What to Expect at Your First Prenatal Appointment

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At our OBGYN offices in Queens and Long Island, we focus on personalized maternity care in a friendly and supportive environment. We believe that prenatal care is a key component of a healthy pregnancy, so we recommend that women schedule their first prenatal appointment soon after they receive a positive pregnancy test.   

How to Prepare for Your First Prenatal Appointment 

The first prenatal appointment is usually the longest and most comprehensive. During this appointment, we will accurately determine how far along you are in pregnancy. We will also: 

  • Obtain a thorough health history, including any personal or family history of genetic disorders 
  • Identify any relevant risk factors  
  • Discuss the do’s and don’ts in pregnancy 

To prepare for your first prenatal appointment, you should plan to bring: 

  • Previous medical records 
  • Your most recent Pap smear results 
  • Previous lab work results (especially if you’ve been seen elsewhere during the current pregnancy) 
  • Previous delivery records (if applicable) 
  • Previous ultrasound (sonogram) reports (if applicable)  
  • Any concerns you have about your pregnancy 

It is also helpful to know the first day of your last menstrual period. If you track your periods on an app or a calendar, bring it with you.  

What Happens During Your First Prenatal Appointment 

During your first prenatal visit, we will perform several tests and exams, which may include: 

  • A complete physical exam, including a Pap smear (if due) and pelvic exam  
  • A screening for certain sexually transmitted infections 
  • A test to check for protein, glucose (sugar), bacteria, white blood cells, and blood in the urine 
  • Relevant blood work may be performed, or may wait until the pregnancy is established 
  • Specific genetic testing also may be performed at the first visit 

At your prenatal appointment, we will review: 

  • Your health history, including the first day of your last period, all medications you are taking, and any previous pregnancies, illnesses, diseases, operations, and hospital stays  
  • Your family’s health history, including your parents and siblings, and your partner’s health history  
  • Your blood pressure and weight  
  • Our Quick Guide for Our Maternity Patients, a helpful resource to prepare you for your pregnancy  

We will also discuss your personal habits, including diet, exercise, and sleep, and we will provide a prescription or recommendation for prenatal vitamins.  

Questions You May Want to Ask During Your Prenatal Appointment 

Every pregnancy is different, so it’s important to ask questions, even if you’ve had a baby before. Here are some questions you might want to ask your doctor: 

  • If I experience bleeding or cramping, who should I call? 
  • What is considered an emergency? 
  • Where will I be delivering? 
  • Who are the doctors who will attend the delivery? 
  • Who will provide prenatal care? 
  • Should I take childbirth classes? 
  • What type of testing do you recommend?  
  • Are there any habits I should change? 

Will You See Your Baby on an Ultrasound or Sonogram? 

One of the most common questions from pregnant women is whether they will see their baby on an ultrasound or sonogram during their first prenatal appointment. The answer is…it depends. At 6 weeks from your last menstrual period, we typically see a tiny fetus and a flicker of a heartbeat on sonogram. By 10 weeks or so, the baby is fully formed.  We perform ultrasounds early in pregnancy to confirm the due date and status of your pregnancy. Sonograms before 12 weeks of pregnancy are performed internally, using a vaginal probe. The process is not painful or harmful to the baby. 

How Often Do You Need to Have Prenatal Appointments? 

After your initial prenatal appointment, we will see you approximately every 4-5 weeks in the early stages of your pregnancy, and more frequently after 28 weeks (or 7 months) of pregnancy. Review our Prenatal Care Schedule for more details. 

We’re Here to Help 

If you need maternity care, contact us today. Our gynecologists and OBGYNs are some of the top gynecologists in Queens and Long Island, delivering at the Katz Women’s Hospital at LIJ/Northwell. We can help you with your pregnancy questions and concerns, and we look forward to welcoming you and your babyinto our practice!  

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