Pregnant Woman relaxing on bed Being Given Ante Natal Check By Nurse
Submitted by AmeriHealth Caritas District of Columbia

The birth of a baby is a life-changing event, and there’s a lot to do to get ready. One of the most important is to see your health care provider for regular checkups. These checkups are part of prenatal care — the health care you get while you are pregnant. They can help prevent problems, giving you and your growing baby the best chance for good health. They also offer a safe space in which to ask questions.1

What happens at a prenatal checkup?

During a prenatal visit, your health care provider will check for problems that can happen during pregnancy. They will ask about your health history and perform a physical exam. They’ll check your weight and discuss how much weight gain is healthy for your body. At some visits, they may also check your health with a blood test or imaging test. One type of imaging test is an ultrasound exam. These show how your baby is growing, which can be exciting to see.1

You may be asked to provide a urine sample. Infections of the urinary tract (UTIs) are common during pregnancy. They can increase the risk of giving birth too early. A preterm birth is when you have your baby before 38 weeks of pregnancy.1

When should I get a prenatal checkup?

If you think you may be pregnant, call your provider to set up a visit. If you are pregnant, it’s best to have regular prenatal checkups. Most women see their provider each month during early pregnancy. As they get closer to their expected day of delivery, they usually see their provider more often.1

Ask your provider for a schedule of prenatal visits that’s best for your health and the health of your baby.

Sidebar: Giving Your Baby a Bright Start

#BestMe Corner

If you are pregnant and an AmeriHealth Caritas District of Columbia (DC) enrollee, the Bright Start® maternity care program can help you make healthy choices for yourself and your baby. The program is designed to support you during your pregnancy and after you give birth. When you join Bright Start, a Care Manager will call you and work with you to help you receive and use program services. If your pregnancy is high risk, a team of nurses and Care Connectors will check in with you often. They can help you stay connected to care during your pregnancy.

Get help with:

  • Creating a birth plan
  • Choosing the right doctor or midwife for your family
  • Making appointments
  • Finding breastfeeding support and childbirth classes
  • Learning about prenatal vitamins
  • Finding housing
  • Getting supplies to prepare for your baby
  • Getting rides to and from your appointments
  • Signing up for home-delivered meals and other nutrition programs

To join Bright Start as an AmeriHealth Caritas DC enrollee, call 1-877-759-6883. Our trained staff is ready to help you Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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The information in this article is to help you learn more about this topic. It is not to take the place of your health care provider. If you have questions, talk with your health care provider. If you think you need to see your health care provider because of something you have read in this information, please contact your health care provider. Never stop or wait to get medical attention because of something you have read in this material.


  1. “Pregnancy Check-Ups,” National Institutes of Health,

All images are used under license for illustrative purposes only. Any individual depicted is a model

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