- March 17, 2020
- Michael Allibone
- Posted in Resources
From the moment the pregnancy test turns positive, your mind is consumed with questions and emotions. Especially for women going through their first-time pregnancy, this life-changing event is an exciting and emotional time that you'll want to cherish while sharing your news with loved ones.
Once the celebratory excitement dies down, though, you'll likely start to focus on the big questions about how to keep yourself and your baby healthy throughout your pregnancy.
A visit to your Obstetrician (OB) for your first-time pregnancy can seem daunting if you aren't sure what to expect. So how can you prepare for this first prenatal visit? What will happen while you're there? What will your healthcare provider typically talk about?
We're going to cover all that and more for you right now.
How to Prepare
Being pregnant for the first time is entirely new territory. It's important to make sure you and your doctor are on the same page with regard to your health and any medical concerns you have as you're beginning this amazing journey.
For example, when you're pregnant, there are certain medications that you should not or cannot take. On your first visit to the OB, bring a list of any medications you're currently taking. This includes any herbs or supplements as some may be potentially harmful to your growing baby.
Now is also a good time to talk to your obstetrician about any medical conditions you have as you may require special care during your pregnancy. Be sure to tell your OB if you have any allergies, gynecological conditions, or previous surgeries.
Aside from your own medical conditions and family history, knowing your partner's family history of diseases and conditions will be helpful for your doctor to determine if there are any prenatal screening tests you should be offered.
You should also make a list of your questions as they come up. Common first-time pregnancy questions include:
- Which prenatal screening tests are recommended in the first trimester?
- What symptoms can I expect in the first trimester?
- Are there any symptoms that I should contact you about?
- How much weight should I gain in the first trimester?
- Is it safe to exercise?
- What medications are safe to take?
It's natural to have questions and it can be soothing to get answers, so don't be afraid to ask your OB about anything that might concern you.
What to Expect from the Visit
At your first-time pregnancy visit, you'll receive a full physical examination including your weight, blood pressure, and other vitals.
Your OB will confirm your pregnancy and determine how far along you are with an ultrasound. According to the American Pregnancy Association, an early-pregnancy ultrasound is typically performed with a transvaginal probe. In the early stages of pregnancy, your baby is too small to see with an abdominal ultrasound.
Your OB will also order a blood test for a full panel of lab work. You'll be tested for anemia, syphilis, HIV, hepatitis B, and other STDs. Your blood type will be determined and Rh status (the + or – that follows your blood type) will be noted. You'll also be tested for immunity to rubella and other communicable diseases.
Oftentimes, your OB will also ask you for a urine sample, so be sure to drink plenty of water before your appointment!
First-Time Pregnancy Tips From Your OB
Aside from the physical aspects of the visit, your healthcare provider will spend a lot of time talking to you about your pregnancy. They will have recommendations on your diet, the importance of prenatal vitamins, and which medications and supplements to avoid taking during pregnancy.
There are certain things you must avoid while pregnant such as alcohol, kitty litter, raw meat, specific types of fish, and environmental hazards. Your OB will discuss each of these things with you, and you'll have a chance to ask questions.
Your OB will likely have recommendations on exercise, nutrition, and weight gain. You'll also discuss what to do if you get sick during your pregnancy, including how to handle a fever and precautions for miscarriage.
All of these recommendations may seem overwhelming, but not to worry. Your OB will likely have a handy printout of all of these bits of information so you can keep them as a reference throughout your pregnancy.
Do you have specific questions about your first prenatal visit? Leave us a comment below and we'll do our best to help you.
- American Pregnancy Association. (n.d.). Ultrasound: Sonogram. American Pregnancy Association. https://americanpregnancy.org/prenatal-testing/ultrasound/
- American Pregnancy Association. (2019). Your First Prenatal Visit. American Pregnancy Association. https://americanpregnancy.org/planning/first-prenatal-visit/
The information provided represents the general opinions of NTD Eurofins and is not intended to be used as specific advice for any one individual. Individuals should always consult with a physician to obtain specific advice and to receive answers to any and all questions or concerns related to health, wellness, pregnancy, and birth.
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