Please note: Many of the prenatal tests mentioned here are optional. Particular tests and visits may occur several weeks before or after those listed, and the frequency of your standard checkups will depend on how you are feeling.
It is a good idea to have a preconception visit when you start thinking about becoming pregnant. You and your doctor or midwife will review your general health and any specific concerns you may have about becoming pregnant. It is helpful to keep track of your periods.
Pregnancy is not detectable until around the four-week mark (about two weeks after conception). You do not need to come in for a pregnancy test (you can simply use an over-the-counter home test kit). Once you have a positive pregnancy test, please call to schedule an intake appointment with one of our nurses. She will take a history and order labs. This is best done between six and eight weeks from the last day of your last menstrual period.
You will first meet with one of our nurse practitioners, midwives, or residents, who will go over your family's medical history, answer your questions, ask if you would like optional genetic testing, and give you information to read on your own. You will be asked to take a standard round of blood tests to determine your blood type, check for anemia, and gauge your immunity to other diseases.
Then, either in the same visit or a week or two later, you will meet with an obstetrician or midwife from the prenatal care team you have selected, for a thorough physical and pelvic exam, a Pap smear, and sexually-transmitted disease (STD) tests. Women with chronic medical conditions or who have had problems in earlier pregnancies may need to be seen earlier.
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