Skip to Content (Press Enter)

Preventative Checkups to Support a Healthy Pregnancy

Dr. Creshelle Nash

Many mothers and families look forward to the day they can welcome their infant into the world. To ensure this day is both happy and healthy, there are important preventive steps that can be taken to support a healthy pregnancy – for mother and child alike. Getting the right care early on can help you and your family prepare for the necessary adjustments that come with motherhood. For example, expectant mothers who may be at risk for pregnancy complications can benefit from early and frequent monitoring by their care team to ensure a healthy birth. Key checkups throughout your pregnancy journey can help you get the unique care you need.

What is Prenatal Care? 

Pre-pregnancy and prenatal care help prevent complications and inform expectant mothers about important steps they can take to protect their baby and ensure a healthy birth. Women being healthy before getting are pregnant greatly decreases risks during pregnancy like controlling hypertension and diabetes and mental health. It’s important to talk to your doctor about your specific needs and/or risks during pregnancy, as this can inform specific prenatal care decisions.

Typical Prenatal Care Milestones

Many women follow a similar pregnancy check-up timeline, but it’s important to remember that every pregnancy is unique.

  • Weeks 4 to 28 of pregnancy: In the earliest stage of pregnancy, expectant mothers will visit their care provider once a month to get routine care such as physicals and pelvic exams, blood pressure and urine tests, prenatal vitamin prescriptions, gestational diabetes screening, and more.
  • Weeks 28 to 36 of pregnancy: At this stage of pregnancy, expectant mothers increase their checkups to twice a month. At later checkups, your doctor may assess your weight, blood pressure, the baby’s heartbeat and growth, and give you relevant vaccinations, such as Tdap.
  • Weeks 36 to 41 of pregnancy: During the final stage of pregnancy, expectant mothers typically visit their doctor every week until birth to routinely check in on the health of mother and baby.

If you are working with a case manager, midwife, or doula during your pregnancy, they can help you keep track of these milestones and answer questions in between your visits. If you have complications during pregnancy, your provider may want to see you more often.

Our Whole Person Approach to Prenatal Care 

In addition to monitoring your physical health, it’s equally important to prioritize your mental and behavioral health during pregnancy. In extreme cases, issues like hemorrhage, cardiac and coronary conditions, blood clots, cardiomyopathy, and hypertensive disorders cause maternal mortality. However, mental health conditions can exacerbate these conditions and can be screened for ahead of delivery. Remember, a person’s whole health is made up of a combination of physical, emotional, social, and behavioral wellness.

At Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield, we have committed to assisting parents in maintaining healthy behaviors before, during, and after pregnancy to support a safe and positive experience.

One way we provide high-quality maternity care to our members is through our whole-person approach to healthcare. Our approach aims to evaluate and address every aspect of a mother’s health. Knowing that many factors can influence our health and wellness, we are addressing the numerous interconnected challenges that affect the lives of patients.

We also provide access to care management teams who provide maternal support for members as they navigate their pregnancy journey.  For more information on maternal health and prenatal support resources, visit our Special Delivery Education Program page and enroll in our free maternity program for pregnant members.


Share this story