woman talking to her doctorYou’re pregnant! Whoo hoo! Being under the care of a midwife or OB is an important part of a healthy pregnancy. So make sure you call to book an appointment as soon as you see those two little blue lines. Your doctor will probably want to see you between 6 and 12 weeks for your first prenatal exam.

Here’s what to expect at the appointment:

  • Your doctor or midwife will confirm your pregnancy with a urine test, blood test or ultrasound.
  • Your practitioner will estimate your due date by calculating the date of your last normal menstrual period and/or by measuring the baby with an ultrasound.
  • Your doctor or midwife will take a general medical history and/or review the findings from your preconception checkup and talk about previous pregnancies (if any).
  • The doc or midwife will conduct a general physical exam and check your heart, lungs etc. and check your blood pressure.
  • They’ll also conduct a pelvic exam to make sure everything is in tip-top shape “down there.”
  • The doctor’s office will order a blood test to check for anemia, hepatitis B, HIV, syphilis and antibodies to rubella, as well as certain genetic diseases (for example, sickle-cell anemia or Tay-Sachs disease) if your history warrants it. They’ll also test your blood type to see if you’re RH-negative.
  • They’ll probably also do a Pap smear to check for cervical cancer or potential precancerous cells.
  • The nurse will have you pee in a cup to check your urine for infection, sugars and proteins.
  • They’ll also weigh you to establish a baseline weight so you can keep track of how many preggy pounds you gain.
  • The doc or midwife will also give you the skinny on what’s safe and what’s not while you’re pregnant. They’ll give you nutrition and lifestyle advice to follow while you’ve got a bun in the oven.
  • They should also give you plenty of time to ask questions because odds are you’re going to have a TON!