Pregnancy: What can you expect on your first prenatal visit?

What can I expect on my first prenatal visit? Should my husband tag along?

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Peg Plumbo CNM

Peg Plumbo has been a certified nurse-midwife (CNM) since 1976. She has assisted at over 1,000 births and currently teaches in the... Read more

There is so much that can be accomplished and taught at the initial obstetrical visit in early pregnancy. It can be difficult for the new parents to take it all in.

Yes, your husband should definitely come along. The protocol, I hope, should require that you be seen part of the time alone, however. In this way, screening for domestic violence issues can be carried out.

Education regarding medication, nutrition, activities (including sexual), travel, exercise, over the counter drugs, alcohol, recreational drugs, vitamins and treatments for common complaints of pregnancy is done at this visit.

A very thorough history (including the father's side of the family) is conducted, as well as a very thorough physical examination. We are often able to hear fetal heart tones at this visit, also.

I think it is important for the father to hear these instructions and get a chance to ask his questions.

Lab work, including a urinalysis, blood work for hemoglobin, syphilis, rubella and cervical cultures for gonorrhea and chlamydia and a pap smear, are also done. You will be given information on genetic screening such as amniocentesis and AFP, which you will need to think about in order to make informed decisions at your next appointment.

So, this is a very important visit and one which your husband should get in on, also.

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