First visit to the doctor after you found that you are expecting, your first antenatal visit, is a milestone in itself. If this is your first baby, the first three months of pregnancy, called as the first trimester, is a journey of excitement and some anxieties. The first prenatal visit is the time to get all your doubts clarified from your doctor. Even if it is your second pregnancy, you may have some questions for your doctor.
The first prenatal visit is usually done before 10 weeks of pregnancy. This visit is important in many ways:
- To get advice on diet, lifestyle, and tests to be followed during pregnancy
- Recommendations on supplements that should be started from the beginning of pregnancy
- To rule out any possible complications like ectopic pregnancy
- Monitoring of pregnancy if you are at risk of any specific medical condition
- To screen for any disorders
- To be reassured that everything is safe and fine
During the first prenatal visit, your doctor will
- Record your vitals including weight, body mass index (BMI), and blood pressure
- Record the last menstrual cycle date to work out expected due date
- Recommend healthy diet and lifestyle
- Schedule tests, scans and further visits
- Do a vaginal examination to check for vagina and cervix
- Check the shape and size of pelvis
First prenatal tests
Commonly asked tests during first prenatal visit include
- Blood tests – a blood test to check for blood group, rhesus status, hemoglobin level, immunity to rubella (the causative agent of German measles), and also for the presence of infectious agents of HIV, syphilis, and hepatitis B.
- Urine tests – urine test is conducted to check for the levels of protein, an indicator of pre-eclampsia, and also for the presence of certain bacteria.
- Ultrasound scan – ultrasound scan helps to check for the health of the growing fetus.
Tips for first prenatal visit
- Remember to take your medical records
- Carry some healthy snacks and water just in case the queue is long
- Prepare a list of questions that you may want the doctor to clarify
Ask for special instructions, if any, for the tests and scan