I recently had my first OB appointment! I was excited and nervous, and this is my second baby! Plus, I’m a nurse, so doctors don’t make me nervous!
What to Expect at the first trimester OB doctor appointment
1: Expect a basic pelvic exam
The doctor needs to know how things look and make sure you don’t have an infection. Plus, it will give him (or her) an idea of how far along you are by feeling your baby bump. You’ll most likely get a brief breast exam too.
2: Expect an ultrasound.
A basic bedside ultrasound. This won’t tell you if all the organs are perfect, it won’t tell you gender (not before 18-20 weeks), but it will help the doctor see baby, the placenta, and baby’s heart beat. You might get to see hands, heart, feet, and a face! At some ultrasounds the doctor will do measurements of baby’s head, femur (big leg bone), and more to estimate age. At later ultrasounds it will help make sure baby is still swimming in enough fluid. Expect the gel to be cold, the table to be crinkly, and your heart to speed up at the sight of your precious baby.
3: Expect to wait.
You’ll wait in the waiting room, wait between having your blood pressure checked and seeing the doctor, wait between being told to change your clothes and the doctor coming back, and probably wait at some point between parts of the exam. The doctor isn’t ignoring you, and you are just as important as anyone else in the building. The bottom line is that he (or she) is busy, has lots of paperwork to fill out, other patients coming in, and might have to check on results or information he doesn’t have right at his fingertips. They didn’t forget you are in the room, don’t worry, just relax.
4: Expect to be forgetful.
I mean, come with a list of questions. As soon as the doctor goes to leave the room, or asks if you have questions, you will forget every question that has rolled through your head in the last month. You just will. So, write them down. And DON”T BE AFRAID TO ASK! The doctor has heard it all, you aren’t going to shock them, and they aren’t going to think you are dumb. If it’s on your mind, just ask. The doctor went to school for years and has years of experience, he’s the one to ask, not google.
5: Expect to be asked for samples.
Blood samples, urine samples, no surprise. If you have a shy bladder, ask (when you make the appointment) if they are going to need a urine sample so you can come prepared.
Tips for the first OB appointment
1: Come with questions written down. And don’t be afraid to ask them!
2: Wear comfortable, easy to remove clothing. You’ll be changing out of it anyways.
3: Bring you husband or friend, it makes the time pass better and he will like seeing the ultrasound, plus he might have questions of his own!
4: Don’t be embarrassed. Male or female doctor, they are trained to do breast exams and pelvic exams. Private parts really don’t exist. A male doctor should have a female escort in the room for exams though, it’s out of respect and to avoid incriminating situations.
5: Ask your questions!
6: Bring home an ultrasound picture, they aren’t really cute but they are good memories.
7: Be patient. Don’t schedule the appointment right before anything, it will never go as quickly as you want.
8: Take your doctor’s advise. They tell you what to do out of knowledge and experience. BUT ask all your questions, bring up your doubts, and don’t be afraid to have a conversation if you disagree about anything they say.
9: Find a doctor you trust. If you don’t like your doctor, switch. You need to trust the person who will be delivering this special bundle of joy and craziness!
10: Smile and relax! It’s all part of the journey of being pregnant. Enjoy reading the magazines while waiting, enjoy listening to the heartbeat, enjoy everything. Don’t get wrapped up in anxiety over things you can’t control.