A woman should schedule her first prenatal appointment as soon as she thinks she is pregnant. If possible, the partner of the patient should be included in the first visit. Patients should expect this first visit to last up to an hour and a half.
Medical history - past pregnancies, menstrual cycle and gynecological history, current medications in use, family and personal medical history, and lifestyle choices (use of caffeine, tobacco, and alcohol) are investigated.
Physical exam - BMI or Body Mass Index, is determined so the doctor can advise the recommended weight gain a mother needs for a healthy pregnancy. Blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing rate are recorded. The doctor examines the vagina and cervix (opening to the uterus) in order that their changes in size confirm future stages of pregnancy.
Blood work is ordered to determine:
These usually occur about every four weeks during the first trimester in order to check a patient’s blood pressure and weight and allow time for the patient to ask any questions she might have. As the second trimester begins, an examination often allows for the mother to hear her child’s heartbeat.
Patients are always encouraged to any questions they might have regardless of how uncomfortable or embarrassing they may be. Help is always available whenever our patients need it.
Feel free to email us regarding any scheduling or general questions!