Donna Richey, MD & Julie Oates, CNM
Obstetrics and Gynecologist located in Torrance, CA
Getting regular prenatal care is one of the best ways to promote a healthy pregnancy and childbirth. Board-certified OB/GYN Donna Richey, MD, provides patient-centered prenatal care with a personal touch at her private practice in Torrance, California. For personalized prenatal care throughout your pregnancy, call or book an appointment online today.
Prenatal Care Q&A
What is prenatal care?
Prenatal care refers to the checkups, tests, and medical care you receive throughout pregnancy. Dr. Richey and her team believe in providing a warm, personal touch and continuity of care before, during, and after your pregnancy.
Why is prenatal care important?
Prenatal care is an essential part of maintaining optimal wellness for both you and your baby. Dr. Richey and her team monitor your health and your baby’s development to prevent problems that may otherwise remain undetected, such as high blood pressure.
Your prenatal visits are also an excellent opportunity to ask questions about what to expect during pregnancy and childbirth. Dr. Richey and her team may help you create a birth plan and help you prepare for labor and delivery.
How often do I need prenatal checkups?
You should schedule your first prenatal appointment as soon as you find out you’re pregnant. Dr. Richey and her team recommend a personalized prenatal care plan based on your unique situation. Generally, prenatal checkups occur:
- Once a month for weeks 4-28
- Twice a month for weeks 28-36
- Weekly for weeks 36-birth
If you’re over age 35 or have a high-risk pregnancy, you may need to come in more frequently.
What happens at a prenatal visit?
Your first prenatal checkup may be longer than the appointments that follow. Dr. Richey thoroughly reviews your medical history and asks questions about your family’s health history.
She performs a complete physical exam, including a pelvic exam and Pap test, and may take blood and urine tests.
The first visit is a good time to ask any questions you may have about what to expect during pregnancy and steps you can take to stay healthy.
Later prenatal checkups may be shorter and more focused on monitoring your health and making sure your baby is developing as expected. This may include:
- Measuring your weight
- Checking your blood pressure
- Checking the baby’s heart rate
Some prenatal checkups include other tests, such as in-office ultrasounds. Depending on your age and overall health, Dr. Richey and her team may recommend additional tests, such as genetic testing.
For patient-centered prenatal care, call the office of Donna Richey, MD, or book an appointment online today.