Once you learn you are pregnant, it is important to call and schedule your first prenatal appointment. This will generally take place between 11 and 13 weeks in a low-risk pregnancy.
Your provider will want to see you once a month for the first several months of your pregnancy, increasing to every two weeks, then every week as your due date approaches. If you are high risk, your appointments may be more frequent.
At each appointment, you will have your vitals taken, such as weight and blood pressure. Your provider will go over information about your pregnancy and you will be able to bring up any questions or concerns. Different tests may be conducted depending on where you are in your pregnancy. You will also be able to hear your baby’s heartbeat on the fetal Doppler.
Your First Appointment
Blood panel: Blood work will test for:
- Blood type and Rh factor
- Complete blood count
- Sexually transmitted diseases
- Hepatitis B
- Rubella antibodies
- Genetic screenings (optional)
- Other tests as ordered by your provider
Urine culture: You will be asked for a urine sample at your first appointment to test for infections that could affect your pregnancy.
Pap test: Your provider may perform a Pap test at your first appointment to test for cervical abnormalities.
Ultrasound: An ultrasound may also be done at your first appointment. You will be able to see your baby for the first time and may be able to hear the heartbeat, and your provider will be able to determine how far along you are in your pregnancy.
Choosing a Provider
Choosing a provider for your prenatal care is an important and personal choice. Based on your own individual needs and preferences, you may choose either an OB/GYN physician or a nurse-midwife as your provider. University Hospitals has a large team of both obstetricians and nurse-midwives; no matter which route you choose, you can be assured you will receive comprehensive, personalized care throughout your pregnancy.