Just saw two lines on the pregnancy test? Congratulations Mama! It’s such an exciting time right. You just found out you are pregnant and maybe you have told your partner or maybe you are planning to surprise them soon. Either way, you will soon have to think about scheduling your first Pre natal appointment.
And here is what to expect at your first prenatal appointment. This post will help you get prepared for your first visit so that there are no surprises. Your first prenatal visit will be the most comprehensive one and also time consuming. In your first visit your practitioner is often looking at things like your medical history. And they will also go over what you should eat, what exercises you should be doing etc.
In this post we will go over:
- When should I schedule my first prenatal appointment?
- When will my first appointment be?
- How to prepare for your first appointment?
- What to expect at your first appointment?
- Will I see my baby in an ultrasound?
WHEN to schedule your first appointment?
Good prenatal care is the key to having a healthy baby. And it makes sense to call your practitioner right away after you get a positive pregnancy test. Even though your doctor or practitioner may ask you to wait for a few days before your first visit, it’s still a good idea to call.
Some practitioners will be able to fit in right away and some will ask you to wait because there is no availability. So if you are looking for a specific practitioner, it makes sense to call as early as possible.
When will my first appointment be?
Your first prenatal appointment will likely be in the second month of your pregnancy which will be when you are about 6-8 weeks pregnant. No matter when you are shceduled for an appointment, start acting like you are pregnant as soon as you get a positive pregnancy test.
That means quitting things like alcohol and smoking right away. And also cut any raw fish or meat from your diet. Yes that means no sushi (sorry)! Also, switching to a healthier diet and lifestyle as soon as possible is suggested. If your appointment is not for another few weeks but you still need some advice, feel free to ask your practitioner. Also, in case you have had any miscarriages or have a high risk pregnancy because of health problems, ask your practitioner about the same and if your first appointment should be a little earlier.
How to prepare for your first Pre Natal appointment?
Now that you have the dates and your first visit scheduled in the calendar, here is how you can prepare for your first visit. Here are some things that you may be asked and that you should have records of:
Your Medical History: Everything about any major illnesses you have had. Your practitioner may also ask about any drug allergies etc you might have. You should also be ready to share any details about any major surgeries that you have had in the past.
Your Gynaecological History: Your practitioner may ask about your first date, how long your cycles usually are, when was your last period or LMP (Last Menstrual Period). LMP is a term used throughout pregnancy and it is good to have the date memorised. Your practitioner will use it to calculate how far along you are in your pregnancy. You should also share any details if you have PCOS/PCOD or any other condition like endometriosis etc.
Your Mental History: Your practitioner will also ask if you have had depression or anxiety and are on any anti-depressants right now.
Other Medications: Your practitioner will also want to know what other supplements you are currently taking or if you are any other prescribed medication for any condition like blood sugar etc.
Additionally, they will ask you about any previous pregnancies or pregnancy losses you have had. And if you have children, then about your previous deliveries as well.
Medical Conditions that runs in your families: Your practitioner may also ask about any medical conditions that run in your families (you and your partner’s). So make a note of that as well.
These are all the details you should have at hand, so that if your practitioner asks, you are prepared.
Now, because you’re pregnant and especially if you are pregnant for the first time, it’s normal to have questions and concerns. So make sure to write down all your questions so that you can ask them and get advice. The questions usually are:
- Are your current medications safe to continue?
- Are there any cosmetic products you should avoid?
- Are there any foods you should avoid?
- What kind of exercises should you be doing?
- What kind of diet should you intake and how much?
These are all generally questions that your practitioner will answer on their own. But feel free to discuss further if you have any concerns.
WHAT to expect at your first pre natal appointment?
At your first prenatal appointment, which will likely be around 6-8 weeks, you will get a number of tests done. The practitioner will jot down your family history, your medical history etc.
You will Get a confirmation of your Pregnancy: No matter how many pregnancy tests you have taken, your practitioner will do a blood test and a urine tests to check your HCG levels and confirm your pregnancy.
Then you’ll Get a checkup: In this checkup it is standard to measure Blood Pressure, Height, weight, calculate your BMI, a pelvic exam etc. The Doctor will then suggest you exercises and a healthy balanced diet. You will also be briefed about how much weight you should ideally gain during pregnancy. It will depend on how much you weigh and what’s your BMI at the time.
Viability Scan: Depending on your practitioner, you might get a viability scan on the same day or be asked to come back after a few days. This is the first ultrasound where they’ll check whether the pregnancy is viable or not. You’ll also find out if you’re having twins or multiples. The first scan is mostly internal, which is standard, but it’s still good to be prepared. But you’ll get to hear a heartbeat for the first time, so that’s quite exciting.
Genetic Carrier tests: Your practitioner will recommend a variety of tests ti rule out any genetic conditions like Thalassemia, cystic fibrosis etc.
Blood Work: You will get samples taken for blood work and the most common tests that are performed are your blood group(just tp confirm), your Rh factor (positive or negative). You will also be checked for anaemia and your Hb level will be tested along with your blood sugar. You might get some additional tests like thyroid etc, depending on your medical history.
STDs Test: You doctor may perform additional tests to check for STDs right away or do this on your second visit. They will check for any STDs like HIV, syphilis etc.
You will get a Due date: The practitioner will calculate your due date depending on your LMP and if you get a scan done, then depending on that as well. They’ll be able to tell how far along are you in your pregnancy. And you can start the official timer.
Restrictions and other advise: Your first visit in the most comprehensive and time consuming one. Your doctor will chat to you about the importance of nutrition and educate you about what foods to eat and what foods to avoid now that you’re pregnant. They’ll also tell you if there are any restrictions on certain exercises. This depends from person to person and it’s a good idea to ask your practitioner before you go ahead with your usual workouts.
Will I see my baby in an ultrasound?
In your first scan, which is called the viability scan, you will be able to hear the heartbeat of the baby. Don’t worry if you can’t though. Your practitioner may do a scan on the first visit or may ask you to come back after a few weeks when there is more to see.
And that’ll pretty much sum up your first prenatal visit. It’s an exciting time, for sure.
Here are some other resources that you may find helpful: