This post may contain affiliate links. Read more on my disclaimers that is listed at the bottom of this page.
If you are anything like me, you may have no idea what to expect when you show up at your OBGYN’s office at any point during your first pregnancy. I literally knew nothing. So, every appointment was a total surprise for me! If this happens to be you, too, read on, sista! And even if you know a little of what is ahead during this first trimester, this list will hopefully add to your knowledge and prepare you well.
By the way, if you are doing this research because you think you might be pregnant, read this article that explains 25 pregnancy symptoms by clicking here! You can come back to this one after you get a good idea of if you are pregnant.
Scheduling your first appointment
During your first trimester, weeks 4 to 14, you’ll be seen once a month. As soon as I knew I was pregnant, I was expecting my OB office to quickly schedule an appointment. This is not the case, though. In fact, it can take several weeks to get an appointment scheduled. They don’t even want to see you right away! It’s more likely they’ll try to schedule your appointment around the 8 week mark of pregnancy, based on your last period. So, have the date of the first day of your last period in mind when you call, just in case they want it.
There are some OB offices that offer a pre-OB visit to confirm your pregnancy if you think it’s needed. Also, if you feel the need to be seen sooner than 8 weeks pregnant, express that! If you deal with a chronic condition or have a history of miscarriages, it’s not wise to just wait. Any situation that makes your pregnancy high risk is good to disclose so the office can fit you in earlier if needed.
Start getting ready for baby’s sleep
I just want to take a moment here to mention that one of the best things you could do for yourself, before the arrival of your baby, is learn about how to help your baby sleep well. This is not a mystery, though so many new and seasoned mamas seem to really struggle to get their little dream boat to sleep soundly. This makes for tired babies and frustrated mamas.
So, before life gets turned upside down with a newborn and before you end up exhausted, snag a copy of my newest eBook, Every Mom’s Guide To Nap Time-The Ultimate Handbook For Getting GREAT Naps Everyday. This book will save you a lot of frustration as it will help you get your little one sleeping well from day one. Included you’ll also get learn how I used daytime naps to get my babies to sleep through the night very early on. Trust me, mama, this is some good stuff!
What will happen at your first prenatal appointment
Though the visit will be dependent on your personal doctor, there are some things you can very likely count on and be prepared for. So, after you schedule your appointment, this is what you can be ready to experience at your first prenatal visit.
Your doctor will be interested in your general medical history as well as that of your family. You can share with them anything that runs in your family, including physical or mental conditions for you or other family members. Your OB may also want to know about any major illnesses or surgeries you have had in the past.
This will be the time to share your gynecological and obstetrical history. This includes information about your mentrual cycle, Pap smears and STDs. Additionally, your OB will want to know about any previous pregnancies, losses, complications and deliveries.
While this type of information may seem routine and boring, it can be so important. In my case, I had a situation in which my blood pressure spiked severely on the fifth day after each delivery. When it happened the first time, I was readmitted to a London hospital for an additional 3 days. Surprisingly, it happened again on the fifth day after the birth of my second child! I was back in the hospital in this case, also. But only for one night. Then, with my third and fourth deliveries, we were able to anticipate the situation and stopped it from even happening.
For this first appointment, also be sure to have the names and doses of current medication handy as your doctor will want to know these. If you are concerned you may be taking medication that is not safe while pregnant, mention it when you call to make your first appointment so they can get back to you with some advice.
Finally, your doctor will be interested in your general lifestyle. This includes tobacco and alcohol use, exercise and travel.
Other Articles You May Enjoy
This will be done with both urine and blood tests. Those tests will be run for other reasons, also, but will definitely show that you are pregnant.
Your OB will conduct a general physical exam, including getting your height and weight to help determine how much weight is safe to gain in pregnancy. He or she will also want to get a baseline blood pressure reading.
You can also expect to have a pelvic exam done. This will help your OB determine the size of your uterus as well as the size and shape of your pelvis.
At your first appointment, you’ll have quite a few tests run. To do this, you’ll give a urine sample, have blood drawn, check for fetal abnormalities and possibly have a Pap smear. These tests can vary based on doctor and location, but here is a general list of what you can probably expect.
The urine sample you provide will check for protein as well as glucose (sugar). Your urine will also provide helpful information about your white blood cells and check for any blood or bacteria in your urine.
The bloodwork you’ll have done at this appointment will give both you and your doctor a lot of helpful information. It is important to know or find out your blood type, which includes your Rh status. According the Mayo Clinic, “Rhesus (Rh) factor is an inherited trait that refers to a specific portion found on the surface of red blood cells. Your pregnancy may need special care if you’re Rh negative and your baby’s father is Rh positive.”
Labs will also indicate if you have anemia or vitamin D deficiency, check your antibody levels and check for certain immunities (Rubella, chickenpox). They will also indicate if you have infections like Hep B, syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia and HIV.
Screening for fetal abnormalities can be done through ultrasound and sometimes bloodwork. Your doctor will check for common genetic disorders like cystic fibrosis, sick cell anemia, Down Syndrome and more.
A Pap smear may also be on the agenda if you haven’t had one recently or if your doctor just wants to make sure that your cervical cells are normal.
Get your official due date
At this appointment, your doctor will also calculate your official due date. This is almost undoubtably NOT when your baby will make his or her arrival. But, it is a good prediction of when you’ll be 40 weeks pregnant. This date is calculated by using the first day of your last period, adding 7 days and then counting back 3 months. More likely, your doctor will use a little wheel that spits this date out for you.
They can also use your hCG levels and an ultrasound to get a good due date.
If you happen to know the date you conceived, you can have this ready as a helpful detail for your doctor.
Have a good chat
A good amount of this visit will be spent in discussion. Your doctor will give you all the helpful tips you might need about prenatal vitamins and safe pregnancy exercise.
This is also a great opportunity to ask any and all questions that have been swirling around in your newly pregnant brain. Be sure to start keeping a list of questions or topics you want to go over with your doctor. It’s really hard to remember them all when you are in the appointment. Writing these topics and questions down leading up to each appointment will be really helpful.
The Rest Of Your First Trimester Prenatal Appointments
After this first appointment, subsequent visits will probably be a bit shorter and scheduled every four weeks. These visits will just ensure all is going well and be a great opportunity for you to ask any questions you have.
In addition to your doctor’s appointments, it may feel like there is a lot to do to be ready for your baby’s arrival. This is particularly true if this is your first baby. To help you even more, I’ve created this checklist to help you prepare for baby during the first trimester. I’ve broken all that needs to get done to prepare for baby into the three trimesters to make it easy for mamas to feel like they have a plan of how they’ll get it all done. Be sure to check it out so you can feel confidently ready for the arrival of your newest little love.
You can check out my Positive Birth Affirmation Cards here!