What To Expect At First Prenatal Appointment?

what to expect at first prenatal appointment?

During pregnancy there are many physiological and anatomical changes takes place in the body of women which she is not aware of it. To know about it, various examinations (systematic and obstetrical), with advice for a healthy pregnancy are to be done by a doctor. This is called antenatal or prenatal care. This examination with supervision should be regular and periodic in nature according to the condition and need of the individual.

This Prenatal Visit Comprises Of Three Things

  • Case history of the patient
  • Examination of the patient both general as well as obstetrical
  • Advises to the pregnant women fora healthy pregnancy.

After conceiving the pregnant women is advised to have her first prenatal visit at six weeks or as soon as possible she had done with the test which has given her a positive result. During case taking or history taking in a pregnant women various first prenatal appointments, questions are have been asked to the women which help the physician to overcome any problem if suppose to appear. For which pregnant women are advised to come for prenatal check up according to the schedule given by their doctor during pregnancy time.

What To Expect At First Prenatal Appointment?

For the woman who is first time pregnant, their first prenatal checkup goes very long. This includes various examination and screening of the women just to rule out any abnormalities if present. This first prenatal appointment to the doctor has few aims and objective included in the prenatal checkup. These are

  • To screen out all those women’s who are under high-risk pregnancy.
  • To prevent or detect any complications during pregnancy if present and treat them accordingly.
  • To make ensure to continue the medical surveillance and for the prophylaxis.
  • To educate the pregnant women about all the physiological and anatomical changes which will appear during pregnancy.
  • To educate pregnant women about the labour by demonstration, charts and diagrams to remove the fear of labour.
  • To motivate the couple and let them know for the time, place and way of the delivery and how to take care of the newborn.
  • To educate them about family planning.

With this, the objective of the prenatal checkup schedule includes a normal pregnancy with normal delivery of a healthy baby from a healthy mother.

Prenatal Check-Up

When the female first visit to the doctor, various questions comes in the mind related to the investigations and examinations. This investigation and examinations are done to know the health status of the female and to know the problems which a pregnant woman is likely to have during her pregnancy. This prenatal checkup also provides with the information to the pregnant women about the physiological changes and also let the gynecologist know the gestational age. There may be various investigations are to be done during the first trimester which includes routine examination and special investigations.

Routine Examination Includes

  • Blood examination for haemoglobin, ABO and Rh grouping, VDRL, and blood glucose test.
  • Urine examination to know the presence of protein. Sugar and pus cells. It is told to the patient to collect the midstream urine after cleaning the genitals.

Special Investigations Includes

  • Serological test to detect for the presence of antibody for rubella and hepatitis B virus.
  • Ultrasound examination to detect the early pregnancy, a number of the fetus, any abnormality in the fetus, and any abnormal pathology in the uterus are present.
  • Cervical cytological study (pap smear)
  • STD test
  • Maternal Serum Alpha Feto Protein (MSAFP) this test is done to detect any abnormalities like neural tube defects, Down’s syndrome, or any other chromosomal defects in the fetus.

Along with this, the general and obstetrical examination is also done in pregnant women’s which may include the followings.

General Examination

  • Build of the pregnant women. Whether the pregnant women are obese, thin or average in build.
  • Nutrition of the pregnant women. To know whether pregnant women come under poor, good or average nutrition.
  • The height of the pregnant women. Mostly small heightened women have small pelvis which creates a problem which normal delivery. In India 4’7” is considered as average height.
  • The weight of pregnant women. Weighing for the pregnant women is most important. At every visit, the weight of the women is checked and this should be checked on the same machine on which done previously and changes should be noted down,
  • Paleness of conjunctiva, tongue and nails beds is checked to detect the presence of jaundice in the women.
  • Gums, teeth, tongue and tonsils are checked to detect the presence of any infection is present.
  • Checking of neck veins, thyroid glands, lymph nodes for any abnormalities.
  • Checking oedema of legs as women’s during first trimester may have swelling in their lower legs which can be noted by pressing the thumb over the part.

Vitals Of The Body Are To Be Noted At Every Visit Which Includes

  • Pulse
  • Blood pressure
  • Respiratory rate

Examination of the breast is to done to detect the physiological changes in the breast which occurs in the first trimester of pregnancy. Along with this to detect any abnormalities if present in breast like cracked or depressed nipples, any skin problem in the breast and near about area. If present than the women should consult the physician for the medications and start as soon as possible. But be aware, as many women’s try some ointments and do self-medication for it, which can result in any serious conditions and that can even affect the pregnancy.

Obstetrical examination of the pregnant women is also done to rule out any abnormalities and presence of any infections. This includes:

  • Abdominal Examination. This examination is done to rule out the presence of abnormality present in the abdomen which includes like herniation, the presence of any scar marks, or any skin problem in the abdomen
  • Vaginal Examination. This examination is done in the doctor’s clinic ina first prenatal visit in 6 weeks to between 12 weeks. This examination helps to diagnose the pregnancy as there are many changes starts in the vaginal walls, to know the size of the uterus and to rule out any pathology present in vagina, cervix and uterus.

First Prenatal Appointment Questions Asked By Doctors

  • Is there any medical disease present to women like diabetes, thyroid problem, hypertension etc
  • Any drugs if the woman is taking before pregnancy due to any medical conditions.
  • If she takes alcohol, or she smokes or any drug addicted. If yes then she should stop.
  • Is there the presence of inherited genetic diseases like sickle cell anaemia in her past and in their family.
  • Is there is any history of miscarriage previously present? If yes then what was the cause for it.

These are few first prenatal visit questions which doctors usually asked to the pregnant women’s. For this women’s should give the correct answers so that if any serious problem in the future can be controlled from the first prenatal visit. For every pregnant woman’s doctor gave them prenatal checkup schedule which every woman should follow strictly. For pregnant women, their first prenatal visit at 6 weeks after confirmation of positive test for pregnancy is very important. So don’t miss any prenatal checkup during the whole pregnancy journey.

Dr. Archana Tegwal

Dr. Archana Tegwal is currently working as a lecturer in under-graduate faculty of Homoeopathy in Jawaharlal Nehru Homoeopathic Medical College, Parul University, Vadodara (Gujarat). She has done BHMS & MD in Homeopathic Materia Medica in March 2016 from Dr. V.H.Dave Homeopathic Medical College and Hospital, Anand (Gujarat). She also serves as a regional manager in NGO "World Healing Society Foundation".