What Happens at the First Prenatal Visit? Once you have calmed down from the excitement of finding out that you are pregnant, one of the first things you should do is set up your first prenatal visit with an OBGYN or midwife. When you call the doctor’s office for your first prenatal visit they will ask you a couple questions and set you up with an appointment.
But what should you expect at your first prenatal visit? While each doctor is different, some things are standard and will be relatively the same at each OBGYN office. You can expect the following procedures at your first prenatal visit.Paperwork
You can expect to have lots of paperwork at your first prenatal visit. Especially if this is the first time you have ever seen this doctor. You will need to fill out insurance information, medical history for you and the father, your delivery expectations, and any other relevant paperwork.
On your first prenatal visit, and each one thereafter, you can expect to give a urine sample. Most doctors tell you as soon as you check in to go to the bathroom and give a sample immediately. This gives them time to have it tested while you are waiting to be seen.
The urine sample will provide them with information to help confirm the pregnancy, hormone levels, protein and sugar levels, as well as other conditions.
During your first prenatal visit, expect to give blood and probably lots of it. This will check for hormone levels and other medical conditions such as anemia, HIV, Hepatitis, and other blood disorders.
In addition to checking your blood pressure and weight when you first go back, your doctor will also perform a physical exam. Ladies be prepared! This will include a Pap smear and pelvic exam. They will not only check for physical abnormalities, but will also check for STDs and other conditions that may harm you or your baby. It will take a few days to get the results of the STD tests but your doctor will usually let you know as soon as they come in.
During the physical exam your doctor will also check your breasts. This will help to insure you will be able to properly produce milk for breastfeeding.
The best part of the first prenatal visit is the ultrasound. This is the sure way to confirm a pregnancy and be positive that it's not some hormonal imbalance gone wrong. Most insurance companies will pay for this as it is considered necessary to 'confirm' the pregnancy.
Don't be surprised when your baby looks like a little pea on the screen. In most cases, the mother is only a few weeks pregnant and therefore the embryo will not look like a fetus at all. If for some reason you go to your first prenatal visit later in the pregnancy (due to not knowing you were pregnant or for personal reasons) you can expect your baby to be more formed and look more like a presentable baby then a small, round, object.
During the ultrasound the doctor will be able to confirm the due date and tell if you will be having multiples. He or she will most likely send you home with the first photographs of your new baby.
Going Over Your Plans
You can expect your doctor to go over information with you such as his or her procedures, expectations and what you should expect. While you will not set up your immediate birth plan you will be able to discuss your plans and ask any questions you may have. He or she will also discuss any procedures or follow up that may be necessary due to your medical history.
Each doctor has his or her own procedures they will follow but you can expect these things to happen on your first prenatal visit. Your doctor may omit or add things they feel are best for you and your baby. Be sure to discuss any worries, concerns, or requests you may have. Be upfront with your doctor and explain to them what you expect.
What to Expect When You Are Expecting
Now, that you know what to expect at your first prenatal visit, what should you expect for the rest of your pregnancy? Pregnancy is a fun and exciting time, but it can be full of ups, downs, scares and lots of questions. If you are pregnant, or know someone who is, especially first time mothers, I would strongly suggest you pick up a copy of What to Expect When You Are Expecting book. The book is huge, and contains weekly and monthly updates of your baby growing inside you, what to expect will happen during that time, what to look for, and what you should be doing! It's a must-have for any pregnant mom! And don't worry about the book being outdated. There is a new edition printed every couple years to update medical findings, add new ideas and new obstetrical techniques and findings.
In addition to the original What to Expect When You Are Expecting book, the publisher has now come out with several related books, including the a similar version just for the daddy-to-be, called What to Expect When Your Wife is Expanding.
If you have a question, you will find the answers in these books! You can check out all of the What to Expect When You Are Expecting Series HERE.