You’ve been seeing a gynecologist for years, and at this point, you’ve got the routine of those wellness exams down pat. But, this time is different. This time, you aren’t going for a checkup. Instead, you’ll be headed in for your very first obstetrics appointment as an expectant mom. Congratulations!
Seeing a home pregnancy test turn positive for the first time can be a thrilling moment, but it also marks the beginning of a completely new and unfamiliar journey. You’ll have lots of questions along the way, and one of the first will be when to actually see your OB. While, you may be expecting to get in right away, it could be a few weeks before that first prenatal visit occurs. Here are the details of when you will most likely have your initial office visit and what to expect:
When will You have Your First Prenatal Appointment?
As soon as you learn of your pregnancy, you should schedule your first prenatal visit. If you are considered healthy and low-risk, you can expect to be scheduled around 8 weeks. However, there are cases when you may see your doctor sooner. For instance, if you want to confirm your pregnancy, you can be seen for a pre-OB appointment in which more sensitive blood tests can back up the results of your at-home test. In other scenarios, problematic symptoms such as bleeding or abdominal pain or a medical history that places you in a high-risk category may result in earlier prenatal visits.
What can You Expect at Your First Prenatal Appointment?
The first prenatal visit is the most comprehensive and often takes the longest. Much information regarding you, your baby, and the road ahead will be covered. It’s a good idea to come into this appointment prepared with your own list of questions or concerns, and you may wish for your partner to attend as well. In general, here is what you can expect:
Health History – Your OB will need to know any details surrounding your health that could potentially impact you or your unborn baby. Expect to be asked about chronic health conditions, gynecological health history, family medical history, medications, and habits such as smoking and alcohol use.
Checkup and Tests – During the initial visit, you will be given urine and blood tests to confirm your pregnancy, screen for conditions such as anemia, and determine blood type and Rh status. You will also receive a general health exam that includes obtaining your baseline blood pressure and weight. Unless you’ve had one completed recently, you may receive a pap smear as well.
Due Date – While you may already be well aware of this date through online research, your OB will confirm your expected due date.
General Pregnancy Information and Q&A – Your provider will offer you guidance regarding healthy habits during pregnancy. These can include healthy diet, what to avoid, and an overview and possible prescription for prenatal vitamins. He or she will also review common symptoms or discomforts that can occur in early pregnancy, as well as which symptoms may be cause for concern. This time will also be your opportunity to ask any questions or raise any concerns which have not already been addressed regarding your prenatal care and what to expect throughout your pregnancy.
Discovering you are pregnant can be both exciting and overwhelming. However, a great OB will not only be able to provide excellent care for you and your baby, they will also be able to address all your concerns and put your mind at ease. While you may be anxious beforehand, you should leave your initial prenatal appointment feeling more confident and comfortable.
Bayou Regional Women’s Clinic
6550 Main Street, Suite 2000
Zachary, LA 70791