what to expect, pregnancy, first baby, first pregnancy visit, protocols, exam, prenatal appointmentCongratulations! It’s the first pregnancy visit to your doctor. During this appointment, your doctor will check your overall health and determine your due date. Your doctor will also answer any questions and give you information on how to have a healthy pregnancy. There’s a lot to cover, so this will probably be the longest of all your prenatal visits.

First Pregnancy Visit Protocols

Your doctor will give you a full physical exam, including checking your weight and blood pressure. You will also have a breast and pelvic exam, including a Pap test (unless you’ve had one recently).

Your doctor will draw blood to:

  • Check for blood problems such as anemia
  • Test your blood type and Rh status
  • Test for syphilis, HIV, and hepatitis B
  • Test for immunity to rubella (German measles)
  • Screen for diseases such as cystic fibrosis carrier status, diabetes, and thyroid dysfunction — depending on your family and medical history

You will also leave a urine sample so your doctor can check for:

Your doctor may prescribe prenatal vitamins or tell you to take supplemental iron and folic acid.

Be Ready to Share

Be as open as possible with your doctor so that they can provide you with the best care for both you and your baby. Be prepared to talk about:

  • Your personal and family medical history, including any chronic health problems
  • Your ethnic background, some groups are more likely to pass on genetic disorders like cystic fibrosis
  • Your lifestyle habits that could affect the baby, such as alcohol use, smoking, or illicit drug use
  • Any incidence or history of domestic violence
  • Your current emotional state and any history of depression or mental illness
  • Diet, exercise, and healthy weight gain during pregnancy

Your Turn for Questions

Aside from knowing your due date, you will have many questions. Many women find it helpful to have an ongoing list that they or their partner can add to whenever they think of something. Following are some common questions to help you get started:

  • What symptoms should I expect as the baby grows?
  • Are there symptoms I should tell you about?
  • How much weight should I expect to gain?
  • What types of foods should I eat? Which should I avoid?
  • Is it safe to exercise? Should I avoid any activities?
  • Do I need prenatal vitamins or other supplements?
  • Are there any medications I should avoid?
  • If I have health problems, will they affect my baby?
  • How long will my morning sickness symptoms last?
  • Are there precautions for sex during pregnancy?

Prenatal visits will most likely be shorter going forward. Most prenatal visits will include measuring your weight, checking your blood pressure, and checking the baby’s heart rate. Your doctor will make sure the baby is growing as expected. Around 36-38 weeks, your doctor will check the baby’s position to see if a C-section is necessary. With the increasing number of planned home births, you will also finalize the place for the delivery. This is also a good time to discuss planned contraception after delivery.

Best Wishes to You!

If you have questions about what is safe for your baby, visit us at Creekside Center for Women or call 479.82.9268.