The Effect of Prenatal Visits on Childbirth

When should you go to the hospital? Does your connection with the maternity hospital begin in the last trimester of pregnancy, or is it only on the day of delivery? Or is it a relationship that you should build throughout pregnancy? In this article, I will discuss the importance of sticking to the prenatal visit schedule and its impact on the health of the pregnant woman and the fetus and the overall childbirth experience.

Nisreen Nemer
Published on:Feb 27th 2024 |Updated on:Mar 10th 2024
العلاقة بين  جدول زيارات متابعة الحمل والولادة

Importance of Prenatal Visits at Maternity Hospitals

The World Health Organization emphasizes the importance of pregnant women attending pregnancy follow-up visits at health centers or maternity hospitals. Global statistics published in 2016 revealed a significantly high number of maternal deaths during or after childbirth. Deaths of newborns also reached around two million when pregnant women did not go to prenatal care checkups with specialized doctors in clinics and hospitals.

When Do the Prenatal Visits Begin?

Pregnant cases recorded in medical centers and hospitals for follow-up are called "Booked Cases." Pregnant women typically schedule a doctor's appointment after a missed period and take a home pregnancy test during the fourth week of pregnancy. Usually, the first prenatal checkup occurs in the fifth or sixth week of pregnancy. A blood test is conducted to confirm the pregnancy during this visit, and subsequent follow-up visits are determined.

Several factors influence the frequency of prenatal visits, including:

  • The family's financial situation and the ability to afford the cost of these visits.
  • Having health insurance covering all pregnancy follow-up visits.
  • Proximity of the hospital to the home.
  • The health status of the pregnant mother.
  • Pregnancy health and the presence of health issues such as gestational diabetes.

Prenatal Visits During the First Trimester

One of the most necessary visits occurs between the sixth and eighth weeks when comprehensive tests are performed. The doctor takes the pregnant mother's health history and ensures the safety of the pregnancy sac. Pregnancy vitamins, folic acid, and iron supplements are prescribed if the mother is iron deficient. The doctor answers the mother's many questions, especially if it is her first pregnancy, and provides essential health instructions for this stage.

Pregnancy Checkups in the Second Trimester

The most essential visit during this period is the anomaly scan, also known as the detailed ultrasound scan, conducted between the twentieth and twenty-fifth weeks of pregnancy. This scan provides a clear picture of the fetus's health, especially in cases of pregnancies after forty or if the mother has any chronic diseases or takes specific medications. This examination helps identify conditions such as Down syndrome, allowing for better preparation and acceptance before childbirth, rather than facing surprise due to the lack of this important scan.

Necessary tests during this stage also include screening for gestational diabetes, revealing elevated sugar levels in pregnant women. Appropriate treatment and nutrition are prescribed to ensure complications-free completion of the pregnancy.

Visits in the Third Trimester

While healthy pregnancy check-ups are done in clinics or health centers, third-trimester examinations take place in the maternity hospital where the pregnant woman will give birth. It is crucial to adhere to regular pregnancy follow-up visits after the thirtieth week of pregnancy. These visits are usually biweekly in the early third trimester, becoming weekly in the ninth month. According to the doctor's recommendations, the number of visits varies based on the pregnant mother's health condition.

What happens if you don’t stick to the prenatal visits schedule?

Some women, for the reasons mentioned earlier, do not adhere to pregnancy follow-up visits and only attend the first visit to confirm pregnancy, returning to the hospital when labor begins. These cases are known in medical terms as "Unbooked Cases."

Hospitals will certainly receive any woman experiencing labor pains to ensure safe delivery. However, the medical staff will face significant challenges due to the absence of any medical information about the pregnant woman, such as:

  • Unknown blood type, causing delays if she needs blood during childbirth.
  • Lack of information about the medical and health history of the mother, exposing the medical staff to the risk of infectious diseases.
  • Avoidance of unnecessary cesarean sections due to the absence of information about the pregnancy history and the mother's health.
  • Preeclampsia leading to premature birth or other serious complications.
  • The mother having anemia without the hospital's knowing about it poses challenges during childbirth and endangering the health of both the mother and the fetus.
  • Lack of knowledge about the hospital, its policies, and the medical staff causes stress for mothers on the day of delivery.


Sometimes, expecting mothers avoid prenatal checkups due to a lack of medical insurance and the need to save on expenses. However, skipping pregnancy checkups makes families endure the costs of a cesarean section, or the NICCU or other medical procedures can be avoided by adhering to the schedule of prenatal care visits.

Nisreen NemerDoula

Nisreen graduated as a registered nurse from Sharjah University and received her master’s degree in Public Health from Hamdan Smart University. She is a lactation specialist, AMANI childbirth educator, Certified from AMANI Childbirth in Saudi Arabia, and a Doula. With years of experience in woman’s health care and health education, especially the education of pregnant women, to help them be prepared for childbirth. Nisreen dedicates all her time to supporting women in their motherhood journey and makes sure she does her role as a birth companion perfectly. She is always there for her clients from the first contraction, until the baby is born. She is passionate about helping women through birth and breastfeeding and other steps in their motherhood journey.

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