What to Expect During Your First Prenatal Appointment

The word prenatal means “before birth,” and that’s exactly what prenatal care aims to do: keep you and your infant as healthy as possible throughout your pregnancy. Especially if you’ve never navigated this journey before, your first visit provides a wonderful way to get you on the right track in terms of your wellness needs, discuss any questions or concerns, and more. Making the most of this appointment can help set the stage for the rest of your pregnancy.

Read on to learn what to expect at your first prenatal appointment. For personalized information and support call Dr. John Paul Roberts, located in Plano, Texas, or book an appointment on our website.

Preparing for your first prenatal appointment

Your first prenatal appointment will cover a lot of ground. It typically includes a physical exam, medical tests, a conversation about your medical history and overall health, as well as prenatal education. Prepare for this appointment by creating a list of any key information Dr. Roberts may not have on-hand, such as:

Your prenatal physical exam

Your first prenatal physical exam will include the basics, such as a check of your weight, blood pressure, and pulse. You may have your breasts and breathing checked, and depending on how long it’s been, Dr. Roberts may want to do a pelvic exam and Pap smear. In considering how far along you are in your pregnancy, you may also have an ultrasound, which uses soundwaves to assess your baby’s heartbeat, fetal development, and confirm your anticipated due date. 

Your first prenatal tests

Your first prenatal visit may include a range of tests. Certain tests may require referral to a lab, but many are conducted on-site. Initial prenatal tests may include:

After your first prenatal visit

At the end of your first prenatal appointment, you’ll likely schedule your next. Dr. Roberts will recommend a schedule for your overall visits, which varies from person to person. In general, most pregnant individuals benefit from a visit:

At your subsequent visits, you’ll again have your basic vitals tested, along with your baby’s heartbeat, starting around week 10. Dr. Roberts may recommend additional tests, particularly if you have a high-risk pregnancy or show signs of any not-yet-diagnosed condition. Once you’re 10-12 weeks along, he may order screenings for your carrier status of cystic fibrosis, sickle cell anemia, Tay-Sachs disease, and other diseases. In your several weeks leading up to your delivery, you’ll discuss your labor and birthing plan.

To get support for your pregnancy needs, contact our office or book an appointment with Dr. Roberts on our website today.

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