For most women, the first prenatal visit occurs around eight weeks after their last menstrual period. Whether this is your first or fourth child, it’s an important appointment to schedule.
Your care team can check your overall health, observe the health of the fetus, and provide you with information about important lifestyle strategies. The aim is to provide you with the smoothest nine months of pregnancy, delivery, and postpartum experiences.
Come armed with information about your medical history, both gynecological and overall. Your doctor wants to know about your sexual history, previous pregnancies — even if they didn’t reach full term — birth control habits, and any chronic conditions, such as diabetes, heart issues, and autoimmune conditions.
Plus, they’ll delve into your family health history, as it can contain important details about possible genetic concerns that could be passed down to your baby or manifest in you during pregnancy.
Information about your partner’s family medical history and health also helps the team at Boro Park OB/GYN recognize potential risks, recommend screenings and diagnostic tests, and provide you with the most thorough care possible.
A physical exam
You’ll undergo a comprehensive physical exam that includes a pelvic and breast exam. You’ll have a Pap smear, cervical cultures taken, and possibly undergo an ultrasound, especially if you’re not quite sure when you got pregnant or if you’re having minor spotting or cramping.
You’ll also have blood drawn to test for a number of issues that could affect your pregnancy and the health of your fetus. These include Rh factor, iron levels, blood type, Rubella, your history of chicken pox, hepatitis B, and HIV. Plus, these blood tests serve as a screening for cystic fibrosis and Tay-Sachs disease in your unborn baby.
Your doctor also takes time to sit and hear about your possible concerns and to learn about your home and work life. You’ll receive recommendations about getting regular dental care, how to treat a fever or serious virus during pregnancy, travel limitations, and what medications and supplements are OK.
You’ll go over potential environmental hazards at your work or home, such as chemicals used for cleaning or manual labor. Your care team also coaches you on nutrition and healthy weight gain.
A quality diet full of mostly whole, unprocessed foods rich in calcium, vitamin D, iron, and folic acid is crucial. You can get much of these nutrients from foods such as low-fat dairy, fresh green vegetables, and lean meats. However, the team at Boro Park OB/GYN recommends a prenatal vitamin to ensure your baby gets all the nutrients necessary to thrive and avoid certain birth defects.
More questions — yours
Your first prenatal visit is a time for you to ask questions, too. To ensure you don’t forget the questions you want to ask when meeting with your doctor, write them down in advance of your appointment so you can be sure you get all the answers you seek.
Common questions may include restrictions on caffeine intake, sexual activity, testing and screening schedules, and what to do in an emergency. You also can find out about the schedule of prenatal visits.
Your first prenatal visit is an important milestone in your pregnancy. Trust the providers at Boro Park OB/GYN to give you the compassion, care, and attention you deserve.