Your first pregnancy visit can be a little scary, especially if you are a first time mother. This article is intended to help you better understand what will occur at your first visit, and help you feel more at ease. (Pregnancy visits are sometimes called “Prenatal visits” or “OB visits”; You may hear your initial visit called a “New OB visit”.)
When should I schedule?
Our providers (doctors or midwives) like to see their pregnant patients for their first visit between 7 and 9 weeks gestational age. Gestational age is measured from the first day of your last period and will be used throughout your pregnancy to help determine “how far along” you are. (Due dates may be adjusted throughout the pregnancy, based on ultrasound findings.) Try to call our schedulers 2-3 weeks prior to this window to make sure you get an appointment slot that works for you. Your first visit will usually take about an hour. If your provider gets called to the hospital for a delivery, and you are not able to wait, please talk to one of the staff at the front desk to reschedule. They may also give you the option of coming back later.
Check-in and Registration
When you arrive for your appointment, check in at the front desk. Our front desk receptionists will ask for a cell number, or give you pager, so we can notify you when it is your turn. As soon as one of our registration staff is available, they will page or text you and meet you at the front desk. They will take you back to our registration area to review your health history, and any other paperwork you have. Paperwork is usually emailed to you, but can also be download from the “Patient Resources” section of our website. Bringing your completed paper work with you will speed up the registration process.
Once the registration process is complete, you will return to the lobby.
Medical Assistant Workup
When your provider’s medical assistant(MA) is ready for you, she will page or text you and meet you at the front desk. Before being taken to an exam room, the M.A. will check your weight and blood pressure, and have you give a urine sample. Urine samples are used to test sugar and protein levels, and test for infections.
After completing the above items, you will be taken into an exam room for your exam.
Ultrasounds are performed at every visit, vaginally in the beginning, then on your belly when the baby is big enough. We no longer record ultrasounds to a DVD, but images and small video clips can be sent to your phone or email if you wish.
If you are due for a pap smear, it can be done during your exam.
The last part of your visit will be to have your blood drawn. This blood work is commonly called a “Prenatal Panel” or “Prenatal Blood Work”, and it is very important. Your blood will be drawn by a Labcorp phlebotomist here in our building, but the blood sample is sent to an outside lab to be tested for a number of things important to a healthy pregnancy. These include blood type, blood count, thyroid, and communicable diseases.
Your Next Appointment
Stop by the front desk on your way out, or call us when you get home, to schedule your next appointment. During the first part of your pregnancy your provider will want to see you every 4 weeks. When you are further along, your visits will be more frequent.
If you have any worries or concerns about your visit, please call us so we can answer your questions. We want this first visit to be exciting for you, not worrisome or scary.