You should schedule your first prenatal visit soon after you learn that you are pregnant. Your doctor or midwife will:
- Draw your blood.
- Perform a full pelvic exam.
- Do a Pap smear and cultures to look for infections or problems.
Your doctor or midwife will listen for your baby’s heartbeat, but may not be able to hear it. Most often, the heartbeat cannot be heard until at least 6 - 7 weeks.
During this first visit, your doctor or midwife will ask you questions about:
- Your overall health
- Any health problems you have
- Past pregnancies
- Medicines, herbs, or vitamins you take
- Whether or not you exercise
- Whether you smoke or drink alcohol
- Whether you or your partner have genetic disorders or health problems that run in your family
You will have many visits to talk about birthing plan, but you can discuss it with your doctor or midwife at your first visit.
The first visit will also be a good time to talk about eating healthy, exercise, and lifestyle changes you will need to make while you are pregnant. You will also be given prenatal vitamins with iron if you are not already taking them.