A patient speaking to her gynecologist at a medical examination.

Midwifery Musings: Navigating the Initial Prenatal Exam

Jennifer Walker, CNM is back offering insights from the unique perspective of one of our midwives in our next Midwifery Musings blog and giving you a look behind the scenes here at Covington Women’s Health Specialists.

As your trusted guides on the exciting journey of pregnancy, we are providing a detailed exploration of the Initial Prenatal Exam—a crucial milestone in your path to motherhood.

What to Expect

Scheduled approximately 2 weeks after confirming your pregnancy, this crucial appointment sets the stage for comprehensive care, laying the foundation for a healthy and well-monitored pregnancy. It also establishes a strong connection between the patient and their healthcare team, fostering a supportive and informed care environment. Here’s an overview of what typically happens:

Ultrasound

Tailored to your gestational age, an early ultrasound is recommended for accurate due date confirmation, providing an initial glimpse of your little one.

Lab Work

A vital component of your first visit involves an array of tests assessing your health and potential risks for both you and your baby. This includes blood type, anemia check, immunity to Rubella, and screenings for HIV, Hepatitis B, Syphilis, and more. Our caring team is here to guide you through these essential evaluations.

Special Considerations for Rh-Negative Blood Type:

If your blood type is Rh-negative, we’re vigilant about addressing potential risks associated with Rh disease. Our team will conduct Rh factor testing and, if needed, administer Rhogam—a preventive measure that ensures the well-being of both you and your baby.

Elective Genetic Testing:

Delving into the realm of prenatal genetic testing, we offer various screening options tailored to your preferences and health history. From the Sequential Integrated Screen with Nuchal Translucency Ultrasounds to AFP 4 (Quad screenings), Cell-Free Fetal DNA, or Spinal Muscular Atrophy/Fragile X, our comprehensive approach aims to provide you with valuable insights into your baby’s well-being.

Important Note on Screening Tests:

While these screening tests offer valuable risk assessments, it’s crucial to understand that they are not diagnostic tests. A normal result does not guarantee a complication-free birth, and anomalies can sometimes be missed. Our dedicated team is here to navigate this information with you, offering support and guidance throughout.

Your Journey Ahead:

Following the Initial Prenatal Exam, we look forward to welcoming you back for your next prenatal appointment in approximately 4 weeks. Should you encounter any obstetric emergencies before 20 weeks of gestation, our guidance is to seek evaluation at the ER. However, please remember that we are always accessible via MyChart messaging or phone to address any questions or concerns you may have.

As your partners in this remarkable journey, we’re honored to provide the compassionate care and expertise you deserve.  Stay tuned for more Midwifery Musings as we navigate the beautiful complexities of pregnancy together. To set up an appointment with one of our specialists, call 770-385-8954 or request an appointment online.