What You Need To Know About The First Prenatal Visit
So, you have been tested positive for pregnancy! Yay! While your excitement knows no bounds, you are still anxious about your first prenatal visit. Well, it’s only natural considering you don’t know what to expect.
Here are all the answers you need before your first doctor’s visit, once your pregnancy is confirmed....
When do I first visit a gynaecologist?
Most women don’t really know when to schedule the first appointment with the gynaecologist. Ideally, you need to meet your doctor once your home pregnancy test is positive. This test is usually taken when you miss your period by atleast a week. You’re already 4-6 weeks pregnant by this time!
How do I choose a gynaecologist?
If you have visited a gynaecologist before, you could continue visiting him/her depending on your comfort. If you haven’t really visited a gynaecologist, you could ask your family or friends for references. Or you check for reviews on gynaecologists in your area from experienced mums on BabyChakra!
What happens at the first prenatal visit?
At the first visit, your doctor will probably repeat the pregnancy test. S/he will then:
- Take a detailed medical history of you and your family
- Enquire about any past pregnancies and births
- Enquire about your partner’s medical history
- Check if you are experiencing any pregnancy symptoms or discomforts like nausea, vaginal bleeding, cramps etc.
The doctor will also record the first date of your last menstrual period to calculate a tentative due date.
It is important that you share details of any medication that you have been taking, allergies (especially, to any medication) and any other relevant information regarding your health with your doctor.
At this point, the only supplement that the doctor will prescribe is folic acid which must be taken regularly as this helps prevent any neural tube defects in your baby.
You might have heard that you can hear your baby’s heartbeat at the first prenatal visit. Do not worry if you cannot hear it just yet, it may be a little early.
Some doctors may do an ultrasound and you might actually catch a glimpse of your baby!
Discuss your concerns with the doctor and also ask her/him to tell you all about prenatal care and what to expect in the coming months. It always helps to be informed.
You should ideally ask for an emergency number in case you need to reach out to your doctor. Your doctor will also caution you on some basic care and precautions that you need to take.
In the first two trimesters, you will be meeting your doctor once every month. Remember to make a note of all your doubts and queries before each appointment.
Once you complete 28 weeks, your doctor will want to see you every 15 days and from week 35, a visit will be scheduled every week till the time of delivery.
So mom-to-be, mark your calendar for each visit now on, since it is important that you don’t miss any appointment. After all, it’s for your baby’s health and well-being!
Read more about: What You Need to Know About The Second Prenatal Visit