Pregnancy Care

Pregnancy is a special time and it’s important to take good care of your health and your baby’s. Proper prenatal care is key, and that means seeing your provider regularly, completing a Birth Preferences Plan that outlines your wishes for delivery, and touring the facilities at MarinHealth Medical Center. You should be sure to pre-register for your delivery, too! You can even make a free appointment with a MarinHealth pediatrician as a “Meet & Greet” so you’re all set up once the baby comes.

Visits with Your Provider During Pregnancy

Visits to your provider’s office are typically every four to six weeks until you reach 32 weeks of pregnancy. Between 32 and 36 weeks, your visits will be every other week, and then weekly until delivery. This schedule may vary, with some women needing to be seen more often. If you have a preference as to who you’d like to see during your checkups, let the schedulers know each time you make your return appointment.


Monitoring your health and your baby’s during your pregnancy will involve undergoing some routine tests. During your first visit, we order lab work to check for anemia, blood type and Rh factor, thyroid function, urinalysis, immunity to rubella, and screen for hepatitis B and syphilis. We will also offer you testing for HIV, screen for chlamydia and gonorrhea, do cystic fibrosis carrier screening, and check for gestational diabetes as needed. If you are due for a Pap test, we will perform that as well.

Genetic counseling with the UCSF Health Prenatal Diagnostic Center in Marin is available if you will be 35 years or older by your due date and if you or your partner have a family history of genetic conditions.

There are several screening and/or testing options available for all women to detect fetal abnormalities in the first and second trimesters:

  • 10 – 15 weeks
    Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS). Performed by a perinatologist, this alternative to amniocentesis is usually reserved for women over 35 or families with a history of genetic conditions.
  • 11 – 14 weeks
    Integrated Screening, a blood test that screens for Down Syndrome and Trisomy 18. At this time, we will also perform a targeted sonogram called a Nuchal Translucency.
  • 15 – 20 weeks
    AFP test, a blood test that screens for Down Syndrome, Trisomy 18, and neural tube defects.
  • 16 – 18 weeks
    Amniocentesis, a test done by a perinatologist and usually reserved for women over 35, families with a history of genetic conditions, or as a follow-up to positive genetic screening results.
  • 24 – 28 weeks
    We screen for anemia and gestational diabetes. The majority of women who test positive are given nutritional counseling for diet modification and are taught to monitor their blood sugars daily. A small group of women will require medication, serial sonograms, and early antenatal testing at MarinHealth Medical Center.
  • 35 – 37 weeks
    We perform a test called Group Beta Strep (GBS). This easy, painless test uses a cotton swab to test for the GBS organism, normally present in 20 percent of men and women, around the outside of your vagina and anus. If you test positive for GBS, we will recommend antibiotics during labor to prevent transferring this organism to your baby.

Helping You Prepare for Your Special Day

New babies bring a lot of changes, and not just the diaper kind! We are committed to helping you get ready for labor, delivery, and infant care. Below are some things you can do to learn more about your labor and delivery, infant care, and our Maternity Care.

Our childbirth preparation classes help parents and siblings get ready for the new arrival. Classes range from child and infant CPR to hands-on training for new dads. We also offer support groups for new moms. Click here to view a list of classes, schedules, and fees.

Find a Pediatrician with a Free “Meet & Greet”

While expectant parents who already have one or more children likely have a pediatrician, first-time parents should line one up before their baby’s birth. MarinHealth Medical Network pediatricians will gladly schedule an appointment with expectant parents, free of charge. A pediatrician is essential, especially in that critical first year of life. He or she provides necessary vaccines, makes sure babies are on target to reach critical developmental milestones, and answers the many questions first-time parents tend.

Read a Patient Story

Read some wonderful birth stories from moms who delivered at MarinHealth Medical Center.