Finding out you are pregnant is one of the most exciting moments of your life. You have a little over nine months to prepare for the arrival of your child and it will feel like much of that time is spent in your doctor’s office. Your first doctor’s visit will likely be the longest as there are many questions both you and your doctor will have.
Health and History
If this is the first time you have visited this doctor you will be asked to answer questions about your general health as well as the health of your immediate family. This gives the doctor an idea of any conditions, such as diabetes or high blood pressure, which may affect the pregnancy. Previous pregnancies will also be discussed as past problems or success can be useful in evaluating the current pregnancy. Medications you are currently taking will be discussed to determine what is safe for the baby and which medications will need to be eliminated or changed. In addition to any other medications you are taking your doctor will more than likely also have you take a prenatal vitamin. Finally, you will also be asked the date of your last menstrual period, this will help the doctor determine your due date.
You will have a pelvic and general health exam during your first doctor’s visit. The general exam will consist of a height measurement, current weight, and blood pressure. These will serve as a baseline for future visits and, with the exception of height, will be checked at e subsequent appointments. Additionally, your doctor will check your glands, eyes, ears, nose, throat, lungs, heart, breasts, and abdomen. A pelvic exam is performed to check the health of your cervix and uterus. If you have not had a recent pap smear, this will also be done during the pelvic exam.
During your first doctor’s visit your doctor will likely order a variety of lab work. Some of the tests your doctor may order are a complete blood count, tests to detect a variety of sexually transmitted diseases, and tests that check for genetic abnormalities. Depending on how far along you are at your first visit your doctor may also recommend and ultrasound.
General Information and Questions to Ask
Your doctor will likely talk with you about a variety of general health information and give you a chance to ask questions. Weight gain expectations, dietary changes, and some of the changes you can expect your body to undergo will all be part of the information your doctor will provide. After your doctor has given you a general overview of pregnancy and what to expect you will have an opportunity to ask your doctor any questions you have about your pregnancy. As this first visit can be overwhelming you may want to prepare a list of questions before your appointment. Some questions you may want to ask are the name of the hospital you will be delivering in, pain management options, and policies about labor induction, episiotomies, and cesarean section.