Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

Prenatal Care: Your First Prenatal Visit


After you've decided which practitioner you'll feel the most comfortable with, it will then be time to schedule your first prenatal visit. If you've chosen a medical doctor, there are some common assumptions you can make about what will happen at your first prenatal visit.

After you've finished jumping for joy, the first thing you need to do is find a doctor. There are four different types of physicians who deliver babies.

  • An Ob/Gyn, who has special training in obstetrics and gynecology. Most pregnant women go to this type of practitioner.
  • A maternal fetal medicine doctor, trained in obstetrics and gynecology and also in high-risk pregnancies.
  • A nurse midwife. Trained in caring for pregnant women and delivering babies. Women who seek out this type of practitioner tend to have lower risk.
  • A family practitioner, trained to care for families throughout their lives, including obstetrics.

The important thing though is to be comfortable with the person that you've chosen regardless of the type of practitioner they are. You want somebody that you feel comfortable going to with your problems and concerns," says Keith Eddleman, M.D., who runs an Ob/Gyn practice in New York, with his partner Joanne Stone, M.D. The two co-authored the book Pregnancy For Dummies.