You’re finally going to your first prenatal visit! Ahhh this is such an exciting day. Lots of feelings and emotions come with this day.
A lot of people don’t even announce they are pregnant to friends and family until after their first visit to make sure everything is ok, so this is a BIG DAY!
I remember how scared I was for my first visit and this fear happened with all of my pregnancies, not just my first. I am a little bit of a doomsdayer, I don’t know why, it just comes naturally (bla, it’s annoying!) I remember I just kept thinking how scared I was there wasn’t going to be a heartbeat. I’m sure that’s everyone’s fear and it’s a natural fear to have. Pregnancy is a scary, up and down roller coaster ride.
The moment a woman finds out she’s pregnant is the moment that “mommy gene” that is naturally instilled in us is released with full force. Everything about our baby matters more than anything else. We become protectors, worriers, nurturers, and nothing will stand in our way of wanting what’s best for our baby.
Hopefully this post will calm those nerves a bit and help you to know what to expect so you can be prepared.
First though, before we even get started, I want you to write down all your questions you have before your visit. Make sure when you go to your appointment you have some way to write down (pen, paper, or your phone) all your doctor’s answers to those questions and any other information that they give you.
If possible it would be good to take someone else to your appointment with you, hopefully the father can go, but if not, your mother, or a friend would be good. More ears are better than just your ears and sometimes an outsider asks some good questions that you may not have even thought of.
The first appointment is a little overwhelming. A lot of information is given to you and if you’re anything like me you’ll have a very hard time remembering all that was said.
Some offices give you a packet full of information about pregnancy and things that were discussed during your visit, if they do this it’s a huge help.
THINGS TO EXPECT AT YOUR FIRST PRENATAL VISIT
Questions they’ll ask, this usually is on a paper they’ll have you fill out before seeing your provider
- They’ll take your health history, like any other doctor’s office would, but these are a bit more detailed. They’ll ask things like when your last menstrual cycle was, if they’re regular, how long they usually last, when the first day of your last period was (this helps them determine your due date.)
- They’ll ask about birth control you’ve used, STD’s
- They’ll ask about previous pregnancies, miscarriages
- They’ll ask about psychiatric problems you or your family have or have had
- They’ll ask about drinking, smoking, and illegal drug use
- They’ll ask about allergies to any medications
- Past surgeries and hospitalizations
- They’ll ask about your family’s medical history (knowing your family’s medical history before -hand will be helpful to fill this part out faster because it can be quite lengthy.)
Your exam and tests
- You’ll be weighed and they’ll take your blood pressure
- Some may do an ultrasound your first visit, but some may not. If they don’t do one, they’ll use a Doppler and listen to the baby’s heart beat on that. The heart beat will be very fast which is normal so don’t be alarmed by that.
- They’ll do a full physical, pelvic exam, Pap smear, a culture to check for chlamydia and gonorrhea.
- They’ll take a urine sample
- You’ll get blood work done to check your blood type and Rh status, if you’re anemic, if you have HIV, syphilis, or hep B, and they’ll check your immunity to rubella, and chicken pox.
Things that will be discussed
This is where you are going to want to start writing things down and when you should ask all your questions
- They’ll advise you to eat well, and what foods to avoid.
- They’ll talk about your weight and what is a normal, healthy weight to gain during your pregnancy.
- They’ll discuss prenatal vitamins and most likely prescribe you some.
- They’ll talk about the discomforts that come with early pregnancy and what symptoms require immediate attention.
- If it’s flu season you’ll be asked if you got your flu shot and if you haven’t they’ll strongly advise to do so.
- They’ll talk to you about your emotional health. If you’re experiencing any signs of depression or anxiety then speak up so they can give you the proper help you’ll need.
- They’ll talk to you about all the dangers that come along with smoking, drinking, using drugs and certain medications and if you’re in need of help to quit any of these addictions then they will refer you to someone.
- They’ll talk to you about the do’s and don’ts with exercise, traveling, and sex during pregnancy.
The first visit is usually the longest visit you’ll have with your provider unless complications arise and you need to be monitored closely. All these things mentioned above are possible things that will happen at your appointment, every office has a different routine though.
Make sure you are leaving there feeling good about your pregnancy and knowledgeable about what you need to do to take care of you and your baby.
One thing I have found that has brought me the most comfort during my pregnancies is how great the nurses are to work with and how you can call anytime with any questions and they’re always there to help you.
If all is well with your pregnancy so far and things are looking good then your doctor will see you again in 4 weeks.
Which should bring you into your second trimester! YAY!