Learning that you’re pregnant is exciting. One of the first things you should do, after calling everyone you know to tell them, is to schedule an appointment with an obstetrician. Prenatal care is important for a healthy pregnancy and delivery. At first, prenatal visits will occur once every month until the sixth month, after which the frequency will be every two to three weeks. In the final month, the visits will be once a week.
Find an Obstetrician
Call an obstetrician as soon as your know that you are pregnant. If you don’t already have a doctor, ask your primary care physician to recommend one or ask your friends who they use. Check with your insurance, as some companies require you to use a doctor within their network.
Scheduling Your First Visit
When your first prenatal visit will be scheduled is determined by many factors, including your health, your family’s health, your age and previous pregnancies. Mothers who have had health issues or previous infertility are considered high risk; doctors will want to see them earlier in their pregnancy. Let your doctor know this when you call to schedule an appointment.
Information for the First Visit
While you wait for your first OB visit, gather information that your doctor will need. This will include the first day of your last period, your personal medical history, your vaccination record and your family’s medical history. Write down any questions you want to ask the doctor.
Preparing for Your First Visit
On the morning of your visit, shower, but do not use a douche. Gather any vitamins, medications, both prescribed and over the counter, and take them to the visit. Drink plenty of juice, milk or water, as you will be asked to give a urine sample. Arrange for your husband or partner to go with you, in case the doctor wants to ask him questions about his or his family’s health.
The First Visit
During the first prenatal exam, besides being weighed, your doctor will do a physical and pelvic exam. He will also order a series of blood tests and a urinalysis. Depending upon your personal and family health, he might order genetic testing. Don’t hesitate to ask the doctor why certain tests are being ordered and whether there might be any side effects.