First Trimester Prenatal Care
Welcome to the beginning of your prenatal care journey! There are many exciting changes ahead, and we’ll be with you at every step.
Your first prenatal visit
This first visit will probably be the longest, because there’s a lot to cover! To make sure you and your baby are off to a healthy start, we’ll:
- Give you a physical exam, including a breast exam, pelvic exam, and a Pap test, if you’re due for one
- Take an ultrasound to see how far along you are in the pregnancy
- Discuss your medical history, family history, and health habits
- Explain the benefits of breastfeeding for both you and your baby
- Talk with you about how you’re feeling physically and emotionally
Your first ultrasound
The most exciting part of this visit will be seeing your baby for the first time. At Kaiser Permanente, we do ultrasounds early so we can give you a more accurate estimate of your baby’s due date. If you come in when you’re less than 6 weeks pregnant, you won’t be able to see much yet. But after that, we should be able to see your little one’s developing ears and mouth, and black dots where the eyes and nostrils will be. The short stubs that will become your baby’s arms and legs might also be visible.
We’ll also listen to your baby’s heartbeat together! At 100 to 160 beats per minute, it beats about twice as fast as yours does.
Another thing we’ll do at this stage is talk to you about how you’re feeling. Many people have heard about postpartum depression, but depression is also very common during pregnancy. We’ll check in with you about your emotional health often — if you need help, we’ll connect you with the right care.
To start planning your prenatal care journey, we’ll talk to you about screening tests for common birth defects. Depending on your family health history, you may choose to have no tests, one test, or several tests — it’s up to you and your partner.
Speaking of your partner — bring your partner! We’re here to support them, too. This is an exciting milestone that’s not to be missed.