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OB Appointment Weeks 1 - 8

As soon as you suspect you're pregnant, schedule an appointment with your doctor or midwife. Even if you've confirmed your suspicion with a home pregnancy test, most offices want to get a blood serum test to confirm the pregnancy. Since most women don't realize they are pregnant until sometime around weeks six to eight, your first OB appointment will probably take place between eight and twelve weeks.

Your doctor or midwife will take a complete medical and family history and discuss any concerns you may have, so make a good list of questions to take with you. This will probably be the longest visit you have with your doctor or midwife (unless you encounter problems along the way). This is also an important opportunity for you to discuss any medications you are taking - prescription and over-the-counter. And if you didn't start taking a prenatal vitamin before getting pregnant, your doctor or midwife will recommend one to you.

At this appointment, your doctor or midwife will also give you a thorough physical, including a pelvic exam. You will also get a Pap smear to test for cervical cancer. Routine blood tests are taken to determine your blood type, Rh factor, and whether you're deficient in iron. You will also be tested for immunity to German measles (rubella) and for sexually transmitted diseases such as syphilis. Depending on your ethnic background and medical history, you may also be tested for sickle-cell anemia, Tay-Sachs disease, and thalassemia. African-Americans, Jews, French-Canadians, and people of Mediterranean descent are most at risk for these illnesses. If you're significantly overweight, have high blood pressure or a family history of diabetes, are an older mother, or previously gave birth to a large baby you will be tested for diabetes. And finally your doctor or midwife will determine your due date!

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