Monday, November 3, 2008

Pregnancy Exam - first prenatal visit

If you have missed your period, feel nauseous, experiencing frequent mood swings, having loss of appetite and feeling tired very often then Congratulations! You are pregnant. Still not sure about it? A Home pregnancy test should help.

Pregnancy is the most wonderful experience in a woman’s life. The day I noticed I had missed my periods, I knew I was pregnant as I had never missed it by a single day. I remember how excited I was to have a tiny life in my belly. But at the same time very nervous and anxious too. My husband was overjoyed with the news. He called his insurance provider to find out an in-network provider near our place and took an appointment for one week after. We didn’t want to tell anyone else before confirming with the doctor. I was wondering how my pregnancy exam is going to be. Let me share with you my experience of my first prenatal visit.

1. General Info - As you go to the clinic or hospital and ask the attendant about your appointment, she will give a detailed form to fill which requires a lot of information about you. This includes some general information as your age, weight, height etc.

2. Date of the last menstrual cycle - is needed to calculate the due date. As per the pregnancy calculator the due date is calculated as 3 months back from the date of first day of the last menstrual cycle and adding 7 days to it or in other words 40 weeks after the first day of the last menstrual cycle. Click here to know your due date.

3. Insurance details - like insurance provider name, address and your insurance plan. Keep the insurance card handy for this. You might need to pay the copay also if it is in the plan. However for pregnancy, some insurance plans require a global payment to be made only once after the delivery of the baby that includes the payment of all visits as well as the labor and delivery charges. My husband had this option in his plan so we didn’t have to pay any copay in any visit. So just try to get as much info about your plan as possible.

4. Medical history - As your doctor will be your point of contact for most of the queries in future, this is the time to give all your hgbmedical history incluing your family history and the father’s side family history of chronicle illnesses like diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure., allergy to any drugs, mental disorder etc.

5. Weight Check & Urine Sample- After you fill the detailed form, the nurse will measure your weight which btw is checked in each visit to know if the growth of the baby is normal Total weight gain in a pregnancy is usually between 25 to 35 pounds.
Then you will provide your urine sample that they test immediately to confirm the pregnancy and to test the presence of any bacterial infection. Urine sample is also taken in each visit.

6. Physical Exam - After that your clinician will do a complete physical exam of breasts and reproductive organs i.e. vagina, cervix, and uterus to check the symptoms of pregnancy and the strength of reproductive organs to hold the baby. Soon after the conception the breasts become soft to the touch and fuller as well. The cervix also softens as it starts retaining more fluid.

7. Pap Test - She might also take a pap smear or a pap test as it is called if it was not done in the last one year.

8. Blood Test - Your blood sample will be taken to test the count of hemoglobin. As the baby gets oxygen from the hemoglobin in your blood if the count is low or in other words you are anemic, your physician might suggest some iron supplements. If there is not a lab in the same facility, your physician will prescribe to take a blood test elsewhere.

There might be some more or less procedures according to your age, medical history or other factors. So be prepared with the information your clinician will need in your first visit and any specific questions you would like to ask. Once again, many congratulations and best wishes to soon to be mom.

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