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Your First Physician Visit

Your first physician visit will be scheduled at around 12 weeks of pregnancy, at the end of your first trimester. This will, many times, be your first opportunity to hear your baby’s heartbeat by Doppler. Your baby’s heartbeat can first be heard with a hand-held Doppler between 10 and 12 weeks gestation, but the timing can vary slightly.


On some occasions, you will need to see your physician earlier than 12 weeks if you are having a problem, if you have a complicated medical history, or if you require an early ultrasound. This will be discussed and determined at your First OB Visit with the Perinatal Nurse Educator. Please call the office if you have any questions regarding when you need to be seen. 


During this first visit, you will meet with your physician to discuss how your pregnancy is progressing and ask any questions that you may have. Your physician will review your medical history and recent lab results and discuss with you any medical issues you have that may affect your pregnancy. You will receive a full physical exam with a breast exam and Pap smear (if needed). Your physician will also collect a vaginal culture to test for Chlamydia and Gonorrhea, common sexually transmitted infections. This test is required at least once during pregnancy.


Family members are welcome at this visit to hear the baby’s heartbeat but we ask that you limit family members to the father of the baby and immediate family only. This visit is about you and is your first opportunity to see and talk with your doctor about your pregnancy. Your doctor needs to concentrate on you and your care and you need to be able to concentrate on what is discussed and be able to ask questions freely. Also keep in mind that you will be having a physical exam that may require you to get undressed and you may not want all family present. Future visits after this will be much quicker and may be a better time for family to come to hear the baby’s heartbeat. If you have any questions about this recommendation, then please don’t hesitate to ask our staff.

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