How Do They Determine How Far Along with No Period; Preg. W/o Maternity Coverage

Updated on April 24, 2012
M.M. asks from Bryant, WI
17 answers

Imagine my shock when the pregnancy test I took last week (just to use up tests that were going to expire in a few months....silly, but I can't be the only one who has done that) came back positive! I seriously had no clue & no reason to suspect I would be pregnant. I haven't got over the shock yet, haven't even told the hubby, etc. We were going to have at least one more, but hadn't planned it this soon, our youngest just turned 9 months. We had wanted #1 & #2 closer together but I didn't get my period back until I was done nursing, 12 months, then it took my hormones several more months to even out, had a miscarriage first, etc. So this time, I wasn't "careful" as I figured in the slim chance we did get pregnant while I was nursing, it would be God's doing! Happy surprise, but still shocked.

Anyway, on to my questions. How does the dr. determine roughly how far along I am if I don't have a period to go off of? It's a little unnerving having no idea if I'm due around Christmas, etc. Do they have to do some sort of ultrasound? As much as I want to know the timing, should I just wait another month or two? Or can they tell from your blood/hormone levels or something like that. I'm asking as we literally just switched to a health insurance plan with no maternity coverage, as I went down to part-time & lost my work insurance coverage. So we would have liked to save a little more for this expense obviously! What types of pregnancy health stuff is necessary & what is just optional, assuming you had & are having a normal/healthy pregnancy? I know if everything is normal, you can stretch the times in between appts., etc. Can you really negotiate with hospitals or get a reduced rate if you pay up front with cash, etc.? Will they be able to give me an estimate range for the birth cost, etc. or is it a complete hassle dealing with drs./hospitals without insurance?

ETA: I would not be opposed to a home birth/midwife, etc. except that my 1st ended in an emergency c-section & my 2nd nearly did as well. It was kinda traumatic, and dr. said he would have taken me back for one except I had no drugs & they had to get the baby out asap so there wasn't time. He just had to make a deep cut, use forecepts, etc. & then put me under to stitch me back up. #3 will have to be a scheduled c-section, at least he very highly recommended it, not worth the risk to me & baby, and I would have to agree only based on my experiences. Dr. w/ 1st one said the baby was getting snagged by pelvic or pubic bone, Dr. with 2nd one (VBAC) said my tailbone was longer than normal (?). So, thinking about the costs of a c-section is also overwhelming!

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answers from Washington DC on

Are you opposed to a home birth? Seeing a midwife is WAY less expensive than going to the hospital and yes the blood work will help gage how far along you are in addition to the vaginal ultrasound but this is really not necessary as you can buy prenatal over the counter and unless you’ve had complications in the past the OB doesn’t need to see you until 8-12 weeks anyway

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answers from Seattle on

That's why I had a "due month" instead of due date.

They told me June or July (last 2 in June, or first 2 in July).

Ultrasound at 11 weeks confirmed I was having an Alien Cat, and apparently Alien Cat is between weeks 10 & 12 of gestation (who knew?). The ultrasound was dead on (guess of 11 weeks) as long as I was pregnant for 40 weeks. :) If I was pregnant for 38 or 42 then it was a bit off. Healthy boy, regardless!

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answers from Columbus on

Vaginal ultrasounds are pretty accurate and they will do one when you see your OB.

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answers from New York on

im 6 months along now and have no insurance.. the payment plan i worked out with my doctor is that my appointments are free.. the delivery cost is 3000$ so i pay 500 a month so that by the time im ready to have the baby it will be paid for.. i will say though im dreading the hospital bills.. my doctor said it will obviously be expensive but they will put me on a payment plan i can afford. if your doctor doesnt deliver youre going to have to go through the hospital for all of it.. im not sure how that works . when i found out i was pregnant i thought i was around 5 weeks along but wasnt totally sure. they scheduled me for my first appointment 3 weeks later (first appointment is scheduled between 8&10 weeks but since i wasnt completely sure how far along i was they figured the sooner the better.. the doc did a vaginal ultrasound and based on the size of the baby determind that the last period i had (it was very short and light) wasnt actually a period and i was really 11-12 weeks along not 8 .. good luck hang in there
added- the only appointment i had to pay for was my 2nd trimester ultrasound.. i had to go to a different doctor to get the 3d one done and since it was a different doc in a different office i had to pay for the appointment (not cheap $550!!) .. and ill probably do the same for my last ultrasound before im due

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answers from Dallas on

I find that doctors & hospitals are much easier to deal with when you are paying cash, you avoid all the red tape that the isnurance companies require. And yes, most docs do negotiate a cash price and payment plan for pregnancies. Just call your doc and speak with the billing rep and they will let you know what's due at the first appointment, that way you don't have to wait to get your time line in place.

Congrats, Momma!

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answers from Milwaukee on

Check to see if you can get pregancy coverage through the state insurance. Check it out at wi access. Put in your information on this website and see if you qualify. If so I would say to apply. This way you and your baby will get the necessary coverage you need and you will not have to try to pick and choose what things you want to have done. You will get the things you need to have done instead. They will do an ultrasound to see how far along you are. You could be 4 moths for all you know. Hormone levels can sometimes tell if you are in the earlier stages, but an ultrasound would be more accurate I believe.

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answers from Washington DC on

Look in to your local Health Dept. they usually have low cost care available.
A midwife is also a lower cost option, although I don't have any numbers, my friend has a wonderful experience and home birth.


answers from El Paso on

Try the health department. They help women who cant afford to see a Dr. during there pregnancy.




answers from Champaign on

Your doctor should be able to give you a fairly accurate due date with an u/s. My due date for both kids was "corrected" by the u/s, and based on the examinations when the were born, it seems as though the doctor's due date was accurate. My oldest was born at 36 weeks, and everything about him suggested that was correct - mature lungs, lack of body fat, etc. My youngest was born at 39 weeks, and he was a fat, healthy, screaming baby boy!

I'm really not knowledgeable about insurance. I was very fortunate to be covered under my husband's HMO, so our costs were minimal.

Congratulations and blessings!



answers from Raleigh on

Somebody told me that with the new bill that Obama passed ,anyone who does not have prenatal care coverage can qualify for the pregnancy medicaid, no matter what the income is. Check it out.



answers from Lincoln on

I also went through a pregnancy without maternity coverage. We had basic insurance coverage for ourselves but no maternity. We prepaid for our delivery and hospital expenses. When I was around 7 months along, I met with the hospital financial department. We paid $2500 down and they matched our $2500 payment. Basically our $5000 delivery and hospital expense was cut in half.
Also, most major medical insurance will pay for a c-section delivery or emergency pregnancy care even if you don't have maternity coverage.

Good luck



answers from Chicago on

This happened with my first, they gauge the date based on ultra sound, but prepare to have it changed. They changed my due date about 4 times before I had her.


answers from Chicago on

Oh wow, congratulations! You've got good answers to determining how far along you are. I don't have any info on your other questions, but just wanted to add my congrats.



answers from Omaha on

Hormone levels vary so greatly from person to person that they are not a good indicator of how pregnant you are. They are an indicator that you are pregnant is all. Truthfully the best way is an ultrasound. I didn't get periods with my first two so I was in your boat as well. Basically the earlier into the pregnancy the better they are going to be able to predict via ultrasound the gestational age. As your pregnancy goes on the variances from baby to baby gets bigger and bigger. Hence why you can have some babies in the 5th percentile while others could be in the 100th!.

Get in as soon as you can to get a dating ultrasound. The longer you go the more inaccurate they can become. I had my first baby at what they predicted was 2 weeks late via induction and my other 4 weeks early because she came on her own. With my first I was supposedly 9 weeks along when I got my first ultrasound and with my second I was 16 weeks along and they could tell me right away she was a girl. So really she could have been on time for all they knew because I was already very pregnant before I even knew about her.


answers from La Crosse on

I have no idea about the insurance end of it...

But with out a period they will measure you and then more than likely do a vag ultra sound to make sure they match up and will be able to see how far along you are.




answers from Seattle on

They will use ultrasound to date the pregnancy. See if you can switch your plan, or if you can't then see about qualifying for state Medicaid coverage, will depend on income level. That will cover 100%. I'd do a vbac in the hospital with a CNM personally. The cnm's prenatal care and delivery charges will be cheaper than an OB, and see about private pay discounts with the hospital. Cnms in Seattle charge around 3500 for global maternity care.



answers from Chicago on

I have had it happen twice. Surprised me big time. I had regular ultrasounds both times. If they did not find it, then they would have done vaginal. Also, they wil ldo a blood test to see how the numbers add up. The numbers can kind of tell where you might be in regards to timeframes. My first blood test told the doc I was within my first trimester. It turned out I was almost done with it via the ultrasound (both times). My due date never changed with either, though if they have to do a vaginal I could see it change a time or 2.

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