Those first few weeks after finding out you are pregnant will be an exciting time, but it is also important to start planning for your future and the future of your baby. This includes scheduling your first prenatal visit as quickly as possible, and most specialists suggest no later than 8 weeks after your last menstrual period. In order to be as prepared as possible, here is a look at what you can expect during your first visit.
1. A Comprehensive Look at Your Medical History
Your healthcare provider will likely begin by asking about your medical history. Unlike other checkups, this will be a comprehensive inspection of your personal medical history as well as that of immediate family members. This may include information such as confirmed medical conditions, any medication that you are taking, and birth control methods, if any. They will need to know about your sexual history including past pregnancies, STDs, abortions, or miscarriages. It is important to be as thorough and honest as possible during these questions.
2. A Physical Exam
Once the doctor has gotten an idea about your medical history, they will then need to carry out a variety of tests for your physical exam. This generally begins with a Pap smear and ultrasound if there is any doubt about how far along you are or if you have had any severe cramping or bleeding. The next step of your physical exam will include collecting measurements such as your height, weight, and blood pressure. This portion of the prenatal visit will often end by drawing your blood and having it tested.
3. A Look at Environmental Hazards
Even mothers that have other children may need to be refreshed on some of the most common environmental hazards and how they can remain as healthy as possible throughout the pregnancy. Your healthcare provider may suggest that you gain or lose some weight in order to reduce the risk of any complications and will also give you a thorough list of medication that you can and cannot take. They can also tell you about some foods that you may need to limit or remove from your diet and which supplements you may need.
4. A Question and Answer Session
Throughout the prenatal visit, patients should feel free to ask their healthcare provider any questions that they may have, but many doctors end the visit with an open question and answer session. You can prepare for this by writing down any questions you can think of and then bringing that paper with you. Some of the most common topics you may want to discuss include natural remedies you are considering taking, what kind of birth will be right for you, and other daily habits regarding your diet, sex life, and exercise.
5. Referrals to Other Specialists
There are a number of situations in which the doctor may suggest that you seek out another medical professional such as a maternal-fetal specialist. Specialists like Dr. Gilbert Webb are typically needed for high-risk pregnancies due to the state of the mother’s health, past miscarriages, or past premature births. Mothers that are at risk will want to contact these specialists as early on as possible. This will often help them avoid many of the most common complications by making minor changes early on. These specialists will help mothers choose which type of birth will be safest and where it should be carried out.
Your pregnancy is going to put an incredible amount of strain on your body, and scheduling your first prenatal appointment as quickly as possible is one of the best ways to avoid many of the most common pregnancy complications.