Whether you’re a first time mother, or have had babies earlier, prenatal care is extremely important. Your first prenatal visit will generally be around 8 weeks after your last menstrual period. Every pregnancy is different and hence, prenatal visits are crucial. The first prenatal visit will be the longest as your doctor will ask you a lot of questions, and you can also ask them the same.
Your doctor might ask you questions like:
- Medical history and psychosocial problems, if any.
- Blood pressure, height, and weight
- Breast and cervical exam
- Date of your last menstrual period
- Birth control methods you used
- History of abortions and/or miscarriages, if any
- Medications that you’re taking and any allergies to them
- Your family’s medical history
Your doctor will also conduct physical exam such as pap smear, cervical cultures, and an ultrasound during your first prenatal visit. They will also ask you to have your blood drawn and sent to laboratory for tests, such as:
- Hemoglobin levels
- Rh Factor and blood type
- Varicella or history of chicken pox, and hepatitis vaccine
- Cystic Fibrosis screen
- Hepatitis B
- HIV Test
- Patient specific test, depending on their history for ailments such as tuberculosis and Hepatitis C
Your doctor will also discuss the following things with you:
- They may recommend appropriate dental care
- They may suggest eating precautions such as avoiding raw meats and fish with high mercury content
- They may talk about fevers and medications
- They may also discuss environmental hazards that you should avoid
- They may discuss travel limitations that you may face
- They will talk about miscarriage precautions
- They will discuss prenatal vitamins and supplements that you must take
- If you weigh more, they may discuss diet, exercise, nutrition and weight gain
Before visiting a doctor for your first prenatal visit, make a list of all the doubts and questions that you have. Here are some things that you can ask:
- Is bleeding or cramping normal during pregnancy? When should you call a doctor in such a case?
- What is considered to be an emergency?
- Do you need to change your habits regarding sex, exercise, and nutrition?
- What are the various types of tests to be done and when?
- How many prenatal visits are recommended and how often?
- What can you expect around labor and delivery, and what kind of support will you receive?
- What are your thoughts about natural childbirth?
- When would a C-section be needed and what is an episiotomy?
- What is your policy on inducing labor?
- How long after due date will you be allowed to go before being induced?
Your first prenatal visit is a good opportunity to get to know your doctor and helps give you an insight over their methods during childbirth. It is basically an overview of what to expect in the months to come. Make sure you make yourself comfortable and talk to your doctor without any hesitation. If you wish to know more, meet our experts at KIMS Cuddles.
*Information shared here is for general purpose Please take doctors’ advice before taking any decision.