What To Expect At Your First Prenatal Appointment
As soon as you learn that you’re pregnant, you may start thinking about baby names, picking out nursery decor, and imagining how your growing belly will look. During this exciting time in life, it is also important to protect the health of yourself and your baby with comprehensive prenatal care. From tracking fetal growth to monitoring the mother’s health, prenatal care is an essential part of every pregnancy. The caring team of board-certified, advanced nurse practitioners at Denton South Center of Health Services of North Texas (HSNT) offers comprehensive prenatal care and routine prenatal checks for women who are expecting. Learn more about prenatal care in Denton, TX, including when to schedule your first appointment and what you can expect during that visit.
What is included in prenatal care?
A common misconception regarding prenatal care is that it is only for monitoring the baby. In reality, prenatal care during pregnancy is for the benefit of both the baby and the mother. With everything from routine milestone checks to advanced monitoring, prenatal care gives patients peace of mind in knowing that their pregnancy is progressing normally. Furthermore, routine prenatal care can reveal potential problems or complications as soon as they arise so that effective treatment can be administered, which in some cases may be life-saving. Some of the most important services included in prenatal care at HSNT in Denton, TX include:
- Pregnancy confirmation
- Pelvic exam
- Blood work
- Diabetes screening
- Fetal monitoring
- Monitoring the mother’s health
- Ultrasound imaging
- Fetal Doppler heart rate monitoring
- Advice on medications and diet during pregnancy
- Counseling and emotional support
Additionally, HSNT is proud to offer specialist referrals, social workers, and both English and Spanish-speaking team members to assist our prenatal patients.
Know when to schedule your first prenatal visit
Patients typically attend their first prenatal appointment around weeks 6 – 8 of pregnancy. However, some women may not learn they are pregnant until later. If you have received a positive home pregnancy test or suspect that you may be pregnant, we encourage you to schedule a prenatal appointment in Denton, TX as soon as possible.
What happens during a prenatal care office visit?
During your first prenatal care visit, one of our caring providers will likely confirm your pregnancy with a urine test, blood test, or both. A thorough health history will be taken, and your doctor will discuss any concerns, symptoms, and questions you may have. Depending on how far along you are, you may also have a pelvic exam and additional lab work performed. An ultrasound will be used to measure the fetus, confirm your dates, calculate a due date, and identify any potential complications or abnormalities.
When preparing for your first prenatal appointment, it is helpful to gather the following information to discuss with your doctor:
- Date of last normal period
- Personal health history
- Family’s health history (from both parents)
- List of any current medications
- List of questions for your doctor
The first visit is likely to be the longest and may last 1 – 2 hours. Over the next several months, if your pregnancy is progressing normally, you can expect to have a routine prenatal visit about once per month. Toward the end of your pregnancy, the visits will become more frequent and may be scheduled every 1 – 2 weeks.
Protect your health and your baby’s health during pregnancy with prenatal care in North Texas
There’s nothing more important during pregnancy than your own health and the health of your baby, and routine prenatal care is the best tool for protecting both mother and child. If you are pregnant or think you may be pregnant, we invite you to call the warm and welcoming team of board-certified nurse practitioners to schedule your first prenatal appointment at Denton South Center of Health Services of North Texas, conveniently located within Medical City Denton. To help ensure all patients get the care they deserve, we accept Medicaid and some forms insurance and also offer a sliding fee scale. When it comes to the health of you and your baby, nothing should be left to chance. Call us today!