Our clinic offers medical appointments and ultrasounds at no cost. While we do not charge for our services, the laboratories and facilities we contract with do not provide their services free of charge. If you do not have insurance, we can still help you. If you are financially eligible for Medi-Cal, we can sign you up for the Presumptive Eligibility Medi-Cal program at your first nurse appointment.
What Is Prenatal Care?
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), getting early and regular prenatal care improves your chance of a healthy pregnancy. At Marin Pregnancy Clinic, we want to ensure you and the developing fetus are healthy and strong, so we provide monthly medical clinic visits at no charge. We see patients through 28 weeks of pregnancy and then we refer you to a local physician, midwife, birthing center, or clinic who will care for you during the last trimester.
During monthly pregnancy visits, you can learn how to manage the aches and pains of pregnancy, get necessary tests, learn warning signs, and ask any questions you may have. Each appointment can take about 30-45 minutes, so you can get the individualized attention you need.
Your First Prenatal Visit
The first visit is usually the longest because our physical examination is thorough. Our medical doctor will ask questions about your medical history, your partner’s history, and your family’s. The nurse will measure your height, weight, blood pressure, breathing, and pulse. You can also discuss the need for a flu shot.
Your Gynecological Exam Includes:
- A breast exam
- Pelvic exam
- Tests for STD/STIs
Other Tests You May Receive:
- Anemia screening
- Blood type
- Tests for certain inherited diseases
- Drug screening
- Tests for hepatitis, HIV, tuberculosis, diabetes, thyroid, and other diseases or infections
- CA Prenatal Screening Program (genetic testing)
The medical doctor may take this opportunity to discuss your lifestyle and habits and suggest changes that can support optimal health during pregnancy. One of the most important things a woman can do is take a daily prenatal vitamin with folic acid to potentially prevent serious birth defects.
Understanding Fetal Development
Day 1: When conception (fertilization) occurs, the embryo’s features, including sex, hair, and eye color, have already been determined. It is an embryo until 9 weeks, then it is called a fetus.
9 Weeks: At this stage, the fetus’s heart has been beating, beginning 18 days after conception, and fingers and toes have developed.
10 Weeks: The fetus hiccups and reacts to loud noises. Their arms and legs are moving. There are 20 tiny tooth buds present in the gums. The eyelids are developing and begin to close.
12 weeks: The unborn’s organs have entirely developed. After this point, the fetus grows and gains weight in preparation for birth.
18-20 Weeks: Gender is able to be detected by ultrasound.
22 Weeks: At this stage, the baby’s eyelashes are visible, and the lungs are developing.
28 Weeks: They are about 11 inches long and weigh about 2.5 pounds. With the support of intensive care, a baby born at this stage is capable of breathing air, and brain development can coordinate rhythmic breathing.