What should you expect from your initial obstetrician appointment? If this is your first pregnancy, take a look at what you need to know about this office visit.
Are you a new patient? The first visit provides the OB with the chance to learn more about who you are — medically. The doctor may ask you about the following:
- Your pregnancy history. Even though you know this is your first pregnancy, the doctor may not. If you've had a previous miscarriage, now is the time to tell the OB.
- Past hospitalizations or surgery. This line of questioning doesn't only apply to your reproductive system. Discuss all past hospitalizations or surgeries you've had with the doctor.
- Chronic or other known conditions. Do you have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or an autoimmune disease? The doctor needs to know about all chronic or ongoing conditions or medical issues you have.
- Family history. From pregnancy-related issues to cancer, the OB will ask you about your family's medical history.
- Birth control. Where you on hormonal or another birth control before this pregnancy? Discuss all types of birth control you've used.
- Diagnostic tests and exams. The doctor will also ask you about breast exams, pap smears, and other diagnostic tests.
- Medications. Provide the doctor with a list of all past and present medications you take. These should include prescription medications, over the counter options, and natural supplements/vitamins.
Along with this information, the OB will ask you about your menstrual history. This can help the doctor to determine gestational age/due date.
Exam and Testing
Like other doctor's office visits, the OB will need to examine you. This includes vitals (such as blood pressure and breathing) and an examination of your reproductive system. Tests your OB may recommend during or after this exam include:
- Pap test. According to the U.S. Office On Women's Health, women between 21 and 65 should have routine Pap tests to look for abnormal cervical cells. If you haven't had a Pap in more than three years, it's likely the doctor will test you during your office visit.
- Breast exam. If you haven't had a recent breast exam, the doctor will need to look for lumps/potential problems during the appointment.
- Bloodwork. These may include a complete blood count (CBC), blood typing, Rh screen, hepatitis panel, or STD tests.
The obstetrician may also recommend an ultrasound — depending on how far along you are. This painless test uses sound waves to create a picture of your growing baby. An initial ultrasound can help the doctor to determine your due date.
For more information about obstetricians, have a peek here.