Your first prenatal checkup would be as soon as you discover that your are or might be pregnant. Doctor will do a physical checkup and review your medical history.
Doctor will also calculate and tell you your approximate due date as well as the age of the fetus. You can calculate due date using due date calculator. Your progress will be documented in a file which you must carry with you for all appointments.
Doctor will check your height, weight and blood pressure. Your BMI will be calculated to check whether you are normal, underweight or over-weight. This will be routinely done at every visit and recorded. Doctor may also do physical exam of your vagina and an internal exam to see progress of fetus. You can check your BMI using BMI Calculator.
Medical history record
Your doctor will ask you many questions regarding your medical history as well as your family’s. This is an important part of first prenatal checkup and you must answer all questions correctly as it is important for the well-being of your unborn child. There will questions about your age, previous pregnancies, miscarriages, menstrual cycles regularity and medical conditions like diabetes, blood pressure, asthma etc in you or your family. If you have any allergies, let the doctor know.
If there is family history of any genetic or congenital disease, be sure to mention it.
Also mention any past surgeries or hospitalizations.
Let the doctor know about any medication you are taking currently.
Due date calculation
Doctor will also establish your due date by checking on the growth of the fetus. Doctor will ask you your last menstrual period (LMP) date , which you must tell as closely as you remember. This will only be an approximate due date. You will get an accurate due date after your first ultrasound scan.
Usually due date is calculated by counting 40 weeks ahead of your LMP.
Doctor will prescribe some blood and urine tests to guage your medical condition and fetal condition. Some common tests will be following :
- Complete Blood count to record WBC and RBC count as well as heamoglobin levels
- Test to determine your blood type and Rh factor
- Urine Analysis to check presence of protein/albumin, glucose, ketone bodies, urobilinogen, bile salts and bile pigments. It will also reveal presence of WBC/ pus cells, red blood cells, epithelial cell as well as casts and crystals in urine.
- Test for Plasma glucose to check glucose levels in your blood and if you are at risk further investigation may be done.
- Serum TSH
- Serum FT4
- Hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAG)
- HIV or Human Immunodeficiency Virus 1 &2
- RUBELLA IgG/ IgM Antibody This test dectects the presence of IgG antibodies to Rubella indicating the presence of past infection or vaccination. Positive result means patient is immune to Rubella.
- RUBELLA IgM Antibody Rubella is common viral infectious disease and can be dangerous to fetus during pregnancy. This test detects the presence of IgM antibodies to Rubella which appear in the early stages of disease.
- VDRL This is a screening test for syphillis and is also used to monitor disease after therapy. This test detects the presence of antibodies to lipoprotein material from damaged cells and cardiolipin from Treponemes.
You will also be put on medications like Folic acid tablets. If there is any complication or risk in your pregnancy, doctor may also prescribe some medicines.
Counselling regarding lifestyle
Your doctor will discuss the results of tests with you and also counsel you about following good lifestyle during pregnancy. This will include :
- No intake of alcohol
- No smoking
- Healthy eating. Plenty of green vegetables, calcium and protein rich foods. Avoiding junk food
- Limiting intake of caffeine – coffee and tea
- Taking enough rest
- Changes in diet in case you have risk of gestational diabetes etc.
- Guide you about healthy weight gain during pregnancy.
Doctor will also let you know when to get your first ultrasound scan done. This will help in determining the correct age of fetus as well as the growth and health of fetus.