After getting a positive pregnancy test, you may be overcome with emotions, especially if this is your first time. So, what do you do first? Do you start on preparing your baby’s room, or on buying clothes?
At University OBGYN Associates in Syracuse, New York, we believe that the most important step to take after getting a positive pregnancy test is to see an obstetrician for a prenatal care.
If you’re wondering what to expect at your first prenatal appointment, check out this overview.
What to Expect at Your First Prenatal Appointment
Your obstetrician will likely discuss with you all the details of your health history, so make sure to come prepared with some basics about your health:
- Your Gynecological History
This pertains to your age when you had your first period, details about your cycle or problems with it, history of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) or abnormal Pap smear results, or prior gynecological surgeries.
- Your Mental Health History
Your obstetrician may also want to find out if you had any history of depression, anxiety disorder, or other mental health conditions.
- Your Obstetric History
Your obstetrician will likely ask you if you had previous pregnancy losses.
- Your Overall Health History
This refers to immunizations you had, drug and food allergies, family health history, preexisting conditions, as well as recent potential contagious disease exposures.
Obstetricians also have their own to-do lists for first prenatal appointments. Apart from discussing your medical history with you, here’s what you can expect to happen during your appointment:
- Confirmatory Pregnancy Test
Even if you already got a positive pregnancy test result using a home test kit, your obstetrician will still likely order a confirmatory test, such as a urine test or blood test.
- General Check-up
Your obstetrician will likely perform a comprehensive health exam to check your blood pressure; your weight; your legs for varicose veins; your feet for swelling; and your breasts, lungs, and abdomen for any signs of problems that may affect your pregnancy.
- A Battery of Other Tests
The following are the most common tests that your obstetrician will likely order at your first prenatal visit:
- Urine test (to check your blood sugar level, bacteria, etc.)
- Bloodwork (to check your blood type and whether you have low red blood cell count)
- Genetic carrier screening (to check if your baby is at risk of genetic conditions)
- Pap smear (to check for abnormalities in your cervix)
- Estimated Date of Delivery
Your obstetrician will calculate your due date based on your latest menstrual period (LMP). Your provider will also perform an ultrasound to check the condition of your cervix and uterus and gestational age of your baby.
- Pregnancy Counseling and Health Recommendations
Your obstetrician will set your expectations throughout your pregnancy and educate you on the things you should do and not do that may threaten your pregnancy, especially if you have a high-risk one.
Your doctor will prescribe vitamin supplements such as folic acid, iodine, and iron. If you have a high-risk pregnancy, your provider may recommend meal plans and appropriate exercise routines to ensure your health and safety throughout your pregnancy.
Subsequent Prenatal Appointments
Your doctor will set an appointment schedule after your first one to monitor your health and that of your unborn baby. If you have a high-risk pregnancy, you may have more visits than someone who has a low-risk one.
Here’s what you can anticipate at your subsequent prenatal appointments:
- Second Trimester (Week 13 To Week 26 Of Your Pregnancy)
Every month during your second trimester, your obstetrician will regularly monitor your health and your baby’s size and growth and development. Your doctor will use fetal doppler to check your baby’s heartbeat.
Between weeks 16 And 18, your doctor will have you undergo blood screening for spina bifida (a condition that affects the development of your baby’s spine) and other congenital anomalies.
If you’re over 35 years of age, your doctor may recommend an amniocentesis, a test that indicates your risk for chromosomal disorders, such as Down syndrome.
Between weeks 18 and 20, your obstetrician can perform an ultrasound to determine the gender of your body.
Between weeks 24 and 28, your obstetrician will order a blood glucose test to analyze how well your body processes sugar. If your test returns an abnormal result, this could indicate that you have gestational diabetes. Your doctor will make the appropriate recommendations to ensure your health despite your condition.
- Third Trimester (Week 27 to the End of Your Pregnancy)
This marks the homestretch of your pregnancy. When you reach your third trimester, you will most likely see your obstetrician every two weeks from weeks 28 to 36, then you will be switched to once-a-week visits from then, until you deliver.
As your due date draws near, you may be required to go for tests that will prepare you for your delivery. These include the following:
- Urine tests (to check your risk for preeclampsia, a serious pregnancy complication caused by high blood pressure)
- Group B strep (to check for bacteria that may harm your baby, especially if you’re giving birth vaginally)
- Biophysical profile test (to check your baby’s heart rate and overall well-being)
Top-Notch Prenatal Care in Syracuse, NY
Pregnancy is one of the most daunting yet exciting times in a woman’s life. At University OBGYN Associates, we will consider it an honor if you give us the opportunity to become a part of this amazing journey. Our board-certified obstetricians are known for their caring approach and expertise in providing excellent prenatal care and addressing conditions commonly associated with pregnancy, ensuring each of our patients a safe and successful delivery.
If you recently had a positive pregnancy test, schedule a prenatal appointment with any of our obstetricians at University OB GYN Associates, serving Syracuse and the nearby New York region by calling us at (315) 464-5162. We look forward to taking the best care of you throughout your pregnancy!