Schedule an appointment with your family doctor as soon as you think you might be pregnant or have a positive home pregnancy test. If you do not have a family doctor, you can look for one at pregnancyvancouver.ca. If your family doctor doesn’t provide maternity care, they can refer you to a family doctor who specializes in maternity care, a registered midwife, or an obstetrician depending on your preference. It’s important to get started on your prenatal care right away.
What happens at my first visit?
- At your first prenatal care visit, your care provider will:
- Take your health history and a family history
- Discuss doing a complete prenatal physical
- Offer you a dating ultrasound to confirm the due date for your pregnancy
- Offer you bloodwork to check on your health and prepare you for the care of your baby
- Counsel you and let you know what’s ahead (advice about eating well, exercise, prenatal vitamins, when to seek urgent care)
- Provide you with information regarding prenatal genetic screening
So many questions
A lot happens in the first meeting, and it’s easy to get overloaded with information. It may help you to write down specific questions that you would like to ask in advance, so you don’t forget them. It’s also useful to bring a pen and paper so you can write down additional questions as they arise during the visit. Some common and useful questions to ask are:
- What is your philosophy of care for pregnancy?
- Who will be at the birth?
- What are your recommendations for my weight gain in pregnancy?
- What books or websites do you recommend?
- How do I reach you if I have urgent concerns or questions?
- How will test results be shared with me?
Keep a list of questions that come up between visits. You will soon discover that friends, family and the general public may see your pregnancy as an opportunity to offer advice to you on all kinds of pregnancy related topics. Remember to check with your doctor about advice given by others as well as online advice since this advice may not be accurate. Family doctors have a wide range of medical expertise and can answer questions about a variety of health concerns – not just those related to pregnancy. Refer to BC Women’s Health Pregnancy Passport to find out what to expect for your care, questions to ask, and decisions you need to make.
Find a family doctor for your pregnancy and beyond at Pregnancy Vancouver.
Pregnancy Vancouver is a project of the Vancouver Division of Family Practice (VDoFP). The VDoFP is creating a network of Family Doctors to enhance and facilitate knowledge exchange about prenatal and postpartum care, connect Family Doctors, and improve the maternity care referral process.