A lot happens during your first prenatal appointment. From a medical perspective, it’s an opportunity to get a thorough examination and tests to determine your health and the health of your baby. However, it’s also a chance for you to receive important prenatal education and counseling about your concerns. Making the most of your first prenatal appointment gets your pregnancy off to a healthy start and helps you do what you can to ensure your pregnancy proceeds as smoothly as possible.
No matter how your pregnancy progresses, you’ll feel confident you’re doing the best for your baby if you seek the care of an expert obstetrician. Board-certified OB/GYN Farly Sejour, MD, FACOG, and the staff of Solace Women’s Care in Conroe, Texas, specialize in helping expectant mothers have the best possible pregnancies. Whether your pregnancy is considered normal or high-risk, Dr. Sejour and his staff offer comprehensive prenatal care to support you from your first appointment through delivery.
Read on to find out what to expect during your first prenatal appointment. Being prepared can help you feel at ease and less overwhelmed as you begin your pregnancy journey.
Health and pregnancy history
Your first prenatal appointment includes a complete health and pregnancy history. This includes key information about past and existing medical conditions, the names and dosages of current prescriptions, and the status of ongoing medical treatment. Be prepared with the history of genetic disorders on both sides of your baby’s family. Together, this information will help Dr. Sejour determine whether your pregnancy is at risk of complications and establish a strategy to address them.
To help Dr. Sejour have the facts he needs to provide appropriate care, gather the following documents to bring to your first prenatal appointment:
- General health and obstetric medical records
- Immunization dates
- Results of recent lab work or lab work from previous pregnancies
- Results of your most recent Pap test
- Records from prior deliveries and/or miscarriages
- Previous genetic screenings
- Date of your last menstrual period to identify expected due date
A thorough physical exam includes measuring your weight, blood pressure, pulse, and breathing. You’ll also have your lungs, heart, and breasts checked. During your first prenatal appointment, Dr. Sejour will administer a pelvic exam to check the size of your uterus and see whether it coincides with your expected due date.
Depending on the date of your first prenatal appointment, Dr. Sejour might use a doppler, which uses high-frequency sound waves, or ultrasound, to assess your baby’s heartbeat. However, a doppler typically can’t identify a baby’s heartbeat before the 10th-12th week of pregnancy, so it’s no cause for alarm if the doppler fails to locate a heartbeat early in your pregnancy.
The specific tests Dr. Sejour orders during your first prenatal appointment can vary depending on your condition and medical history. Some tests may be performed in the office, while others may require a referral to a lab. Some of the tests performed at your first prenatal appointment may include:
- Bloodwork to check for anemia, vitamin D deficiency, Rh factor, and immunities to chickenpox, rubella, and other diseases
- Screening for sexually transmitted diseases, such as syphilis, chlamydia, and HIV
- Pap smear to screen for abnormal cervical cells
- Screening for your carrier status of cystic fibrosis, sickle cell anemia, Tay-Sachs disease, and other diseases
- Blood sugar test to screen for gestational diabetes
- Ultrasound to confirm the due date of your pregnancy
Time for discussion
One of the most important aspects of your first prenatal appointment involves receiving prenatal education and counseling. You’ll find out what to expect as your body changes and your baby grows. Depending on your circumstances, you may receive recommendations regarding lifestyle changes, dietary changes, and prenatal supplements.
Take advantage of this opportunity to ask questions and speak about your concerns. Whether you’re worried about something your friend told you or you’re anxious because you had a problem with a previous pregnancy, the staff at Solace Women’s Care will create a supportive environment to ensure that you’re mentally and physically prepared for the months ahead.
Before you leave your first prenatal appointment, you’ll receive a schedule for future appointments. Keeping prenatal appointments is important to the well-being of your baby. Babies whose mothers don’t get prenatal care are three times more likely to be born with a low birth weight and five times more likely to die during pregnancy or delivery when compared to babies whose mothers get prenatal care.
Getting your first prenatal appointment as early as possible can help you have a healthy baby. To learn more, book an appointment over the phone with Solace Women’s Care today.