Your First Visit
Most women will start prenatal care sometime between 8-12 weeks. Some like to start even earlier. Starting early in the pregnancy does have some advantages. Before we can provide any care for you, including ordering ultrasounds or laboratory work, we are legally bound to have established care. Knowing your medical history will help us to be able to provide the best information to you.
The first visit is usually the longest and sometimes we split it between the first two visits. To make it less overwhelming, please visit the Get Started page and follow the instructions to fill out your medical history and figure out insurance information before you come.
First we will review your medical history. If you have completed it online, we will be able to focus our discussion on the most pertinent parts.
A basic physical exam is next and provides an important baseline for measuring changes in your pregnancy. Many parts of it are specially targeted at identifying problems common to women of childbearing years or problems that have special consequences for pregnancy. We recommend that you wear loose fitting garments to this visit. We generally do not include a breast exam or a pelvic exam at this time unless there are specific concerns or you wish to have certain tests done such as a pap smear or cultures.
Blood specimens and a urine specimen are generally collected either at this visit or the next. Recommended tests include a minimum of a prenatal panel and a urine culture.
The longest part of the visit is reviewing important pregnancy information and discussing your specific concerns. We will review warning signs and give you our cell phone numbers.
If you are at least 10 weeks pregnant, we are usually able to hear the baby's heart beat with a device known as a doppler. It is common not to be able to hear it even at 10 or 11 weeks, but by 12 weeks we can hear it about 95% of the time. If we are not able to hear the heartbeat, early ultrasound is available to confirm viability and dates.
Early ultrasound is offered to every client and can be done at this visit or scheduled around 10-14 weeks. This is currently the best way we know to prevent overdue babies especially if you are uncertain of your last period date. Like any other test this is offered, not required.
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