What happens at your first antenatal visit?
At your first antenatal visit, you will be asked lots of questions about your health, any other pregnancies, yourself, your partner and your family. This will assist the midwife or doctor to plan your care.
Your midwife or doctor will check your blood pressure, weight and height and you may need to have a Pap smear if you have not had one in the last 2 years.
Other examinations (heart, chest and breasts) may be done if indicated.
At your first visit, you will also have some blood taken for tests and your urine will be checked as well.
You will be asked about possible signs of depression, stresses that you might have and social supports (your family and friends).
Your medical history
Your midwife or doctor will need to know your medical history, including information about illnesses, operations, and allergic reactions to drugs, heart or kidney problems and any other health issues.
Your midwife or doctor will ask about any medications you may be taking, including those bought from a pharmacy, health food store or supermarket without prescription.
Your midwife or doctor will also record important personal information, including your age, occupation, your partner’s age and occupation, how much alcohol you drink and if you smoke.
Your family’s medical history
It is important to provide your midwife or doctor with information about any family medical problems such as diabetes, chronic diseases, genetic disorders or a history of twins.
Your gynaecological and obstetric history
The midwife or doctor will want to know
• how often your periods came,
• when you had your last period,
• the types of contraception you have used,
• about any previous pregnancies, terminations, miscarriages and live births.
All this information is kept private and confidential.
Your due date
If you have a regular menstrual cycle and you know the date your last period started this can be used to work out when your baby is due.
Your due date is known as your EDD (Estimated Date of Delivery) or EDC (Estimated Date of Confinement) and is usually around 40 weeks after the beginning of your last period.
You can use the Baby due date calculator as a quick way to work out when your baby is due.
If you don't know the date of your last period talk with your GP about having a 'dating scan'. A dating scan is done between 10 – 14 wks, gestation age
What happens at other antenatal visits?
At all visits, you will have your blood pressure checked.
The doctor or midwife will palpate (feel) your abdomen to see how much your baby has grown and listen to your baby’s heartbeat.
On every occasion you will be weighed, have blood taken for tests and have your urine checked.
Your antenatal visits are a great way to learn about how your baby is growing and what is happening to your body.
Many women and their partners like to attend antenatal classes to learn more about pregnancy and birth, and about parenting a new baby. These classes are held at each of the major public hospitals where there are antenatal services and at many private hospitals.
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