If you’ve just found out you’re pregnant…
Congratulations! This is an exciting time in your life and we are looking forward to caring for you and your baby throughout your pregnancy and delivery. For many women this will be a time of many changes to look forward to and can even cause some anxiousness along with happiness. We hope to partner with you in your care and help to answer your questions and concerns. Thank you for choosing us to take this journey with you.
What do I do when I’ve had a positive home pregnancy test?
The pregnancy tests that are available to purchase today are usually very reliable. Most women do not need to have a urine or blood pregnancy test done in the office. If you have particular concerns, bleeding, or pain be sure to call your physician so they can help determine if you need to have further testing or an appointment with a healthcare provider. Please call our office to schedule your first obstetrical appointment.
What will happen during my first appointment?
We attempt to schedule your first appointment after at least 8 weeks of pregnancy. This means that the person you speak with will ask you for the first day of your last menstrual period. They will then find an appointment time with your healthcare provider for a date between 8 and 12 weeks following the last period. This is the ideal time for most women to have the first ultrasound examination. This visit will be longer than most other visits to your physician. It’s a good idea to make sure you can comfortably spend at least 2 hours at the office if needed.
During your first obstetrical visit to our office an ultrasound examination will be done before your appointment with your healthcare provider. The ultrasound images are used by your doctor to determine and accurate due date as well as reassurance that things are progressing normally with your pregnancy. You will be asked to review your medical history, any medications you may be taking, any past pregnancy history, and the family history for yourself and the father of the baby if those are available to you. It’s a good idea to mention any supplements or medications you have taken since your last period, even if you stopped taking them when you found out you were pregnant. Let the physician or the nurse know if you believe you have recently been exposed to any particular illnesses. This information will allow your physician to identify any issues that may affect your pregnancy and discuss them with you.
Your doctor will perform a physical exam. If you’ve had a gynecologic exam or “annual” exam in the past, you will find this exam very similar. Often a cervical culture will be done using a soft swab to look for infection and a Pap smear may be performed. Some women experience a small amount of red or brown vaginal spotting after this is done. This is expected since the tissue there bleeds very easily during pregnancy for many women. This is not harmful to you or your baby.
During this visit you will be asked to save a urine specimen in a special sterile container. This sample will be used to check for bladder infection that may otherwise not be noticeable to you. A number of blood tests will be ordered to check your blood type, for any infections that may be present, your immunity to certain diseases that can be serious during pregnancy, and to make sure that you do not need additional iron supplementation.