What you can expect at your first prenatal visit
Your first prenatal visit is a very important one. At this appointment, our Austin obgyns will discuss many important subjects with you, as well as conduct initial lab work and a physical examination. The first prenatal visit usually takes about one to two hours.
Most women begin their first prenatal visit by discussing their personal and family history, so you may wish to prepare beforehand with research into these questions:
- When was your last menstrual period? Are your periods regular?
- Do you have any preexisting health problems such as diabetes or high blood pressure?
- Tell us about your past hospitalizations, surgeries, past pregnancies, miscarriages, and live births.
- What medications are you taking, including prescriptions, over-the-counter medications and vitamins and herbs?
- Describe the amount and intensity of exercise in which you participate.
- Tell us about your lifestyle and job environment – whether or not you work with hazardous materials; whether or not you smoke cigarettes or use illegal substances; and whether or not you drink alcohol.
- How are you feeling emotionally? Do you suffer from stress, anxiety or depression?
- What is your family health history?
The prenatal panel includes several lab tests
During your first prenatal visit, we will draw blood and obtain a urine sample to help us conduct a prenatal panel of tests and run a complete blood count, or CBC. We hope to accomplish the following:
- Blood type determination, including a test for the Rh factor
- Screening for immunity to German measles and chicken pox
- Testing for Hepatitis B, HIV, syphilis and the cystic fibrosis gene
- Urinalysis and culture to test for kidney and/or bladder infections
- Diabetes screening (in some cases)
During this visit, our Austin obgyns perform a physical examination
Our Austin obgyns also perform a physical examination during your first prenatal visit. During this examination we check your weight, blood pressure and general health, and also perform a pelvic examination and take vaginal cultures.
Genetic counseling services
Genetic counseling services are always offered to certain women.
- Women who will be over the age of 35 at the expected delivery date
- Women who have had two or more miscarriages, a stillborn infant or a child who died during infancy
During your first prenatal visit, we may also offer you genetic counseling services if you are concerned about any hereditary disorders. If your ethnic background puts you at an increased risk for certain disorders, or if you are at higher risk for developing certain disorders due to exposure to radiation, medications, chemicals, infections or illegal substances, we can discuss preventive preconception measures.
Our Austin obgyns want your first prenatal visit to be productive, informative and the beginning of a wonderful partnership between you and your physician. Contact us today for an appointment.