What to Expect During Your First Prenatal Appointment

Just think, in nine short months, you incubate and nurture a new life into existence. To ensure that you and your baby have the best start in life, comprehensive prenatal care plays an invaluable role. And it starts with the all-important first prenatal appointment.

At Marion Ob/Gyn, our team of obstetric specialists offers comprehensive care for moms-to-be, helping you negotiate every step of your pregnancy. From the moment your pregnancy is confirmed through delivery, we vigilantly monitor both your health and the health of your unborn child to ensure the best possible outcome.

To set the stage for a smooth journey, your first prenatal appointment is the first, and arguably the most important, step in the right direction. Here’s what our founder, board-certified OB/GYN David W. Foulk, MD, wants you to know about this step on your journey to motherhood.

When should I start my prenatal care?

The answer to this is a tricky one because, in an ideal world, we want to see you from the moment of conception, but we understand that’s nearly impossible. So our second preference is that we see you as soon as you confirm your pregnancy, which we hope is within the first eight weeks of conception.

Of course, these are the ideal scenarios. If, for whatever reason, you weren’t able to make this timeline, we encourage you to start your prenatal care at any time, whether you’re a few weeks in or a few months in. Even seeking care at the six-month mark, or later, can provide you with valuable information and peace of mind.

Your first prenatal review

The first thing to understand about your initial prenatal appointment is that it will likely be a lengthy one. We use this time to establish a baseline of your baby’s and your health, and we make sure to spend some time with you to answer any questions you may have. Through a give-and-take of information, we can tailor the best pregnancy plan for your needs.

When you first come in, we record your vital statistics, including height, weight, and blood pressure. Before we get started on your physical exam, we sit down with you to review your medical history and your family’s medical history. And this includes both mental and physical issues that we should know about.

We also want to know about past pregnancies, if applicable, and whether you’ve had any problems with miscarriages or delivery.

If you’re taking medications, please be prepared to share this information with us so we can plot a medication plan to keep you and your baby in good stead. If you’re taking medications for a pre-existing condition (for example, high blood pressure), we work with your medical team to make any necessary adjustments to accommodate your pregnancy.

Finally, we review your vaccination history and also decide whether you should be screened for certain infections, such as hepatitis B, syphilis, chlamydia, and HIV.

Your prenatal physical

Once we’ve gathered the necessary information about your medical circumstances, we conduct a thorough physical exam in which we check your cervix, your breasts, and your general reproductive health.

We also draw some blood to run a few tests to screen for problems like anemia or cystic fibrosis, to name just a few.

Now it’s your turn

One of the most important benefits of your first prenatal appointment is that it provides you with an opportunity to ask us questions or bring up any concerns you may have. In fact, we suggest you write down a list beforehand so that we make sure we cover everything.

Rest assured, we spend as much time as you need to ensure that you’re armed with the information you need to successfully navigate your pregnancy. During your appointment, we may suggest a few tweaks that you’ll need to make based on your particular lifestyle. We also supply you with a list of general do’s and don’ts during your pregnancy, such as dietary changes and activities that you should avoid.

Our goal is that by the time you leave your first prenatal appointment, you have the tools you need to move forward and enjoy this exciting time of your life. To get started, please give us a call to set up your appointment.

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