My First OB Visit
Your first prenatal visit is always the exciting visit; you will generally first be seen around 8 weeks after your LMP (last menstrual period). Even if you are not a first time mother, prenatal visits are still important since every pregnancy is different.
The first visit is designed to confirm the viability your pregnancy and to determine your general health. In addition, the visit will give your healthcare provider clues to any risk factors that may affect your pregnancy. It will typically be longer than future visits. The purpose of the prenatal visit is to:
- Determine your due date.
- Find out your health history.
- Explore the medical history of family members.
- Determine if you have any pregnancy risk factors based on your age, health and/or personal and family history.
You will be asked about previous pregnancies and surgeries, medical conditions and exposure to any contagious diseases. Also, please make sure to notify your healthcare provider about any medications (prescription or over-the-counter) you have taken or are currently taking. Much of the prenatal history can be filled out online in advance for your appointment. What Common Prenatal Tests Will I Be Given?
During the first or second visit, your health care provider will perform several tests, including:
- Ultrasound: Our Sonographer will perform a viability ultrasound between 7-9 weeks. This is an exciting appointment where you will be able to see the size of the baby and know your due date.
- Physical exam: Your weight, blood pressure, heart, lungs, and breasts will be checked.
- Pelvic exam: During the pelvic exam, a standard Pap smear is taken to screen for cervical cancer and cultures are taken to detect sexually transmitted diseases (such as gonorrhea and chlamydia). In addition, a bimanual internal exam (with two fingers inside the vagina and one hand on the abdomen) will be performed to determine the size of your uterus and pelvis. This exam will also check for any abnormalities of the uterus, ovaries, or fallopian tubes.
- Lab Test: Urine test. Comprehensive blood panel. Genetic screening tests may be offered, including:
- NIPT – Non-Invasive prenatal testing that detects chromosomal abnormalities in the baby such as Trisomy 21 (Down Syndrome), 18 (Edwards syndrome), and 13 (Patau syndrome) and determines the sex of the baby.
- Sequential Screening – Part one of sequential screening is done between 10-14 weeks gestation and involves a blood test combined with an ultrasound. The ultrasound is used to measure the Nuchal Translucency (NT) of the baby (measuring the back of the fetus’ neck to help screen for Downs and Trisomy 18). The second part of the screen involves another blood test between 15 and 20 weeks gestation.
- Genetic Carrier Screening – Evaluates your particular genetic make-up to determine if you are a carrier for certain diseases such as: Cystic Fibrosis, Fragile X Syndrome, Spinal Muscular Atrophy, Hemoglobinopathies and Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy
During your visit you will also view an educational presentation on Genetic Testing which goes over the different screenings that are available before birth that detect any genetic anomalies. At the conclusion of your first visit you will receive a package of educational materials. It will include sample vitamins and a maternity handbook. The handbook is a great reference for commonly asked questions during pregnancy. This handbook will be a great tool for you throughout your pregnancy so make sure to keep it handy and refer to it often.
To Schedule your First OB Appointment please contact our OB Coordinator at 949.829.5500 ext. 1217