Prenatal Care

Instructions and Tests

Prenatal Care is a very important part of having a normal healthy baby.  Prenatal visits help us diagnose and intervene as needed as early as possible.  We encourage you to become active in your care and keep a list of questions or concerns.

Three Trimesters of Pregnancy:

First trimester –
you will have visits with your physician monthly.

Second trimester –
at approximately 28 weeks you will begin biweekly visits.
Third trimester –
At 36 weeks, you will begin weekly visits. 

First and Second Trimester:
The first trimester is the time from conception to 12 weeks gestation.  On your first appointment, the physician will conduct a physical exam and take a thorough history.  We will be discussing nutrition, medical history, and exercise and will answer any questions you may have.  Several physical changes occur early in pregnancy.  You may experience nausea, vomiting, breast tenderness, or frequent urination.  Nausea and vomiting usually fade after the first trimester.  Relief measures include eating small frequent meals, avoiding spicy food and, if need be, using Emetrol, which you may buy over the counter.
The fetal heart beat can usually be heard around 12 weeks gestation.  We will check the heart rate on each visit.  You should start feeling fetal movement around 18-20 weeks gestation.  It is commonly described as a “flutter” low in the abdomen.

Third Trimester:
Most fetal growth occurs during the last three months.  During this time decisions will be made regarding anesthesia, bottle or breast feeding, and choosing a pediatrician.  We will be happy to assist you in any way we can in making these decisions.

Tests Performed During Pregnancy:

Blood pressure:  Taken at each visit.

Urine:  Checked at each visit to see if your body is producing excess protein or glucose. 

Fundal Height:  We measure the height of the uterus to help determine gestational growth.

Fetal heart tones:  The fetal heart beat will be audible after 12 weeks gestation.

Ultrasound:  Ultrasound can be performed after approximately seven weeks gestation.  The ideal time is 20 weeks to evaluate organ development. (See more infoformation on the attached sheet.)

Glucola:  The glucose test screens for gestational diabetes.  It is performed around 28 weeks and takes about one hour.  Fasting is required for this test.  Please do not eat or drink anything (including gum) or smoke after midnight the night before your test is scheduled.

Trustees Tower

501 19th Street, Suite 509
Knoxville, TN 37916

West Office

9330 Parkwest Blvd, Suite 302
Knoxville, TN 37923