Pregnancy is an exciting time in a woman's life, but it is also a period that requires specialized medical care. As soon as you learn that you are pregnant, it is important to contact an obstetrician, midwife, or your family doctor to schedule an appointment so you can receive the prenatal care that you and your baby need for a healthy pregnancy. Over the course of your pregnancy you will have many appointments, but many first time mothers wonder what to expect at the first prenatal appointment.

Medical History

In order to provide the best care possible, your health care provider will need your full health history. You will likely be asked questions about your personal health and family health history, any medications that you are taking, your lifestyle, and your menstrual cycle. It is very important to be completely honest with your doctor, even if there is sensitive information that you don't want to share with others-- your doctor needs to know as much about you as possible so he or she can take care of you and your baby.

Physical exam

During your first prenatal appointment, your health care provider will most likely have you take a urine-based pregnancy test to establish that you are pregnant. Your height and weight will be recorded, and your doctor will most likely do a full physical exam to evaluate your overall health. In most cases a pelvic exam is also done so your doctor can check the shape and feel of your cervix; if you are due for a PAP smear it will most likely be done during your pelvic exam.

Establish a Due Date

While most babies are not actually born on their due date, the date is established so you and your doctor know when to expect the arrival of your baby. Due dates are typically calculated based on the first day of your last period-- if you have irregular periods or do not remember the date of your last period, and ultrasound may be performed so your doctor can see the size of the fetus and estimate your due date based on that instead.

Blood Tests

Blood is typically either drawn at the first prenatal appointment, or you will be referred to a nearby lab to have blood tests done. These tests are used to determine your blood type, check your hemoglobin levels, and check for infections that can be harmful to you and your baby during pregnancy, such as sexually transmitted diseases. 

For more information, contact a place like Spring Mountain Women's Health.