Preparing for the appointment

At your first appointment, your health care provider will review your past and current health, including any chronic medical conditions you have and problems you've had during past pregnancies, if any. Gathering as much information as possible about your past and present health is one of your health care provider's biggest goals at your first visit. The answers you give have an impact on the care you receive.

Some health care providers make the first part of this appointment a one-on-one conversation with just you — the mom-to-be — and later invite your partner to join you. This gives you a chance to privately discuss any health and social issues from your past that you may not want to share with your partner. In the time before your first appointment, you may want to write down details on your menstrual cycles, your contraceptive use, your and your partner's family medical history, your work environment and your lifestyle.

Your first visit with your health care provider will also give you a chance to ask the many questions you may have. Make it easy on yourself by starting to jot your questions down as they occur to you. It's easier to collect your thoughts before your appointment than to do so during a short visit.

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