Prenatal care: 3rd trimester visits

Pregnancy and prenatal care go hand in hand, even as your due date approaches. During the third trimester, prenatal care might include vaginal exams to check the baby's position. By Mayo Clinic Staff

Prenatal care is an important part of a healthy pregnancy, especially as your due date approaches. During the last month of pregnancy, expect weekly checkups.

Repeat the usual drill

Your health care provider will continue to monitor your blood pressure and weight, as well as your baby's heartbeat and movements.

Your health care provider might ask you to keep track of how often you feel the baby move — and to alert your health care team if the baby stops moving as much as usual.

Test for group B strep

Expect to be screened for group B streptococcus (GBS) during the third trimester. GBS is a common bacterium that's usually harmless in adults — but babies who become infected with GBS can become seriously ill.

To screen for GBS, your health care provider will swab your lower vagina and anal area. The sample will be sent to a lab for testing.

If the sample tests positive for GBS — or you previously gave birth to a baby who developed GBS disease — you'll be given intravenous antibiotics during labor. The antibiotics will help protect your baby from the bacterium.

Aug. 04, 2012 See more In-depth