The antepartum or prenatal period begins upon conception and ends just before your baby is delivered. A baby is considered full-term by the end of the 37th week, but pregnancy normally lasts for about 40 weeks.
During this time, the goal is to ensure the health of both baby and mother. Your physician will develop an individualized plan of care based on your health history and present medical condition, age, and any other needs and concerns you have. There will be regularly-scheduled prenatal visits, during which your obstetrician will:
- evaluate your health and that of the fetus
- estimate gestational age
- identify your risk for complications
- anticipate problems before they occur and prevent them, if possible
- provide patient education and promote communication