Seasoned obstetrician and gynecologist Dr. Ratnam Jain has worked in private practice for more than 10 years. Currently, she works with patients in her office in Clifton and Belleville, New Jersey, and also instructs residents in Obstetrics and Gynecology. Dr. Ratnam Jain earned recognition as a Top Doctor in New Jersey Monthly and belongs to a number of prestigious professional associations. Here, she outlines what to expect at one’s first prenatal doctor visit.
If a woman thinks she might be pregnant, one of her first steps should be to schedule an appointment with a pregnancy health care provider. This can include an OB/GYN, a midwife, or another qualified professional. Although the pregnancy may have been confirmed with an at-home test, an appointment with a doctor offers reassurance, advice, and excellent support for the woman’s and baby’s health during pregnancy. This first visit generally includes advice and education about pregnancy and childbirth as well as counseling, support, and medical treatment. Regular visits with a healthcare provider throughout the pregnancy make it possible to follow the progress of the fetus’ development and keep a careful eye on any potential problems or complications.
At the first visit, the doctor or provider will take a health history, identify potential risk factors, and determine the due date. The woman should be prepared with her history, including past pregnancies, surgeries, medical conditions, and exposure to or experience with contagious diseases. The doctor should be told about all medications currently being taken, including over-the-counter drugs.
After taking the patient’s history, the doctor will perform a physical exam, followed by a pelvic exam, including a pap smear and a manual exam. Many healthcare providers also order a number of laboratory tests to screen for diseases or other problems. Sometimes these tests may include genetic screenings for inheritable diseases.
Some patients may wish to prepare a list of questions for the visit. These often include considerations like current symptoms, the need for prenatal vitamins, help with morning sickness, information about weight gain, and potential problems to look out for.