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Pregnancy: 1st Trimester

Questions to Discuss with Your Doctor:

  • Your age and how it will affect your pregnancy.
  • Have you been pregnant before? If so, what was the outcome of each pregnancy. Did you have a full-term pregnancy (your baby was born close to your due date)? Did you give birth via a vaginal delivery or a cesarean section ("C-section") surgery? If you had a C-section, what type of C-section was it? Did any of your pregnancies end in miscarriage, voluntary abortion, or an ectopic (tubal) pregnancy?
  • Does this pregnancy come at a good time for you?
  • When was the first day of your last menstrual period?
  • What is the usual length of your menstrual cycle?
  • Do you have any medical problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure, thyroid problems, asthma, tuberculosis, epilepsy, or heart disease?
  • Have you ever had any sexually transmitted infections such as gonorrhea, herpes, syphilis, or human papilloma virus (HPV)?
  • Do any medical problems tend to run in your family such as sickle cell anemia, cystic fibrosis, Down syndrome, or hemophilia?
  • Are you taking any medications (including over-the-counter medications)? If so, what are they?
  • Do you smoke? If so, how many packs per day?
  • In an average week, how many alcoholic beverages do you consume?
  • Do you use any recreational drugs?
  • Did you have any problems getting pregnant?
  • Do you eat a well-balanced diet? Are you taking any vitamins, including folic acid (folate)?
  • Do you exercise regularly?
  • What is your home situation like? Who do you live with? Is your partner supportive of this pregnancy? If not, has your partner hit or threatened you?
  • Are you having any problems with morning sickness (that is, nausea and vomiting)?
  • Are you having any bleeding from your vagina?

Your Doctor Might Examine the Following Body Structures or Functions:

  • Temperature, blood pressure, pulse, weight
  • Chest exam
  • Heart exam
  • Abdominal exam
  • Pelvic exam with Pap smear and cervical cultures
  • Leg exam

Your Doctor Might Order the Following Lab Tests or Studies:

  • Confirm pregnancy with blood or urine test (see Beta HCG test p. 154)
  • Complete blood count and blood type (see p. 154)
  • Blood tests for syphilis, rubella antibodies, hepatitis B, HIV
  • Urinalysis
  • Portable Doppler instrument or stethoscope to measure fetal heart sounds
  • Urine culture
  • "Triple screen" (also known as "AFP-3" or "Enhanced AFP" (see p. 918)
  • Genetic testing


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