 28th week of pregnancy. You may need to have it performed earlier if members of your family have sugar diabetes, if you developed diabetes during another pregnancy or if you are overweight.


This test determines whether or not you are infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. Every pregnant woman is encouraged to have this test, but you need to agree to have it done.

Group B strep screening test

This test is done around your 36th 37th week of pregnancy. Your vagina and rectal areas will be swabbed to check for bacteria that can infect you and your baby. If you have this bacteria, you will be offered antibiotics during labor.


This is a test that uses sound waves to produce a picture of the baby in a mother's womb. Ultrasound usually is done between week 14 and 16 of your pregnancy in order to:

  • Find out when your baby is due 
  • Check to see if you have bleeding or other problems 
  • See if your baby is growing and developing normally 
  • Find the position of the placenta, which is a structure in the womb that provides the baby with nourishment
  • An ultrasound is not an x-ray and does not use radiation. It is not a sure way to find out the sex of an unborn baby, so it is not done for that purpose.

We're Here to Help

Contact Us