Preparing for Your First Doctor Appointment
Nervous about your first prenatal appointment? Don’t worry—it’s normal to be a bit worried about what to expect. Here’s a rundown of a “typical” first visit to help you prepare.
When will I go?You should call your provider as soon as you find out you’re pregnant. They’ll probably have you come in for your first visit sometime between eight and 12 weeks.
How long will it last?If all goes as it should, this first visit will be the longest by far. Expect to be there between 30 minutes and an hour.
How much poking and prodding should I expect?
Well, you can expect a fair amount. The following exams and tests are typical during the first prenatal appointment:
- General checkup (heart, lungs, blood pressure, etc.)
- Breast exam
- Pap test
- Pelvic exam
- Urine test
- STD screenings
- Ultrasound (in some cases)
What questions will I be asked?
You’ll be asked lots of questions about your health, and yours and your partner’s family histories. If you know the date of your last menstrual period, your doctor will want to know so they can calculate your estimated due date.
How should I prepare?
Ideally, you and your partner should sit down and make notes about your own physical and mental health histories, as well as your family histories. This will help your doctor understand more about any potential risks to your pregnancy and to your baby. You’ll also want to think about whether you want an early screening for chromosomal disorders, such as Down syndrome.
You should also take time to write down any questions you may have for your provider, such as:
- What foods and drinks should I avoid?
- In what cases should I call your office or head to the emergency room?
- Do I need to change any of my regular habits (exercise, intimacy, etc.)?
- Any other questions or concerns you might think of.
Most of all—don’t stress! This is an exciting time, and it’s only the beginning of the incredible journey of motherhood.
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