What to Expect During Your First Prenatal Appointment

What to expect at your first pre-natal appointment

The moment you get a “positive” on your pregnancy test, you can call our Capital Women’s Care office to schedule your first prenatal appointment. We usually schedule that appointment about eight weeks after the date you think you conceived, unless you have an immediate concern such as irregular bleeding or a vaginal infection, of course.

When you enter one of our comfortable Maryland locations, you’re greeted by friendly staff, and you take a few moments to fill out some forms. Expect this first prenatal visit to be among the longest you’ll experience during your pregnancy.

Review of your health and family history

The forms ask many questions about your health history and previous pregnancies. Your provider goes over any chronic conditions you have as well as any operations you’ve undergone. You also get questions about your family’s health history, including any pertinent information about your mother and her pregnancies.

Comprehensive exam

Expect to undergo a complete physical, which includes a check of your weight, blood pressure, and height, as well as a pelvic exam. Your Capital Women’s Care provider also performs a Pap test to check for precancerous cells on your cervix — unless you’ve been tested recently. You may also undergo a check for gonorrhea and chlamydia as a precaution.

The doctors run a urine test to check for a urinary tract infection and any other urinary conditions. A blood test checks for HIV, syphilis, hepatitis B, and your immunity to rubella (the German measles). These conditions need to be addressed to avoid complications during your pregnancy.

A blood test also checks you for anemia as you need good iron stores to support pregnancy and for your Rh status.

If you’re at a high risk for gestational diabetes, a glucose challenge may be performed at this first visit, too.

Baby info

Now for the fun part — all about growing a healthy baby! The doctor listens for your baby’s heart rate and calculates your due date at this first appointment. At Capital Women’s Care, we make solid recommendations about healthy eating, optimal weight gain, physical activity, and the importance of prenatal vitamins — if you’re not already on the supplement.

Prenatal vitamins supply adequate amounts of folic acid, which helps prevent certain neural tube defects in the fetus.

We review what symptoms to expect and any warning signs of a possible complication. You’re also advised about the dangers of smoking, drinking, using drugs, and taking certain medications. We go over safe medications you can take during the nine months, too.

Finally, we review travel precautions, sex do’s and don’ts, and potential environmental or occupational hazards. If you feel emotionally overwhelmed or depressed, please reach out to your provider — we can help.

Come to your prenatal appointment with a list of your specific questions, so you’re certain to get everything answered. If you should come up with questions after your visit, don’t hesitate to call one of the offices; we’re always willing to help.

With locations in Silver Spring and Laurel, Maryland, Capital Women’s Care offers you support throughout your pregnancy — from this first prenatal visit through delivery and the postpartum period. Call one of our locations or book an appointment online to start your prenatal care as soon as you learn you’re with child.

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