Congratulations if you recently took a home pregnancy test and discovered you were pregnant! If you are feeling apprehensive about your first prenatal pregnancy care appointment, then know that it is normal to be nervous. Most women who are pregnant for the first time are anxious before attending this landmark appointment. The best way to dismiss your anxiety about attending your first obstetrics appointment is to understand what to expect.
Expect Your First Prenatal Appointment to Be Before the First Trimester Ends
Pregnancy is broken down into three trimesters, each lasting twelve weeks. You can expect your first prenatal appointment to be booked sometime before the end of your first trimester based on the date you believe you conceived.
You must receive pregnancy care before the end of the first trimester because this is the most common time for any issues to arise and for testing to be completed to ensure you have a healthy pregnancy.
Expect Your First Prenatal Appointment to Be Similar to a Yearly OB-GYN Visit
If you have been attending regular yearly OB-GYN appointments, you are familiar with a typical visit to an OB-GYN office. Your first prenatal appointment will start very similar to any other OB-GYN visit. You will be:
- asked questions about your medical history
- given a physical examination
- given some orders for laboratory tests
- given a pelvic exam and a pap smear if you've not had one recently
Once the usual visit activities have been completed, then, your obstetrician will speak to you about the following:
- how you should feel in the next month until your next appointment
- what foods to eat and what foods you should avoid
- the importance of taking prenatal vitamins
- the importance of moderate weight gain
- symptoms that may require you to seek immediate medical attention if they occur
Thankfully, your first prenatal appointment should be the longest appointment of your pregnancy. From here on out, your appointments will be much shorter and less invasive.
Expect Your First Prenatal Appointment to Have a Lot of Laboratory Tests
Just as your first prenatal appointment will be longer than the others, it will also require you to do much more laboratory testing since you need to be evaluated both for your overall health and your pregnancy status. You should expect to give multiple vials of blood and a urine sample to the laboratory after your prenatal appointment. The good news is that unless there are complications with your pregnancy, this should be the only time you are asked to do so many laboratory tests.
Contact a local OB-GYN office to learn more about pregnancy care.