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My wife is currently pregnant with our second child. We haven't had a prenatal visit yet. With the first pregnancy we had the first prenatal visit long before now. Perhaps we're delaying because we didn't feel like the prenatal visits were very productive at the beginning. That causes me to ask, when should the first prenatal visit be? What is the latest recommended time to start?

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

You should go sooner, rather than later.

The Mayo Clinic suggests you schedule the appointment as soon as you think you are pregnant.

The American Pregnancy Association recommends that you go in 8 weeks after your wife's LMP (last menstrual period), unless you have not already met with your health care provider prior to becoming pregnant.

Even if you are not a first time mom, prenatal visits are still important because every pregnancy can be different.

If you felt that the early prenatal visits you had on the first pregnancy weren't productive, you may want to consider looking for another healthcare provider. The early visits should establish important background information that could impact the pregnancy, ranging from estimated due date (this is based off of the LMP) to risk factors for complications.

The first visit should cover:

  • Medical History
  • Due Date
  • A physical exam
  • Lab tests
  • A discussion of any lifestyle issues that may impact the pregnancy
  • Screening tests

In all seriousness, my advice is to schedule an appointment right away. Why take chances?

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