What to Expect at Your First Prenatal Visit
   
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The new mother-to-be is only naturally going to be a bit excited and anxious about her very first prenatal visit, especially not knowing what to expect.  At your first prenatal visit your doctor is going to accumulate and learn as much as possible about both Mom and baby. Here at Riverside Medical Prenatal Group we take tremendous pride in our highly reputable team of prenatal specialists and want to ensure all our mothers to be that the information we gather is beneficial to helping us determine whether or not you have any particular risks or problems that need to be considered and addressed. 

Your first prenatal visit with our group will be much longer than your appointments thereafter and will indeed be a bit more involved.  At your prenatal appointment, we will:

  • Discuss and gather information about your personal medical history;
  • Perform a complete physical examination;
  • Administer a series of tests; and
  • Provide you with your estimated due date.

     

Your Medical History

At your first prenatal appointment the doctor will ask you a series of questions in our efforts to obtain important medical information.  It is critical that you answer all the questions asked since the responses you provide may very well identify potential complications or risks.  Questions asked will not only be specific to your personal medical history, but also specific to your family’s medical history, the baby’s father’s history and the medical history of his family as well.  Questions we give focus to include:

  • Do you have any type of allergies;
  • Do you suffer with any current health conditions;
  • Do you drink alcohol or smoke;
  • Do you currently take any prescription medications;
  • Are your menstrual cycles regular and when was your last period;
  • What is your ethnic background and the background of the baby’s father;
  • Is there any history of birth defects in your family or the father’s family;
  • Have you used any birth control and if so, what type;
  • Have you ever had a miscarriage or an abortion;
  • Have you given birth before and if so how long was your labor, how much did your baby weigh, and were there any complications during the birth.

     

Your Physical Examination

At the start of your physical exam, the doctor will measure your weight and height, and check your blood pressure.  Thereafter, the doctor will also check your ears, eyes, nose, throat, teeth, arms, legs and skin as well as your thyroid, lymph nodes, abdomen, back, breasts, heart and lungs.  Finally, the doctor will perform a pelvic exam, which is necessary to check the overall health of your cervix, vagina, Fallopian tubes, ovaries and uterus and helps in ensuring that your pregnancy is normal and progressing appropriately. 

Series of Tests

At your prenatal visit a series of tests are conducted to help identify any current health problems that you or your baby may have.  These tests typically include blood work to confirm your blood type, and check for anemia, syphilis, rubella, and Hepatitis B. A urine test is performed to clarify sugar and protein levels and identify any potential infections.  Finally, a pap test is performed to rule out any changes to your cervix.   

Your Due Date

The final component of your first prenatal visit will be the doctor’s prediction of your due date.  The doctor will provide you with an estimated date for the delivery of your baby. A typical pregnancy is 40 weeks from your last menstrual cycle.  However, pregnancies can last anywhere between 37 and 42 weeks. Most moms give birth within a two-week period of the predicted due date, with a small percentage of women actually giving birth on their exact due date. 

Here at Riverside Medical Group in Secaucus, New Jersey we offer free prenatal classes that are designed to help mothers understand the birth process and to minimize their apprehension.  Our highly experienced prenatal instructors use the highest quality methods, including Lamaze, to help individuals understand labor and birth. We offer weekday and weekend classes so check out our calendar and find the classes best suited to your schedule.