The first prenatal visit is often the longest one. The prenatal visit gets scheduled around week 8, though many doctors will start at weeks 10-12. The OB/GYN or midwife will gather as much data as possible for a safe, healthy pregnancy. The healthcare provider will also counsel the patient on any psychological risks and ways to deal with pregnancy symptoms. This is also a great time to build rapport with the person delivering the baby. The last part of the exam usually involves an ultrasound.
Am I getting a sonogram or an ultrasound?
People confuse sonogram and ultrasound and use the terms interchangeably. Sonography is the process of using ultrasound waves to create an image of organs and tissues in the body. These images help healthcare providers make assessments about the health of a person and baby. An ultrasound is a tool used for sonography. The word ultrasound is also used to describe the process. Once an ultrasound is done, the machine produces a sonogram. A sonogram is a picture the doctor sees and will even print for the expectant mother to enjoy. In other words, an ultrasound is an action, and a sonogram is a result. Ultrasounds aren’t just for babies. These tests help assess several other health issues. There’s no better feeling than getting that first sonogram to share with family and friends. For a successful prenatal visit, use these 3 helpful tips.
1. Get some questions ready
Pregnancy opens up a pandora’s box of questions. Who better to answer those questions than the medical provider? In the coming days before the visit, jot down any burning questions about the pregnancy. These questions should cover diet, exercise, and personal care. If there are any concerns about symptoms or coping with pregnancy, add those too. Make sure to find out about any emergency procedures. In terms of delivery, get a feel for the doctor’s opinion on C-sections, natural births, water births, and so on. This will be the most extended session during the pregnancy, so make the best of the time.
2. Take a health roll call
The OB/GYN or midwife will need extensive information on the patient’s health. The doctor will take a blood test, urine test, and physical exam. The tests will include checks for STDs, blood type, blood count, and underlying diseases. The OB/GYN also needs to know the couple’s family history. This can help face any genetic diseases or possible complications during pregnancy. To make the process smoother, write a list of all medication and supplements. Advise the doctor of any illnesses that may affect both mother and baby. Note any recent surgeries done, even minor ones. This information will be needed anyway, so be prepared.
3. Do a background check
Do some past research on the clinic or institution. Look for any testimonials or feedback from previous patients. This can help allay any fears. Research also helps determine the available services at the clinic. Don’t be afraid to make a change if the choice does not feel right.
Ready for your first visit?
A prenatal visit is an essential step in the pregnancy process. The exam allows the doctor to fully assess the patient and put an action plan in place. The first prenatal visit is a first look at the growing bundle of joy. Using an ultrasound, the doctor can produce a sonogram. This image gives a precursor of what’s to come. And that’s a beautiful, healthy baby. For more information about prenatal visits, speak with a healthcare provider.