Part II: Your First Prenatal Appointment!Mar 23, 2022
This is Part II of our three part mini-series on Pregnancy Care! On today’s episode, Drs. Alicia and Sarah share with us what you can expect at your first prenatal visit. Generally speaking, maternity care providers would like to see you between your sixth and ninth week of pregnancy for your first visit. If you're experiencing significant nausea or other concerning symptoms, don’t hesitate to reach-out to your provider sooner and they will try to address your concerns and manage symptoms!
What to Expect?
The simplest answer is: lots of questions from your maternity care provider! Expect a longer appointment depending on your medical and pregnancy history. Your clinic may even have a hand-out for patients and care providers to complete together. An example of the types of questions you may be asked include, but are not exclusive to:
- Getting to know you and your partner: age, what you do for work, any pertinent personal beliefs, etc
- Pregnancy history: have you been pregnant before and details around any previous pregnancies (even if they resulted in loss or termination)? Any complications in previous pregnancies? Did you go into labour on your own, were you induced, etc
- Postpartum experience: were there any complications in your after birth experience with bleeding and infections? Did your newborn require any support after birth? Any issues with feeding, jaundice, etc
- Current Pregnancy Experience: how was the pregnancy conceived? Was it spontaneous or did you use any reproductive technologies like IUI or IVF? Pregnancy symptoms thus far like nausea, bleeding, pain, etc
- Personal Medical Profile: any medications that you're taking, supplements, over the counter or prescription medications? Any allergies to medications, food, or the environment? Current/recent vaccinations, etc
- Personal Medical History: any surgeries, in particular abdominal surgeries, uterine surgeries, or cervical surgeries? And if so, what were they, when, and why? Any adverse reactions to anesthetics? Any previous sexually transmitted infections, such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, etc
- Mental Health History: including any history of depression, anxiety, bipolar, PTSD, ADHD, etc
- Family Medical History: pregnancy is unique as much of the family history that we need comes from the gestational carrier's family. Specific conditions we'll ask about with respect to family history include heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, mental health history, problematic alcohol or substance use, or a history of bleeding or bleeding disorders or blood clots etc. We often say to our patients, if you haven't heard of a disease, then it probably doesn’t run in your family!
But it doesn’t end there! To ensure providing you with the best care, your provider will ask even more questions with regards to your dietary habits, food restrictions & nutritional intake, physical activity habits, substance use history, and last but not least, what social supports you may have in place.
Once all that information is gathered, they’ll discuss a little bit about which investigations they’d like to order moving forward (such as bloodwork) as well as a dating ultrasound. Doing so confirms that your little peanut is growing safely inside you, and it is also a more accurate way to ascertain the due date as well as the gestational age of the fetus. If you decide to proceed with genetic testing, having the most accurate age is helpful.
Tune into today’s podcast to learn even more about the first prenatal appointment! And don’t forget to check-out these episodes if you’ve missed them and you’d like to learn a bit more about Blood Type in Pregnancy as well as Prenatal Screening!
Preparing for Pregnancy Guide:
We've put together a clear, easy to read guide that helps you optimize your physical and mental health as you begin your journey through motherhood.
Free First Prenatal Visit Questionnaire:
Download our free PDF using the above link!
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