What happens during a prenatal visit?

Your first appointment with a healthcare provider should be at around 8 weeks after your last period, or as soon as you know you’re pregnant. At the appointment, your doctor will check your medical history and perform a physical exam, ie a pap smear, cervical culture and possibly an ultrasound if you’re far along enough.  She’ll also draw blood and run several tests, including hemoglobin, RH Factor and blood type, Rubella screening + other vaccination screenings, Hepatitis B and C testing and an array of genetic testing, if you haven’t had them done already. She’ll also check you for HIV.

She’s also going to break down your new very healthy new habits, such as dental care (hello floss) and prenatal vitamins, pregnancy safe exercise and diet, nutrition + weight gain details. She’ll go into ALL of your commonly asked questions like travel, working out, headaches, sex, nausea + risks of miscarriage. It’s all very chill.

You might want to bring along a series of questions, such as whether there’s a nurse line to call if you have questions, what they consider an emergency and what kinds of testing they recommend. You may also want to get their thoughts on various forms of pain medications, cesarean rates, what situations would lead to an episiotomy or labor induction and how long they’ll let you go past your due date. Take your time and get the answers you need.