Prenatal Care

Before, During, and After Your Pregnancy

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Duke obstetricians and obstetrics specialists provide care to people in all stages of childbearing: when hoping to become pregnant, pregnant, and in the postpartum period. Our highly skilled experts are trained to provide the safest, most advanced obstetrical care whether your pregnancy is routine or you are at high risk for complications.

Our Locations

Duke Health offers locations throughout the Triangle. Find one near you.

Routine Pregnancy Planning and Prenatal Care

Preconception Visit
If you’re thinking about getting pregnant, a preconception appointment will give you a chance to talk with your obstetricians about your medical history and address any potential concerns. This may include medications you are taking that can affect a healthy pregnancy, and recommended lifestyle changes such as starting prenatal vitamins and limiting smoking or alcohol use.

Your OB Appointments
Many people use a home pregnancy test to learn they are pregnant four to six weeks after conception. You will be seen for your first OB appointment during the first trimester of your pregnancy. You’ll see one of our obstetricians, certified nurse-midwives, or nurse practitioners regularly until the 28th week. We’ll perform routine prenatal testing in our offices to monitor your baby’s growth and your overall health. Later in the pregnancy, you will be seen more frequently. You will be seen weekly during the last month of your pregnancy.

Why You See Each OB at the Clinic You Choose
During your pregnancy, your monthly appointments will be with different OB providers at our practice. Our providers perform deliveries on a rotating basis, so meeting each of our providers during your pregnancy ensures you'll be comfortable with the obstetrician who delivers your baby.

Certified Nurse-Midwives at Duke Health OB-GYN Clinics and Hospitals
Our certified nurse-midwives are experts in routine labor and birth, and support you, your baby, and your family during postpartum recovery. They can be part of your care team at these practices:

CenteringPregnancy® Program
The CenteringPregnancy® program replaces routine individual visits with group visits of eight to 12 pregnant people who are due around the same time. These two-hour visits include a one-on-one assessment with a provider, plus group sharing and discussions. Group sessions include a facilitated discussion of pregnancy, birth, and newborn care as well as overall health, stress management, and more.

Improving Black Maternal Health
Maternal health is an important issue for everyone, but due to racism and discrimination, Black people are more likely to experience life-threatening problems during pregnancy. Duke Health has many programs in place to improve maternal health and prevent maternal death in Black people. 

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High-Risk Pregnancy Assessment and Care

Preterm Risk Prevention
Preconception consultations can identify and reduce risks if you had a preterm delivery in the past, or have risk factors or a medical condition that puts you at high risk for preterm labor. Identifying potential concerns before your next pregnancy and adopting prescribed activities may help reduce your risk of having a premature delivery.

High-Risk Pregnancy Consultations
Many factors may influence whether your pregnancy will be considered high risk. These include your age, weight, lifestyle habits, and whether you have existing medical conditions. During a high-risk pregnancy consultation, our perinatologists (also referred to as maternal-fetal medicine specialists), genetic counselors, and other specialists can work with you to plan your pregnancy and address any special needs you may have during your pregnancy and delivery.

If Your Pregnancy Is High-Risk
Our perinatologists are specially trained in high-risk pregnancy care and will be involved in your ongoing care through delivery at Duke University Hospital. This may be the case if you are carrying multiple babies, have a history of pregnancy complications (miscarriage, preterm delivery, or cervical insufficiency), or have a preexisting medical condition, such as diabetes, elevated body mass index, heart disease, lupus, a bleeding disorder, or a seizure disorder.

Preparing for Baby Classes

Prepare for your growing family with instruction from Duke Health nurses who specialize in labor and delivery and caring for your new baby. Our classes take place in-person and online, or you can join pre-recorded classes all covering a variety of topics for expectant parents and caregivers.

Your Childbirth Options

Our obstetricians deliver babies at several hospitals throughout the Triangle. Your options include:

The Birthing Center at Duke University Hospital
Duke University Hospital’s Birthing Center handles normal deliveries and emergency situations 24/7. Our labor and delivery suites feature labor-delivery-recovery (LDR) rooms in which you give birth and recover. The Duke Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) Level IV nursery is staffed by neonatologists and providers who care for premature and sick newborns.

The Birth Place at Duke Regional Hospital
Duke Regional Hospital is a community hospital; its birth facilities are primarily for people who expect to have routine deliveries. We work closely with you to minimize interventions, and we offer nonmedical amenities to help manage labor pain. Neonatologists in our special care nursery provide care for preterm babies and full-term babies who need extra help. If you or your baby have complications, our relationship with Duke University Hospital gives you immediate access to specialized care.

The caring staff at Duke hospitals delivers thousands of babies every year. Watch this video to help you decide where you'd like to deliver your baby.

Prenatal Care Throughout the Triangle
Our ob-gyn specialists provide care before, during, and after your pregnancy at ob-gyn clinics in Durham, Wake, and Alamance counties. Where you deliver your baby depends on where you receive your prenatal care.

Recognized Among the Best Maternity Hospitals in the U.S.

Duke Regional Hospital is recognized among the best hospitals in the U.S. for maternity care by U.S. News & World Report for 2023-2024. The recognition notes our low rates of C-sections in people at low risk for pregnancy complications and other factors. Duke University Hospital's nationally-ranked obstetrics and gynecology program is the highest-ranked program in North Carolina, according to U.S. News & World Report for 2023-2024.

This page was medically reviewed on 05/19/2020 by