Prenatal Care at the Mercy Birthing Center

Throughout pregnancy, every patient at the Natural Birth Center has a series of prenatal visits with her midwife. Your “estimated due date” (EDD) is based on a 40-week gestational period, starting with the first day of your last menstrual period (LMP). The EDD is either confirmed or changed based on your first ultrasound. Your prenatal visits are scheduled according to your due date and gestational age.

During your pregnancy, diagnostic studies (such as lab work, cultures and pap smears) are done to check your health and check for any potential risks to the baby. If the test results are normal, we’ll discuss them with you at your next visit. If the tests come back abnormal, we’ll notify you of the results, as well as any additional testing or follow-up needed.  

We generally perform a dating ultrasound at your first visit to confirm the pregnancy and to help determine your estimated due date. We will order a second ultrasound at 20 weeks gestation to make sure your baby is developing as expected. If there are no complications in your pregnancy, these are the only two ultrasounds we will recommend.

You must be between 37-42 weeks gestation to deliver in the Birthing Center. In general, we see you about every 4-5 weeks during the first part of your pregnancy, then every 2-3 weeks from 28 to 36 weeks gestation. We’ll see you weekly during the last month of pregnancy (36 weeks until delivery). During the visits, we’ll measure your belly, listen to the baby’s heartbeat and review any lab work with you. We encourage you to share any questions you might have.