Your first prenatal appointment is so exciting. I’m not sure if I was more excited or nervous, but I do know that it seems like I waited an eternity before it was time for my appointment.
The first prenatal appointment marks the beginning of many exciting (and a few not so exciting) appointments that you will experience throughout your pregnancy. If this is your first pregnancy, you may be wondering what to expect at the first prenatal appointment.
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LOTS OF PAPERWORK
If you are going to a new doctor for your first prenatal appointment, you will have a ton of paperwork to fill out! The doctor will want to know all of your medical history to help you have a healthy pregnancy. They will want to know about any previous pregnancies you have had, if you had difficulty conceiving, and things of that nature.
If your doctors office has you on file already, then you may still have a few pages to fill out but it won’t be too bad. The paperwork is long and tiresome but thankfully you take care of most of it in the beginning!
LOTS OF QUESTIONS
They are gonna ask you what will feel like a million questions, not because the nurse wants to be your new best friend, but because it’s stuff that they need to know. The nurse may ask about your family history on both your mother and fathers side, yours and yours partners birth weight, and a few more things to help them know what to look out for throughout your pregnancy.
Some of the questions may feel a little personal, but it’s not their job to judge, so just take it easy and answer the questions to the best of your knowledge.
This is, in my opinion, the most exciting part of the first prenatal appointment! I was so excited to see my baby for the first time, even if she was still just a tiny little dot on a monitor. Most doctors offices will want to do a “dating ultrasound.” This consists of simply measuring your baby duing the ultrasound to get an estimated due date.
Depending on how far along you are, the ultrasound is likely to be transvaginal, which is a little uncomfortable, but so worth it to see that sweet baby! If you have regular periods and you have a good idea of how far along you are, try not to freak out if your baby is not measuring the size it “should.” When your baby is that tiny it can be hard to measure how big they are, which can result in slightly inaccurate measurements in the beginning.
When I was eight weeks pregnant but my baby was barely measuring seven, I freaked out a little, even when the ultrasound tech told me not to. By the 20 week ultrasound, my baby caught back up with the original due date and all was well.
HEARING THE HEARTBEAT
I loved getting new ultrasound pictures, but there is nothing quite like hearing that beating heart for the first time. I felt like I had waited forever to hear it and it was the sweetest sound in the world when the day finally came.
If you have an ultrasound done, then most of the time they will let you hear the heartbeat during the ultrasound. However, if you are not having an ultrasound done, then they will check the heartbeat on a small Fetal Doppler.
The heartbeat can take a minute to find in the beginning, so again I say, try not to freak out. If you need to hear the reassuring thump of your baby’s heartbeat inbetween doctors visits, you can get your own Fetal Doppler for home.
After the excitement of seeing and hearing your little one, the not so fun stuff comes along. They draw blood for a number of reasons and they run a variety of tests from the one blood draw. The amount of HCG (pregnancy hormone) in your blood will be tested to make sure your levels are good, and they will test your blood type (if you don’t already know it) to make sure you don’t need a Rhogam shot.
It is also necessary to run a number of tests that could hint towards any abnormalities with your baby, and at some doctors offices, they can determine the baby’s gender with a blood draw.
Weather this is your first pregnancy or your eighth, the first prenatal appointment is likely to bring excitement, and of course some nerves as well. Over the next few months, you will spend quite a bit of time in the doctors office, so it is important to pick a doctor you trust that has a friendly staff to help you along your pregnancy journey.
What is your favorite part of your prenatal appointments? Do you feel that going to the doctor so frequently during pregnancy is unnecessary?