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Prenatal Care Chart

Prenatal care is one of the single most important things you can do for yourself and your developing baby. And the earlier the better--HAP guidelines recommend that women who become pregnant should begin prenatal care during their first trimester (or first 12 weeks) of pregnancy.

The chart below presents the range of the conditions and lifestyle practices your medical practitioners will be monitoring, to ensure the best possible outcome for your growing family. For high-risk pregnancies see the high-risk chart below.

Asymptomatic bladder infection (urine culture) First prenatal visit or first trimester
Gestational diabetes (Glucose Challenge Test) Once, during second trimester
Hepatitis B virus (skin test) First prenatal visit; third trimester if indicated
HIV (blood test) First prenatal visit; third trimester if indicated
Iron deficiency anemia (blood test) Once, at first prenatal visit
Neural tube defects (MSAFP) Once, at 16-20 weeks of pregnancy
Preeclampsia (blood pressure reading) First prenatal visit; periodically thereafter
Rh incompatibility (D blood typing) First prenatal visit; unsensitized women repeat during second trimester
Syphilis (VDRL, RPR) First prenatal visit; third trimester and at delivery, if indicated


Nutritional health At least once during pregnancy
Multivitamin with folic acid Women planning/capable of pregnancy
Possibility of problem drinking First prenatal visit; counseling throughout for drinkers
Possibility of tobacco use First prenatal visit; counseling throughout for smokers

In addition to the tests above, women with high-risk pregnancies or other risk factors may be advised by their doctors to have one or more of the screening tests listed below.

Down Syndrome [Amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling (CVS)]
  • At least 35 years of age, or younger women with positive blood screen for Down Syndrome
  • Previous affected pregnancy
  • Chromosome abnormality associated with Down Syndrome
Second trimester of pregnancy
Genital herpes simplex (physical examination) History of genital herpes simplex infections During active labor
Gonorrhea, Chlamydia trachomatis (cervical culture) Women at high risk for sexually transmitted disease, or signs of infection during pelvic exam As recommended by the physician

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