Post # 1
This is my first time down this road and I don’t know what to expect or what is normal.
I’m 15 weeks along and have had my 8 and 12 week prenatal appointments. I go back late this week for my 16-week checkup. There doesn’t seem to be much to them. I go in, get weighed and have my Bridal Party taken, confirm heart tones with a doppler, they ask if I have any questions, and they basically send me on my way at that point. I suppose that I was expecting a little more structure in terms of nutrition and exercise guidance, chemicals to avoid, activity restrictions, symptoms to be aware of, and so on. I’m reading What To Expect and plenty of articles (as in peer-reviewed journal articles), but I think I was assuming there would be more actual advice from my actual doctor. I also thought there would be more ultrasounds. I had one at 8 weeks and am having another at 20 weeks. Does that seem normal or do they seem to be spaced too far apart?
I also am having doubts about their practice model. Every time I go in for a checkup, they rotate me through another person on staff (either an OB or a midwife). I understand their point–they’re making sure I get to know every provider in the practice so that I have some familiarity with whoever is on call when I go into labor, but the end result is that I’m guaranteed that the person who delivers my baby will be someone I’ve met no more than once. That seems like less than sufficient time to build a relationship, but maybe I’m just being weird.
I’m also a little put off by the fact that they want me to start paying off the delivery fee now, even though I could still have a miscarriage at this point and not even have a delivery. Money would not be AT ALL the biggest concern in that situation, but it doesn’t seem fair to have to pay for the delivery early in the pregnancy and then also have to pay for a D&C or a D&E if I were to end up needing something like that.
Everyone I’ve met so far has been very nice and seemed perfectly competent, but I’m wondering about these 3 things. Bees who’ve been there done that, does all of that seem standard or should I be considering a different doctor?
Post # 2
I’m only 14 weeks so not sure I can alleviate all your fears but I have had the same experience at my OB. For reference I currently go to an OBGYN, I’ve been going to them for years since my Paps are always abnormal. They are associated with a birth center located in the building over so I’ll deliver there (it’s also a small hospital so they can do C-sections too). Unfortuneately my last provider recently moved on so I’m starting at square one in terms of meeting each of the providers.
I had an intake appointment at 8 weeks. They did go over dos and don’ts, diet, excercise, approved meds, genetic testing options, etc. at that appointment. That appointment was however just with a medical assistant and other than Bridal Party and weight no examination. I also went down to the lab and did blood work.
At 10 weeks I had a full check up (weight, Bridal Party, beast exam, pap, pelvic exam) and had an ultrasound. This was done with one of the providers at the office. Like yours mine will rotate through providers so I meet everyone before I give birth.
I go in for my 14 week appointment tomorrow. I’m expecting just weight, Bridal Party, baby heart beat with a doppler. I’ll be seeing the second of 6 providers tomorrow.
I’ll have my anatomy scan between 18-19 weeks and that will be it for ultrasounds. Unless something is wrong or you are high risk most office don’t do any more than that because insurance won’t pay for them.
As for billing I can’t speak for that. I got a bill for my initial bloodwork but everything else (visits and hospital stay) I’ll pay after I deliver but I have heard of offices requiring prepayment. I’m not sure how the next ultrasound will be billed as they don’t do that in house, I’m scheduled at a separate office (associated with my OB) for that.
Post # 3
The appointments sound totally normal to me as far as pregnancy appts go in the 2nd tri and beyond. Mine rarely lasted more than 10 min. My OB was always happy to sit with me as long as needed and answer any of my questions/concerns, which was nice, but it’s not like she was giving me an education each time on nutrition and stuff. At some point if you have what apperas to be a healthy pregnancy and all your measurements are on track, there’s just not much to do beyond the quick checkup at each appt.
As for the model, that seems a bit strange to me…I’ve heard of practices rotating their patients through providers in the last trimester, but usually until then you’re with the same person. I was with the same OB throughout all my appts and I was lucky that she was able to deliver my baby too.
The payment thing also seems odd to me, but maybe that’s something to do with your insurance? I am not sure…I’d def be calling and asking about that though cause it makes no sense to me to pay for something like labor & delivery before it happens. There are so many different ways that could go down that would affect the price! Csection vs vaginal, epidural vs unmedicated, etc.
For ultrasounds…I dunno, i had a ton in the first tri but that was cause I had a history of miscarriage and was super nervous, and my OB offered me more ultrasounds for peace of mind. I think I had them at 6, 8, 10, 12 weeks, then another at 20 weeks and 32 weeks. In comparing notes with friends, I seem to have had way more ultrasounds than most people with uncomplicated pregnancies.
All that being said, if you’re not feeling good about the care you’re getting, you should look for another provider. I switched providers after my miscarriage and was so happy I did!
Post # 4
That sounds completely normal to me. At my practice there’s an 8 week appointment, typically for dating. Then one at 12 (NT Scan if you opt for one), one every month after that until 28 weeks, then every 2 weeks until 36 weeks, and every week after that. All they did was take weight, blood pressure, and listen to the fetal heartrate. I was in and out of there within like 5 minutes and always felt like it was a waste of time too. There were only 3 or 4 scheduled ultrasounds with them at 8, 12 (if you want), 20 (anatomy scan), and 35 i think (to check size and confirm position). Mine was an ivf baby and I had history of m/c, but they said that once preg, it’s treated like any other ‘normal’ pregnancy and didn’t need any additional monitoring. They also tried to purposely shedule me to see a different doctor each time for the same reason you stated, so I’d at least have met whoever might be on call the day I delivered.
I’m not sure about the payment. Everythign went through insurance before I saw a bill, including labor and delivery.
Post # 5
Sounds totally normal to me. I’m currently 37 weeks. I had an ultra sound at 8, 12, and 20 weeks. The 12 week one though was the optional one where they look for signs of a chromosonal issue. My appointments are just a few mintures, but they always have time for questions. As far as who I see, it’s up to me whether or not I want to see the same person each time, or rotate. I’ve done a mix. Most of the time I see the same person, but sometimes I’ve mixed it up for ease of scheduling. But I know this means the person who delivers my baby I probably won’t have ever met, but that’s totally fine by me.
All of that being said, it sounds like maybe you are looking for a different relationship and a different option like a birth center with a midwife would be a better fit for you?
Post # 6
100% normal. I went through a hospital-based midwife group, and had a similar experience except 1. No ultrasound until the NT scan at 12 weeks, and 2. Appointments every 6 weeks until the third trimester.
The payment model is strange… But at the fear of sounding gruesome, if you do miscarry at this point, you will be delivering.
Post # 7
This is good to hear. I guess because I’ve had it drilled into me for so many years that prenatal care is soooo important, I kind of thought it would be more intensive than this.
Ideally I would like to give birth at a stand-alone birthing center (mostly just so I can labor in water given that I have heard and read that it helps so much with pain), but the closest one is about 2 hours away, which is too far for me to feel comfortable with.
Oh—one more thing I forgot about. I made an appointment right before I started TTC to find out what all they recommended I do before pregnancy aside from taking folate. They didn’t have any specific recommendations for me. Once I got pregnant, however, they drew a rubella titer and discovered I am not immune although I had a booster as an adult. Now there’s nothing I can do bc you can’t get the vaccine when you’re pregnant. I know rubella is extremely rare in the US, but I don’t want to find out about other risks or exposures after it’s too late and there’s nothing to be done but feel anxious. Again, I don’t know if other providers are more vigilant or if this was something I should have known on my own without consulting a Dr.
Post # 8
This is all very normal honestly. I am currently 22 weeks with my 2nd child. I did not get an ultrasound until 20 weeks this time (skipped the NT because I got genetic testing), and that will be my only ultrasound. My monthly apts are simply checking my blood pressure, weight, listening to baby and allowing me to ask any questions. They’re typically no more than 10 min.
It is also very common (at least from who i’ve talked to) to pay for delivery up front. I did this with my son and my current pregnancy. Every apt I make a payment. Honestly, I really prefer it this way becasue then you’re not dealing with the huge shock of a bill after just having a baby! At 15 weeks, you have a very small chance of having a MC, so I wouldn’t be too concerned about that piece.
“but it doesn’t seem fair to have to pay for the delivery early in the pregnancy and then also have to pay for a D&C or a D&E if I were to end up needing something like that. “
not sure how your clinc works but if god forbid something were to happen that money would go towards whatever you needed in reference to medical care…anything not used would be refunded.
Post # 9
I think everyone here has it covered in regard to your questions and everyone has had a similar experience. But you’re right, it is funny how prenatal care is supposedly so important yet it seems like all they do when you go in is weigh you and check your blood pressure. My OB at least had an ultrasound machine in each room, so she peeked in at baby every time, but mainly she used it just to confirm the heartbeat. I’m over 40 weeks now so I’m going in every few days and discussing options (but again, still weighing, Bridal Party, heartbeat, and a cervix check)
Post # 10
All if it sounds pretty normal to me except for the delivery fee part, but that could just be your practice’s policy.
If you are looking for more “guidance” you’d be well served by a birth class or a doula who could offer that to you. Doctors are pretty strapped for time so will only do a high level check in each visit unless you tell them about something that’s concerning.
Post # 11
Sounds normal to me except idk about the payment part since I didn’t pay OOP.
One thing to add: “…but the end result is that I’m guaranteed that the person who delivers my baby will be someone I’ve met no more than once. That seems like less than sufficient time to build a relationship…“
I was somewhat worried about this since I really liked my OB, but honestly, when it came down to it, I did not give a single fuck what OB was on-call to deliver my baby. As long as he or she had a medical degree, I was GOOD. GET DAT BABY OUT.
Post # 12
TheGridMonster : Exactly this. With my son, my OB was on vacation when I had to deliver. I had never even met who ended up delivering my son. But in the moment, I didn’t care!!!
Post # 13
That’s all normal as others have said.
My doctor did see me in the hospital, but the OB that delivered my daughter was someone I had only met like a year prior at a regular checkup. She had never even seen me while pregnant. It was really fine though, the nurses really do most of the coaching.
Post # 14
Yep, normal. Where I went I chose to use the midwives instead of the OBs and there were 3 of them. I had appts with all of them. And the Bridal Party check is actually really important. One time mine tested high and they were going to retest before I left but we all forgot. They called me after I got home and I had to go all the way back to the clinic to get retested. As for questions, just ask them! They can’t read minds so won’t just spew out random info. But the payment thing – that is super weird. I’ve never heard of that before and I’d provably tell them to get bent and that I’m not paying for anything before it’s been done.
Post # 15
Totally normal except for the payment thing. If it doesn’t work for you, check if there are other options in the area that work with your medical coverage. There may be a choice out there. This sounds par for the course though. Make sure you ask all your questions about things to do, things to avoid, etc. etc. and you should be given answers (even if the answer is it honestly doesn’t matter that much in the doctor’s opinion).