Congratulations! You’re having a baby, and you’re getting ready for your first prenatal appointment. If you called the doctor right when you found out about your pregnancy, your first appointment may be a few weeks away. We understand the anxiety you might feel waiting for the moment of truth.
It’s perfectly normal to feel excited and worried, especially as your pregnancy hormones surge through your body. We’re here to help you relax a little bit!
If your doctors aren't being too forthcoming with the plans for your first obstetrician visit, we’ve got your back. From your first-trimester ultrasound to in-depth discussions about your health, we’ll tell you everything you should expect from your first OB visit.
Preparing for Your Visit
Gather all the information necessary that you believe will help you, your doctor, and your baby. Recall the dates of your last menstrual cycle and any obstetrical history.
This means checking your medical records, journals, or just your memory for problems related to abnormal Pap smears, pregnancies, or losses. This information will help your doctor take action to prevent dangerous outcomes from this pregnancy.
You should also be open to communicating about your history of mental health and personal medical history. The more your obstetrician knows about your body and mind, the better they can help you prepare for your baby.
Remember to write down any questions you have now! When you’re sitting on the table being examined, poked, and prodded, it will be easy to forget all the burning questions you’ve had.
Test, Tests, and More Tests
Don’t worry; you've got this. One of the first things they’ll have you do is provide a urine sample to confirm your pregnancy. This is just the first “test.”
Then you can expect regular, run-of-the-mill tests and check-ups. They’ll check your blood pressure, temperature, and breathing, and jot down your starting height and weight.
Finally, they’ll likely draw some blood as a backup pregnancy test. Blood tests are also done to look at your blood type and hemoglobin levels to check for anemia. If you have a history of gestational diabetes, they may check your blood sugar, but this is usually a task saved for another visit.
Urine and blood samples are taken through the wringer for tests. These samples can be tested for STDs if you have a history of any sexually transmitted diseases or if you may have one now.
You’ll also likely have these tests:
You’re probably used to this one. Your doctor will perform a Pap smear to check for any abnormalities. This is an important step that checks for any cell changes that could be signs of cervical cancer.
While Pap smears aren't traditionally used to test for STDs, abnormalities could be swabbed and checked for the presence of any STDs. Sexually transmitted diseases like gonorrhea and chlamydia can be asymptomatic, but they’re treatable and curable.
Most STDs run the risk of being transmitted to your baby if not taken care of. Some of these infections can be fatal to newborn babies, if they do not cause them health problems in the future.
This is the part you’ve been waiting for! The first time you will ever see your baby Well, in the first trimester, there isn’t much to look at. They’re growing, and you will be able to see that, but they won’t be waving hello at you just yet.
Every clinic is different, and this first ultrasound may be deferred to a later appointment. However, most visits will perform this examination to evaluate the accuracy of your pregnancy.
The first-trimester ultrasound can show if there is a fetus, how big it is, where it is, how many there are, and how long you've been pregnant. What they see on the ultrasound is usually what they’ll go by regarding gestational age and due dates.
This thorough exam tells you the most about your pregnancy, including whether or not it will be healthy and how long it might last. Not to mention, it gives you a sigh of relief knowing that there’s actually something in there!
After around 6 weeks of pregnancy, an examiner will be able to find the fetal pole, the yolk sac, and even your baby’s heartbeat!
After your battery of tests and exams, your doctor can speak with you about the next steps. This is when they discuss your due date, any immediate abnormalities, and what to do about them. They will tell you about your appointment timeline from trimester to trimester and explain what will be done during those visits.
Ask your doctor all the questions you jotted down, and don’t be shy! In some cases, this doctor will be the same one who delivers your baby. Their top priority is making sure you and your baby are healthy! Remember, you can count on Cradle Me Baby for all the prenatal, maternity, and postnatal products you need.
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