What to expect at your first prenatal appointment

Your first prenatal visit can be so exciting. It is also common to be nervous. Take the mystery out of the visit with these pointers.

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  • It’s finally happening; you’re pregnant and you are gearing up to go to your very first prenatal doctor’s appointment. It’s so exciting, and yet at the same time, you find yourself a bundle of nerves. You can’t wait to hear that little baby’s heartbeat, and see your little nugget on the ultrasound screen for the first time, however, all these things will come with time. So what can you expect at your first appointment? Here are just a few of the exciting things awaiting you on that long awaited day.

  • Paperwork

  • Be prepared for lots of paperwork. The doctors will want to know your medical history, your husband’s medical history, and your family medical history. As well as your pregnancy history. They will be determining the level of risk in your pregnancy, and all of this information is crucial for them to help you the best they can throughout your pregnancy.

  • Urine test

  • You will have a urine test at your first appointment and every appointment after that. A urine test can reveal markers for gestational diabetes and preeclampsia.

  • Blood test

  • Blood tests are also run of the mill at your first appointment. It is so important that they read your hcg levels, making sure that your body is producing the hormones it needs to keep the pregnancy.

  • Heart beat

  • You probably won’t be able to hear the flutter of your baby’s heart just yet, depending on when your appointment is. Most first appointments happen around week eight of gestation, and this is just a little too early to hear that darling little pitter-patter. Heartbeat can be detected by Doppler during week 12 or 13 at the earliest.

  • Ultrasound

  • Ultrasounds are so exciting, and you can bet you’ll have one at your first appointment. They need to make sure the pregnancy is where it should be, and just how far along you are. However, be prepared, this is not the exciting tummy ultrasound you might be expecting. It will likely be a trans-vaginal ultrasound.

  • Due date

  • You will be given your official due date. Although for some women this date can change a few times during pregnancy, for the most part, the due date you are given at your first appointment is the one that you will use to create your countdown.

  • This is a time for you to get your questions answered. Be sure to write down any questions you have for your doctor before going to the appointment. Don’t be afraid to take notes during your appointment as well. There is so much to take in, to learn, and to be excited about. Lastly, don’t hesitate to invite your baby's daddy to the appointments, it is a great support, and it's nice for them to be a part of the entire journey.

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Kelsie Stanfill is the mother of a very busy and charismatic 15-month-old girl. She studied communications and family relations. 

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