The importance of proper prenatal care for a healthy pregnancy can’t be stressed enough. The Mayo Clinic suggests you begin prenatal care as soon as you think you’re pregnant or at least some time within the first trimester.
What To Expect On Your First Prenatal Visit
Your first visit will probably include blood tests, a physical exam, and questions about your medical history as well as your lifestyle. Plan on your first visit covering the following topics:
Your expected due date
The actual date you’re due is not as important as the beginning date of your pregnancy. It’s important to know how long you’ve been pregnant to learn if the baby’s development is on target.
Fetal ultrasound is one of the easiest ways to determine the number of weeks you’ve been pregnant. The Colorado Springs Pregnancy Center offers free first trimester ultrasounds to women who’ve received a positive pregnancy test result. Appointments are scheduled based on specific criteria determined by our pregnancy center medical staff.
Physical Exams and Lab Tests
The doctor will likely check your blood pressure and your weight to calculate your body mass index. This will help the doctor recommend the suggested weight you should gain for a healthy pregnancy.
Depending on where you go for your first prenatal exam, it may include a breast and pelvic exam, plus a Pap test to screen for cancer. Blood tests should be done to check for
STDs, your blood type, and the possibility of anemia too.
Discussions About Your Lifestyle
The doctor should ask you about current medications you’re taking, including prescriptions and over-the-counter medicines. You’ll also need to talk about your use of tobacco, alcohol, and caffeine. Your healthcare provider will talk about the importance of taking prenatal vitamins, good nutrition, and proper exercise.
Health First Colorado Prenatal Care
Colorado’s Medicaid program is called Health First Colorado. If you don’t qualify for Health First Colorado, you can apply for Children Health Plan Plus (CHP+). It’s public low-cost health insurance for certain children and pregnant women.
Health First Colorado covers both maternity and newborn care. Pregnant women are not required to pay a co-pay and there are no more charges for their prenatal services. You’ll receive one comprehensive (or complete) visit and 7-13 prenatal visits that last the whole pregnancy. Plus, the postpartum coverage continues 60 days after giving birth.
How We Can Help
In addition to a free ultrasound scan, Colorado Springs Pregnancy Center offers our free parenting program. This education and mentorship program covers topics such as early pregnancy symptoms and health tips. You’ll also learn about giving birth, newborn care, and effective parenting. It provides individual, personalized parenting education for both women and men.
To apply for Health First Colorado, visit their website.