It's the first doctor visit of your pregnancy. Congratulations! During this visit, your doctor will check your overall health and determine your due date. They will also look for any risk factors that might affect your health or the health of your baby. Your doctor will collect information such as your medical history, family history, and age. Your doctor will also answer any questions you have 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 of your prenatal visits.
What You Can Expect
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. Your doctor will do a Pap test (unless you've had one recently) to check for cervical cancer and any sexually transmitted infections.
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:
- Kidney disease
- Bladder infection
- Sugar and protein levels
Your doctor may prescribe prenatal vitamins or tell you to take supplemental iron and folic acid.
Be Prepared to Discuss
It's important to be as open as possible with your doctor during your pregnancy so that your doctor can help both you and your baby be safe and healthy. Be prepared to openly 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
Ask Your Doctor
- What is my due date?
- 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?