Once the pregnancy stick is positive
Dr. Nita Landry, MD, FACOG
Especially for first time mommies, finding out that you are pregnant can be exciting and scary at the same time! Let me get you started by telling you some basic things to expect when preparing for your first prenatal visit.
You should call to schedule an appointment with your OB/GYN Healthcare Provider as soon as you have a positive pregnancy test. While some providers will want you to be a certain gestational age before you come in (example- they won’t see you until you are 8 weeks pregnant), calling early ensures that you will get your appointment as soon as possible. Ideally, prenatal care is initiated by 10 weeks of gestation.
Once you show up in the office, your provider will. . .
- Determine a due date. Basically, your provider calculates two due dates then picks ONE:
- Due Date Based On Your Last Menstrual Period (Assuming you know this date)
- Due Date Based On The First Ultrasound They Perform (If the ultrasound is not done at your first visit, they will schedule an ultrasound for you)
-If your last menstrual period due date is close enough to your ultrasound due date, THE LAST MENSTRUAL PERIOD DUE DATE WINS.
-If your last menstrual period due date is drastically different than your ultrasound due date, THE ULTRASOUND DUE DATE WINS.
- Examine you. We will get your height/ weight/ blood pressure and perform a physical exam, which may or may not include a pap smear and breast exam.
- Ask lots of personal questions. Have you ever had any STDs? Have you had abortions or surgeries? Do you have any medical problems? Are you taking medication? Does anyone in you or your partner’s family have any medical problems? Have you every been a victim of domestic violence? The question list goes on… and on… and on! The big thing to realize is that your healthcare provider is not asking you these questions to judge you. Instead, we are trying to make sure that we have all the information needed to provide excellent medical care. For example, if you have a history of genital herpes you will need medication during the latter part of your pregnancy to protect your baby- even if you don’t have an outbreak during pregnancy.
- Obtain lots of blood work/ cultures. Among other things, we check the following:
- Blood type
- Antibody screen (to check for antibodies in your blood that could harm the baby)
- Hemoglobin/ Hematocrit (to make sure you are not anemic)
- Varicella/ Rubella immunity (to make sure you are not susceptible to those infections, which can be dangerous for your fetus)
- Syphilis/ Hepatitis B screening
- You will be offered
- Genetic screening (ex- Cystic Fibrosis or Sickle Cell Disease)
- HIV screening
- Gonorrhea/ Chlamydia Screening (some providers get this on all patients)
- Screening tests for chromosomal abnormalities (ex- Down Syndrome)
- Other tests are based on your specific clinical situation (ex- early diabetes screening)
- Tell you all the do’s and don’ts of pregnancy. Example- Don’t drink alcohol. Do wear your seat belt and enjoy your pregnancy ☺!
Visit Dr. Nita’s website: Stilettos & Stirrups
Reference: Lockwood, Charles. Citing Source: utdol.com. Initial prenatal assessment and first-trimester prenatal care. February 4, 20016.
Dr. Nita Landry is a Board Certified OB/GYN with a special interest in working with young women to promote safe sexual practices, healthy pregnancies and disease prevention. Hailing from Alexandria, Louisiana, Dr. Nita received a full scholarship to Dillard University, where she received her undergraduate degree in Biology. In 2003 Dr. Nita was accepted into The University of South Alabama College of Medicine, where she received a full tuition scholarship. Following her graduation, Dr. Nita completed her OB/GYN Residency at The University of Louisville in 2011.
Dr. Nita is a locum tenens physician who travels across the country practicing medicine. From Alaska to Wisconsin to upstate New York, Dr. Nita accepts contracts with understaffed hospitals and practices wherever there is a need. She has also immersed herself in community causes, working with the Boys & Girls Club of America, Habitat for Humanity and several battered women’s shelters. Her community service allows her to focus on helping underprivileged youth and teenage mothers.
When Dr. Nita is not practicing medicine she enjoys working in her community and supporting her home state’s football team, The New Orleans Saints.