Once you get that positive pregnancy test, it’s extremely important to call your OBGYN office! From the first moment you see that positive test, your life will completely change! And with that change, comes a lot of prenatal check-ups and ultrasounds. Like, a lot.
What you can expect from doctor visits will really vary from office to office. Many OBGYN offices have their own strict protocol, and they’ll usually be able to provide you with a ton of information upon your first visit to the office. They’ll let you know what to expect at their office, and the type of schedule you should prepare for.
With that being said, there are some things you should already go in expecting. Like an overload of information at your initial visit — paperwork, bloodwork, and even pregnancy test. You can also expect an ultrasound within the first trimester! Here’s some information to help prepare you for what the first trimester visits can entail!
Your First OBGYN Appointment
Your first appointment to the office can include many different things. It honestly depends on how far along you are, and once again, what the protocol at your office is. However, you should usually expect to take a blood or urine test (or both) in-office, so that your doctor can confirm the pregnancy. That is, if you haven’t had these tests run already in an office.
Usually this first visit will include a lot of information and paperwork. Some offices will provide you with a calendar of upcoming visits, paperwork for your dentist regarding safe visit practices while you’re pregnant, paperwork for your employer (if needed), and some paperwork on what to expect during your first trimester.
The paperwork may include different materials at your office, but one thing is for sure, you will have plenty of it! It’s important for you to read through it all to really know what your doctor wants you to do during the first trimester. A healthy first trimester is very important in keeping your baby healthy, so you need to read through that paperwork!
At the end of this visit, you’ll most likely schedule your ultrasound appointment! Most offices usually have the ultrasound appointment separate from your initial first visit appointment. That can be for a plethora of different reasons, usually stemming from the amount of paperwork and testing they have to do at your first appointment, and the fact that you may not be far enough along to see everything on an ultrasound scan.
What else can you expect at this initial visit? Blood work. Dun dun dun! Yes, everyone’s favorite part of pregnancy — the blood panels! While this may not be your favorite part, it’s extremely helpful for our doctors! It ensures that you’re on your way to having a healthy pregnancy!
What to ask: There are many questions you should ask. Whether you’re a first time mom or a veteran at this, you may want to consider asking these questions:
Some of these questions may be answered already during the visit, but be sure to ask them if they’re not discussed!
First Ultrasound – What To Expect
Your first ultrasound can bring on a lot of nerves. Even though it can be a little nerve-wracking, the most important thing is that you’ll see your baby for the very first time! Just a little heads-up, you may need to have a transvaginal ultrasound. You may be familiar with a traditional ultrasound, which is on-top of the stomach. A transvaginal ultrasound is an internal exam, where they insert a wand-like device to provide a clearer view. Your doctor will probably try the traditional ultrasound method before resorting to a transvaginal ultrasound. However, you should just go in ready for the possibility of needing a transvaginal.
At your first ultrasound appointment, you’ll receive a more reliable expected due date (EDD). You’ll usually receive one at your initial visit based off of your last missed period, but the sizing on the ultrasound scan can help them provide you with a more accurate EDD.
You’ll also want to pay attention to your baby’s heart rate! The heart rate is a fun way to predict your baby’s gender. Old wives tales say that a heart rate of 140 and above means that it’s a girl, and under 140 is a boy! So be sure to keep an eye on the heart rate!
Ask your doctor any questions you may have! They’re there to provide you with guidance and clarity, so feel free to get every question answered! No question is a “dumb” question, so don’t feel nervous to ask anything that may be on your mind.
Be sure to take in the moment! Seeing your baby on the screen for the very first time can be a huge moment! For many moms, it can be the first time that the pregnancy feels real. Hearing that heartbeat can also be the most beautiful sound you’ll ever hear. Be sure to kick back, and enjoy it! You’ll never forget it.
Nuchal Translucency Test
This is a test that you may have depending on your office’s protocol. This is usually done between 11 and 13 weeks along. Many offices have this ultrasound included in their routine prenatal testing, while some may not. This test checks for the possibility of various genetic disorders by looking at the fluid at the base of your baby’s neck. Most offices combine this scan with a blood panel.
If your test shows that your baby has an increased risk for a genetic disorder, that doesn’t necessarily mean that anything is wrong. This test just shows that your baby has an increased risk. Your doctor will follow-up with you if you test high, and they’ll discuss your next steps. Breathe, and remember this test doesn’t show that something is actually wrong! Many women who test high go on to have healthy pregnancies and babies!
And that’s what you can expect visit-wise in your first trimester! Of course, your office may have different visits, and different expectations, but this is what you can usually expect to do during your first trimester!
Also! Don’t forget to ask for a photo or video copy of the ultrasounds you have! That way, you have an amazing keepsake, and a way to get a gender prediction from us! All we need is a photo/video of your ultrasound! No finger pricks, mailing, or shipping needed!