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Your First Prenatal Doctor’s Visit

That very first meeting with the doctor you’ve chosen for your pregnancy can be a little nerve-wracking for some. Most women want to bring their own stenographers to take down every detail!

The Medical History Interview

During this visit, your nurse and/or the doctor will take an extensive look at your medical history. (If you are already established with the doctor for regular gynecological visits, she will have much of this information already available.) Your doctor will then start your antenatal paperwork, which will be a record of your pregnancy—including your upcoming visits and your past medical history.

Your doctor will go over the following topics with you:

  • Review of medical history
  • Date of last menstrual period or LMP (this will help to calculate your due date)
  • Contraceptive history
  • Family history of major disease or genetic issues
  • General health
  • Allergy history (drug or food)
  • Use of medications and/or herbs
  • Any history of previous pregnancies or miscarriages

First Visit Tests

Other tests which you may have at this visit include:

Chances are, your doctor will also perform an internal (pelvic) exam to check your cervix and uterus. He or she will also do a measurement of your pelvis to see how roomy it is to accommodate delivering your baby. (Generally, there won’t be more internal exams until much later in your pregnancy.)

What’s Next?

After this initial visit, you will see your doctor once a month until the 32nd week of pregnancy, after which you’ll go every two weeks, and finally once a week from week 37 until you deliver.

Your monthly checkups will include:

Other tests you’ll receive in the coming months include:

Making the Most of Your Appointments

Be sure to ask your doctor or midwife to explain any diagnostic tests that are suggested to you.

Each of your visits provides an opportunity for you to discuss how you are feeling and for your doctor to answer your questions or concerns. If your provider is part of a group, you’ll have appointments with a different practitioner each time so you visit. (Your primary doctor may not be the one to be on call when you deliver, so meeting other doctors can help make you more comfortable.)

While all this testing may seem overwhelming, it is done to make sure you and your baby have a safe, healthy pregnancy and delivery.

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