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What to expect before, during and after your first prenatal appointment

Ultrasounds, pregnancy plans, blood tests. Certified Nurse Midwife Ann Forster Page answers some common questions about our prenatal care.
Learn what to expect during your 8-week and 10-week prenatal visits.

Pregnancy is a very exciting time, but it can also carry with it plenty of anxiety. 

At the University of Minnesota Health Women’s Health Specialists Clinic, we seek to arm all our patients with as much information as possible, and pregnancy is no exception. We sat down with Certified Nurse Midwife Ann Forster Page and asked her to answer some common questions about the first prenatal appointment.

Learn more about our prenatal services at our Women’s Health Specialists Clinic.

When should I have my first prenatal appointment? 
We typically schedule the first prenatal appointment eight weeks after the first day of a woman’s last period. This 8-week appointment is also called an intake appointment. It includes an ultrasound, lab work and a meeting with a certified nurse midwife. Please allow about 90 minutes for this appointment. You are welcome to bring a support person with you to this visit and any future visit.

What happens during this appointment? 
A trans-vaginal or abdominal ultrasound will let us know how far along you are, and confirm your expected delivery date. After the ultrasound, you will meet with the midwife. The two of you will review your answers to a detailed questionnaire provided to you before your appointment, either through our MyChart services or upon your arrival at the clinic. The questionnaire includes your family history, medical history, past pregnancies and surgeries. This information helps you and the midwife map out a plan for the pregnancy. The midwife will recommend blood tests and you will have blood drawn during this visit. She will also review information for optional genetic screening tests and answer other questions you may have about morning sickness, nausea, vomiting, nutrition, warning signs and what to expect from our clinic during your prenatal care. 

What about the 10-week visit? What should I expect?
Two weeks after the initial visit, we ask our patients to return for your first obstetrics appointment. During this visit, you can choose to see a midwife or doctor for your ongoing appointments. Individual follow-up may vary based on your unique situation; we will establish a unique healthcare plan for you during your intake appointment. The 10-week obstetrics appointment includes a full physical exam and a pap smear if needed. Your care provider will go over your lab results and listen to the baby using a Doptone fetal monitor. This appointment normally takes about 30 minutes.

Learn more about our newly upgraded Birthplace at University of Minnesota Medical Center.

How often will I come in for appointments after the intake and obstetrics visits? 
We normally see you every four to six weeks until your pregnancy reaches 28 weeks, at which point we recommend you come in every two to three weeks. From 36 weeks until the birth, we recommend weekly appointments.

I had my last baby through University of Minnesota Health, so you should have my history. Do I still need to have an intake appointment?
Yes. We treat every new pregnancy uniquely, so please schedule this important visit. This visit allows us to review any changes in your health since your last pregnancy and set a plan for this one.

What if I have questions before my first appointment, or any time during my pregnancy?
Please call our clinic at 612-273-7111 and talk to one of our triage nurses. If you have a concern after hours, our on-call doctor or midwife will be paged with any concerns.