Interim Nova Scotia Guidance: Prenatal care visits for low-risk women

(Downloadable version below)

Pregnant women require regular antenatal visits throughout pregnancy. However, if there is a need to reduce the number of visits for office/clinic crowding reasons, or because a woman herself wishes to reduce her exposure to other people, the timing and frequency of prenatal visits can be adjusted.

Prior to attending a scheduled prenatal office or clinic visit, women should answer the screening questions and call 811 if appropriate. Some women will be directed to a screening centre before attending their prenatal appointment.

For low-risk women and those for whom there are no identified maternal obstetrical or fetal concerns, it is acceptable to adjust the prenatal visit schedule to align with the WHO Antenatal Care Model (2016). The visit schedule below includes nine prenatal visits and is a slight modification of the WHO schedule.

  • First prenatal visit up to 12 weeks
  • 20 weeks
  • 26 weeks
  • 30 weeks
  • 34 weeks
  • 36 weeks
  • 38 weeks
  • 39 weeks
  • 40 weeks

Please note:

  • A responsible care provider must assess each woman to determine whether she is a candidate for an adjusted prenatal visit schedule.
  • Prenatal blood work and prenatal ultrasounds are important aspects of prenatal care. These investigations should be offered as usual, and should be scheduled in conjunction with prenatal visits as much as possible.
  • The SOGC has recommended on-going fetal surveillance in confirmed cases of COVID-19. Operational details to enact this recommendation have not yet been determined.

For women who have known or suspected maternal obstetrical and/or fetal health concerns, the schedule for prenatal visits should be determined based on medical needs.

For questions about precautions for women who are known to be COVID-19 positive, or are being investigated for COVID-19, and for questions about accompanying support people, please refer to guidance from the Nova Scotia Department of Health & Wellness, the NSHA and the IWK Health Centre.

Date Revised: 
March, 2020