You've made the decision to go with the best healthcare provider that's right for you. Typically you won't have your first prenatal visit until you're around 8 weeks or so. It's important to remember that every pregnancy is different and it's important to make sure that you get prenatal care. This appointment will probably be the longest out of all of your appointments, so be prepared. Before going to this appointment, try to write down any questions or concerns that you may have so that you can go over them with your provider.
So what are some things you can expect?
#1. Your Medical History!
Your provider is going to want to know all about your medical history. Once you are triaged by the nurse or medical assistant (in which they get your weight, temp, blood pressure, height, and heart rate) They are going to want to know all about you. Any problems such as medical or psychological. They are going to ask about your last menstrual period so they can determine your due date. They will ask about previous birth control, number of pregnancies (including abortions and miscarriages). They will ask if you've ever been hospitalized, are you taking any meds, or do you have any medication allergies. They will also want to know about your family's history. Oh yes and the fun part. You will have to have a breast and cervical exam. This is where you undress and get into one of those lovely gowns. You will have a pap smear done and std testing in most cases. Also, expect to pee at every visit because they have to check your urine for things like protein. They will check for heart tones or listen for your baby's heart beat. If you've had any bleeding or cramping an ultrasound may be performed just to make sure everything is going alright with the pregnancy or if there is a question about how far along you are.
#2. Lab work and lots of it!
You will have so much lab work done at this visit! They will check for things such as
1. Your hemoglobin and hematocrit
2. Your blood type and Rh factor (if you're Rh negative you will receive a Rhogam shot)
3. HIV status
And some providers have their own panel which will include the above labs and more.
#3. Important information
Your provider will go over which medications are safe to take during pregnancy.Sometimes they have a prenatal packet already put together with the information inside. They will discuss miscarriage precautions and prescribe prenatal vitamins, if you aren't already taking ones that work for you. They will discuss diet, exercise, and what proper weight gain is for you. If you are planning to travel or do a lot of traveling they will go over travel limitations if there are any. They will discuss hazards and things to watch out for in the environment. They will go over the office rotations. There are a lot of times when the
provider that you see regularly may not be the provider that delivers your baby. This is why many offices try to make sure that you are familiar with all of the providers in the office.
This may seem like a lot to take in but I can assure you, you will get through this. I did, four times and there are millions of other women who have done the same thing!
If you've already gone through this already? If so what was your experience? If not what concerns do you have? Please comment and share!
Certified Health Coach and Prenatal Consultant