Your First Prenatal Visit – What To Expect
Your First Prenatal Visit
What To Expect & How to Prepare
Your first prenatal appointment can be both thrilling and terrifying. It’s one of the most exciting times of your life, but the what if’s and unknowns can feel overwhelming. The good news, is that the first appointment is not that complicated, nor intimidating.
A good OB office will give you paperwork in advance before your appointment so you can get all of the family history and health information filled out before you come. They should also tell you what you need to do regarding your health insurance.
One of the first things your OB will discuss with you is yours and your husband’s family medical history. They will want to know, for example, if you have a family history of heart murmurs, diabetes, genetic disorders, mental retardation, etc.
They will also want to know your medical history (and please do not lie!). Asking things such as; have you ever had a baby? Have you ever had an abortion? Do you drink or smoke or do drugs? Are you on any medications? Do you have a history of depression? Have you ever been treated with antidepressants? Do you have any STD’s or HIV?
Some of these they can find out for themselves once they order the lab work for you. After your first visit you typically will get a lab slip to have blood-work done. This is to test your hCG levels, progesterone levels (typically), HIV, Rubella immunity, hepatitis b, syphilis, blood count and your blood type. If you are Rh-negative, and your husband is positive, then they will give you a shot during your pregnancy to keep your body from attacking the baby.
During the Visit
Since most OB offices make the patient wait until 8-10 weeks for the first prenatal checkup, you will probably get to hear your baby’s heartbeat at the first checkup! Most doppler’s can pick up the heartbeat by 10 weeks, but if the heartbeat is not detected, the doctor may do a quick ultrasound scan just to give you peace of mind that everything is okay. For some lucky women, ultrasounds are routinely performed at the first visit for dating purposes and to see how many babies are in there. But not every doctor will do an early ultrasound unless a problem is detected or your dates are not known.
Before you are even seen by the doctor, the front desk staff will get your insurance information. It is recommended that before your first appointment that you call your insurance company to see what type of coverage you have for prenatal care, delivery, newborn testing, circumcision, etc.
Knowing what your copay’s and deductible’s will help you to budget and plan for how much out of pocket costs you are going to have (if any). Since the average labor and delivery costs as much as a used car, not having some type of coverage could seriously set your family back financially. See what your options are so that you and your baby are well covered.