Prenatal Care The First Office Visit
As soon as you think you are pregnant, call your healthcare provider. You will want to know for sure, and you will want to start taking good care of yourself and your growing baby just as quickly as possible.
The first office appointment may take longer than your other visits. Your medical history will be taken by your healthcare provider. It is important to know how healthy you are to best help you and your baby. Come early to the first exam, so you can fill out a medical history. At the first appointment, some lab tests relative to pregnancy and your general health will be done. Blood tests are especially critical since they tell your healthcare provider a great deal about your medical history, which could have an effect on you or your baby’s well-being. Depending on
special needs or individual medical problems, other testing may be done. Your healthcare provider will calculate your due date , if possible, at the first appointment. It becomes a special “monitoring progress” date for you. Only 1 in 20 babies is born exactly on the calculated day, although most are born within 10 days of the expected date. A full- term baby usually goes 266 days from conception to birth. You may know exactly when you conceived. If so, tell your healthcare provider. At your initial exam, as many questions as possible will be answered.
DUE DATE EXAMPLE Last Period (1st Day)............ October 5 Minus 3 Months ...............................July 5 Plus 1 Week...................................... July 12 OR add 40 weeks to the first day of your period
Follow-up visits are much shorter in duration than your initial visit. The focus of these checkups is to make certain that you have not developed any problems peculiar to your pregnancy. In addition, the growth and development of your baby is monitored. Certain blood tests and other tests (e.g. sonography) are performed at predetermined intervals throughout your pregnancy to monitor your progress.
Initial Office Visits History Physical Examination (Includes all procedures listed in follow-up office visits.) Laboratory • Complete blood count • Urinalysis • Serology (syphilis test) • Rubella screen
Follow-Up Office Visits Mother • Weight • Blood pressure • Urine specimen for sugar and protein • Measurement of uterine growth • Repeat blood count and antibody screen (late in pregnancy) • Pelvic exams (late in pregnancy) • Special blood testing (glucose screening, alpha-fetoprotein test, multiple marker genetic screening, cystic fibrosis carrier screen) • Group B strep culture Baby • Fetal heart tones • Fetal activity • Size and growth of baby • Location of baby • Sonography • Special fetal testing • Amount of amniotic fluid
• Blood type, Rh factor and antibody screen • Cervical and vaginal cultures (if necessary) • Hepatitis B screening
• Urine culture (if necessary) • HIV testing with consent
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