Your first prenatal visit can be exciting yet nerve wracking
at the same time. Especially, if this is
your first pregnancy, you can expect the appointment to take 45 minutes to an
hour and a half depending on your Doctor Midwife. Many people fear the worst when setting up
their appointment because of stories that they have heard. Honestly, most of the stories are not true
and many people tell stories just to get you scared. Your appointment will include a thorough exam
and he or she will be asking you many questions and will leave you with a lot
of information. I have put a list
together of things you can expect at your first visit to make it less nerve wracking
1. The first thing you need to do before your first visit, which is when your 10-12 weeks pregnant, is select a Doctor. It may be difficult to find a Doctor since you want the best one out there for you and your baby. Talk with other people you know who have had a baby in the past to see what they suggest. While some people prefer a midwife others may prefer a regular OBGYN. There is usually information about each Doctor that you can pick up at the clinic so you can read about their history and what their specialties are. It is important that you feel comfortable with your Doctor as they are going to be with you for the next 9 months and will be delivering your baby. If you do not feel comfortable with one particular one it is important to switch before your 2nd prenatal visit takes place.
2. Create a list of information about your menstrual history. Include when you started your first period, how long it lasted, if it was regular or irregular, if there was any pain or discomfort during your period throughout your life, etc. Instead of flipping back in a calendar and thinking long and hard about it, having this information written down and ready will speed up the appointment.
3. Your Doctor will calculate when your due date is based on your last period. She will calculate this by adding 7 days to the 1st day of your last period. Giving her your exact dates that you had your period will help her and give you a better estimated due date. If you were not keeping track of when you last had your period don't worry, your Doctor can usually give you a pretty good due date estimate when looking at the size of your baby and how quick he is growing.
4. Your Doctor will next examine you by giving you a pelvic exam, pap smear, take your blood pressure, get your weight and check your blood sample. Checking your blood sample is one of the things that are feared most by patients however it is important to check for anemia to see if you have low iron. Depending on how your Doctor operates, he or she may ask for a urine sample also.
5. Lastly, your Doctor will go over general do's and don'ts during your pregnancy. He or she will give you important information including proper weight gain, dieting, the importance of vitamins and iron pills, bowel functioning (constipation is common), breastfeeding, classes both parents can attend, sleep requirements, sexual relations, travel, activities and fees and costs of having your child. Most women know what activities they can and cannot do while pregnant. Obviously sky diving, volleyball and soccer are off limits while swimming and walking are great ways to keep in shape during your pregnancy. The fees of having a child are extremely expensive which is why you should wait until you are financially ready before you have a child. Usually a clinic and hospital can put together a package price of your prenatal care visits and the birth of your child. It is important to have very good health insurance during your pregnancy as you can expect a normal child birth to be about $2,500 and a C-section birth to cost around $4,000.
Knowing what to expect before you show up at an appointment may help ease your anxiety if there is any present. Although there is no reason to feel stress or anxiety about your appointment many women do. Stress may cause your blood pressure to rise or your lab results to be incorrect. Stress is also not healthy for your baby. If you feel better about going to your prenatal visit with your partner, mom or best friend then you can bring them. Doctors always welcome family and friends and encourage it to support you during your pregnancy. Your first prenatal visit is usually the toughest to get through but after that all of your future checkups are quick and easy.