Prenatal care: 3rd trimester visits

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. Your health care provider will ask you to schedule prenatal care appointments during your third trimester about every 2 or 4 weeks, depending on your health and obstetrical history. Starting at 36 weeks you'll need weekly checkups until you deliver.

Repeat the usual drill

Your health care provider will continue to monitor your blood pressure and weight gain, as well as your baby's heartbeat and movements. A urine sample might also be tested for the presence of protein or infection. As always, share any symptoms of concern.

Your health care provider will ask you to keep track of how often you feel the baby move on a daily basis — 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 often carried in the intestines or lower genital tract that's usually harmless in adults — but babies who become infected with GBS from exposure during vaginal delivery 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.
July 30, 2015 See more In-depth