Maternal Resources

What to Expect at your First Prenatal Appointment

Finding out that you are pregnant leads to such a whirlwind of emotions, and especially with your first child you are probably unsure what to expect at your first prenatal appointment. Head to your appointment prepared, with a complete rundown from Maternal Resources:
Health History Questions
First, your doctor will gather a full health history from you. Expect to be asked about past pregnancies and any medical conditions you or the baby’s father may have. You will also be asked if you have any contagious diseases or been exposed to any (if you work in healthcare or traveled abroad recently), and about your extended family’s health history and any prescriptions that you are currently taking.
Due Date
You will get also find out an expected due date of when your baby will be born, based on the date of your last menstrual cycle. If you are normally irregular or do not know the date of conception, your doctor may order an ultrasound to determine a due date.
A regular checkup, including a weigh-in, blood pressure check, breast exam and a pap smear will occur as well. Your doctor may also perform a pelvic exam to determine the size of your uterus.
Finally, there will be tests ordered to ensure that you are your baby are healthy. One of the most common tests is a urine sample which will check for protein to make sure that you do not have preeclampsia and are not dehydrated. Blood work will also be ordered to check for hCG levels, blood type, as well as rule out anemia, hepatitis and gestational diabetes.
As excited as you are to see your baby, you may or may not get to see a first glimpse of at your first appointment. Generally you will not see much on an ultrasound in the first six to eight weeks, but don’t be discouraged. You will be seeing fluttering and hearing a heartbeat soon enough.
After the excitement of your first appointment, you are sure to have lots of questions, so be sure to write them down as you think of them and ask at your next appointment. There is no question out there that is too silly to ask when it comes to the health of you and your baby for the next nine months!