Your first obstetrical visit with a healthcare practitioner should happen about 8 weeks into your pregnancy. You’ll get a physical exam, answer questions about your medical history, and have many tests and screenings performed to examine your and your baby’s health. You can also expect your obstetricians to discuss important pregnancy topics such as what to eat, symptoms to look out for, and the new do’s and don’ts of your daily life. Don’t be afraid to ask whatever questions you have—you might even want to prepare a list of questions for this, the first step in your new pregnancy journey.
Schedule an appointment with your obstetrician, family physician, or midwife as soon as you receive a positive home pregnancy test. Advanced practice providers, such as nurse practitioners and physician assistants, may also handle your first prenatal appointment, depending on your practice.
If you haven’t yet picked a healthcare practitioner to care for you during your pregnancy, you should see someone right away to begin your prenatal treatment. You can always change service providers afterwards.
Unless you have complications with your pregnancy, this will most likely be the longest of your prenatal sessions. Don’t be scared to bring up any concerns you have at this or any subsequent appointments. If questions arise between checkups, keeping a running list may be beneficial.
During your first prenatal visit, your practitioner will most likely do the following.
Have a look at your medical history. Many questions concerning your gynaecological health, personal medical history, and lifestyle choices will be asked by your provider. Often discussed topics include:
- How regular your menstrual periods are and how long do they last
- The beginning day of your previous period (to determine your due date)
- Symptoms or issues that have arisen since your previous period, whether or not they are related to pregnancy
- Gynecological disorders, including sexually transmitted illnesses, present or past
- Information about prior pregnancies
- Diseases and illnesses that exist now or in the past
- Previous operations or hospitalisations
- Diagnoses and issues with mental health
- Whether you are or have been abused, or if you are in another position that could jeopardise your safety or emotional well-being,
- Tobacco, alcohol, and drug use
- You consume medications, supplements, vitamins, and herbal treatments.
- Allergies to medications
It’s a good idea to come prepared with a list of questions for your provider, just as your provider will ask you questions during your first prenatal visit. Don’t be afraid to ask anything. Likewise, keep a running list in the weeks leading up to the appointment to ensure that nothing vital slips your head.
- How much weight gain is acceptable for me?
- What kind of daily diet you should maintain?
- Are prenatal supplements right for me?
- Can I work out? What about sexual relations?
- Should I keep working?
- Is it safe to travel?
- Which drugs are safe to use?
- What are the most common pregnancy symptoms?
Finally, before leaving the office, enquire about your next visit and make an appointment. You will most likely see someone every four weeks or so until your 28th week of pregnancy. You can also enquire whether future visits would be in person or virtual. The best Obstetrician in Melbourne also provides virtual appointments for low-risk patients, those whose doctors are not nearby, and even higher-risk patients who require more frequent evaluations.