Nothing is more exciting than anticipating the birth of your first child. However, most women get a little nervous about going to the obstetrician. Here are two things to expect at your first OB visit, and why you shouldn't worry.
1: Medical History
When you arrive at the doctor's office, you will be given paperwork to fill out regarding your medical history. However, unlike the paperwork that you receive at your regular family practice, the obstetrician might need a little more information. Here are a few things that you should think about before you go:
- Birth Defects: Your doctor will want to know if you were born with any birth defects. If you had cleft palate or another genetic condition, it could be passed on to your baby. Take the time to talk with your parents about your health when you were born, and look into your own pediatric medical history.
- Surgeries: If you have ever had surgery, your doctor will want to know about it. Because surgery can alter your internal anatomy, your doctor might need to treat your pregnancy differently than he or she would otherwise. For example, if you were involved in a car accident that left you without a kidney, your doctor might not be able to prescribe certain medications.
- Past Pregnancies: Although it might be painful to discuss, make sure to mention any previous pregnancies or miscarriages. If you have certain conditions that could cause you to lose your pregnancy, your doctor might be able to prescribe certain medications to fend off trouble.
If you need to discuss a sensitive medical history, you can talk with your doctor or nurse in private.
After your obstetrician understands your medical history, you will receive an ultrasound. Although it will be way too early to tell whether your little one is a boy or a girl, the purpose of this initial ultrasound is to check the health of you and your baby.
Your doctor will inspect the embryonic sac and the baby's heartbeat, in order to determine if the pregnancy is viable. He or she will also look at the internal condition of your uterus and cervix to check for irregularities. If your appointment goes off without a hitch, your physician will discuss your symptoms, and let you know when you should come in for another appointment.
Having an idea of what you should expect during your first obstetrics visit might help you to prepare accordingly and enjoy the process.