If you’re having your first baby, there’s a whole new world ahead of you. The next few months of pregnancy are going to be a wonderful (and often wonderfully scary) time. Knowing what to expect and what you can do to make your pregnancy as health as possible can put you at ease. One of the best things you can do for your pregnancy is to make sure you keep up on your prenatal visits.
Your first prenatal visit
Here are some things you can expect to happen at your first visit:
- You’re going to talk, a lot. Your doctor is going to grill you. She’ll ask about your health history, previous pregnancies, surgeries you might have had, as well as some lifestyle questions. She’ll talk to you about your family health history, too.
- You’re going to have some tests. You’ll be measured, poked, and prodded plenty during pregnancy. At this first visit, you can expect a full physical. It will include a pelvic exam as well as a Pap test. You’ll have a blood draw and need to provide a urine sample. Don’t worry; subsequent visits won’t be anywhere near this invasive.
- You’ll learn your due date. At this point, your doctor will help you calculate when you can expect to have your baby. It’s not an exact science, of course, but it should give you a pretty good idea of what to expect.
- You can, and should, ask questions. Your doctor wants you to have a successful and healthy pregnancy. Anything you can think of to ask, you should. Chances are pretty good she’s heard it all, and can help to address any concerns or fears you might have.
Later prenatal visits
Your later visits are probably going to be shorter. The doctor will measure your baby to make sure she’s growing like she should. Your blood pressure will be taken, and you’ll be weighed. Your baby’s heart rate will be monitored, as well.
There are a number of tests that may or may not occur during these visits. They include anemia tests, blood type tests, STD tests, and anything else the doctor thinks is necessary based on your condition and your health history.