8 Week Pregnant Doctors Appointment
If this is your first OB appointment, we’ll start by getting to know you. We’ll ask you about your family’s health history, your birth control methods and any medical or psychosocial issues.
We’ll take your weight, measure your height and check your blood pressure. You’ll also have a urine test and may undergo an internal exam to assess whether your cervix is opening (dilating). This is an important visit so come prepared with questions!
Your Medical History
Your doctor or midwife will want to know a lot of details about you and your family health history at this first appointment. They’ll also do a physical exam, a pelvic exam and measure your belly. Depending on how long it’s been since your last Pap test, they might check to see if the cervix is thinning or opening (a sign of labor).
The doctors will ask about your menstrual history and use that to determine your due date. They’ll also want to know if you have had any previous miscarriages, abortions or stillbirths and any other medical conditions. They’ll probably also ask about your ethnic background, as some prenatal conditions tend to run in certain populations.
During this visit, your doctor or midwife will also perform a hysterosalpingogram (an X-ray of the uterus and its tubes) to determine how your cervix is progressing. They’ll likely also take a vaginal swab to screen for group B strep.
You’ll get a pregnancy blood test (to confirm your results from the at-home tests you probably took) and your doctor may measure your height and weight to record a baseline reading. They’ll also check your blood pressure and note if it’s higher than normal, which is sometimes a sign of preeclampsia.
Your doctor will take a sample of your blood for screening and diagnostic tests to determine whether the fetus has certain genetic disorders. These tests include sequential screening, quad screen, and first trimester serum screen. They must be performed at specific times during your pregnancy.
Other routine blood work includes a Pap smear and pelvic exam and testing for sexually transmitted diseases, including hepatitis B, syphilis, and HIV. The provider may also check your hemoglobin and hematocrit to determine if you are anemic, which can cause trouble for both mom and baby. These tests are required by the state of Virginia for pregnant women.
Depending on your due date and your doctor, she may do an ultrasound or other physical exam. This is the best way to check the fetus’s progress and to confirm your gestational age. The ultrasound can also help your doctor to listen for the fetal heartbeat. You can hear the fetal heartbeat with a Doppler ultrasound or an abdominal acoustic scan (AAU).
You can also have a 3-D or 4-D ultrasound at this point. These take thousands of pictures and create a picture that’s like a photograph. You can even watch your baby move in real time!
Your healthcare provider may ask you to drink several glasses of water before the ultrasound so that your bladder is full. This is important because sound waves travel better through a full bladder than an empty one. The sonographer will apply a gel to your belly and use a hand-held device called a transducer to scan the area.
Group B Strep Screening
Group B streptococcus (GBS) is bacteria that normally lives in the intestines, vagina or rectum of healthy people. Approximately 25% of women carry GBS and don’t have symptoms. When a woman is pregnant, the GBS bacteria can pass to her baby during vaginal delivery and make the infant ill. This is rare, but can be serious.
A GBS test looks for the presence of these bacteria in a woman’s body, and if positive, the doctor will prescribe antibiotics to be taken before labor begins. The test is done by taking a swab from the vagina and rectum for analysis.
The procedure is simple and painless, but if you’re having a cesarean section, it may not be possible to do the test. Your provider will numb the area on your back, then insert the needle between two of the small vertebrae that make up your spine. The procedure takes about five minutes. The results are available in about one to three days.