What to bring to your first antenatal appointment

Your first antenatal appointment can be overwhelming, here's how to prepare for it.
Written by
Team Kin
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Last updated on
January 19, 2024
min read
First Antenatal Appointment: What to Expect & Bring | Kin Fertility
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You’ve just discovered you’re pregnant. Congrats!

Over the next 9 months, you’ll learn a heck of a lot about your body and its superhuman ability to grow a baby, what it means to look after a newborn, and attend a bunch of appointments along the way. 

One of the first appointments you’ll attend is the all-important antenatal appointment.

It’s an opportunity to ask as many questions as you like about what’s to come, share your health history and records with the team that’ll be looking after you throughout your pregnancy, and find out more about your body’s needs during the time. 

For many new mums, the first antenatal appointment can feel a little overwhelming.

This is because there’s a lot to get through, a lot of questions to answer, and a little bit of prodding and poking too.

It pays to be prepared for this appointment ahead of time, so you can ensure you get the most out of it and leave feeling like you have the tools you need to move through the first trimester with confidence. 

Here’s everything you need to know about antenatal care and your first antenatal appointment. 

What is antenatal care?

Before we dive into what to expect during your first antenatal visit, let's answer a common question: what exactly does antenatal care entail?

Also known as prenatal care, it refers to the preventative care you receive during your pregnancy to check on your and your baby's health through the entire journey, provide you with health advice, and answer all your questions — all to ensure you have the healthiest, smoothest pregnancy possible.

When to schedule your first antenatal appointment

You should book your first antenatal appointment to take place at around 6-8 weeks as soon as you receive a positive result on a pregnancy test (okay, you can take a moment to celebrate first… but then make the call!) [1].

With a midwife or doctor at a clinic, hospital or birth centre, you’ll undergo a comprehensive check-up on your overall health; with questions about your family medical history to your mental health. Make sure to set aside at least an hour.

What to prepare

Before your appointment, take some time to gather your most up-to-date medical records or make notes on the below health facts.

  • Personal and family medical history: Immunisations you’ve had (accessible on the Medicare app), previous major surgeries or illnesses, any known allergies (specifically those relating to drugs), and health conditions, genetic disorders, or chronic illnesses that run in your and your partner’s family. 
  • Gynecological history: When you had your first period, details of your cycle, whether you suffer from PMS or PMDD, diagnosis of PCOS or endometriosis, prior gynecological surgeries, history of abnormal pap smears or STIs. 
  • Obstetrical history: Previous pregnancies, including complications or losses experienced and details about past deliveries.
  • Your mental health history: Your experience with anxiety, depression, or any other mental health disorders. 
  • Potential disease exposure: Whether you’ve previously experienced illness, disease, or exposure to viruses like COVID-19, for example. 
  • Medications: Whether you’re currently — or were previously — taking regular medication. 
  • Date of your last period: To help your doctor determine your due date. 

We know this can all be overwhelming, so we created a handy pregnancy checklist for you to keep track of.

What to expect from the consultation

‍‍Confirmation of your pregnancy

You may be asked to repeat a urine test and/or do a blood test to check your HCG level (a hormone produced by the body during pregnancy). You’ll also learn how far along you are in your pregnancy and find out your due date.

‍‍A general health check-up

A health professional will likely perform a bunch of tests, which could include:

  • Heart, lungs and abdomen exam
  • Blood pressure check
  • Current height and weight
  • Questions about medical and family history
  • Understanding current and past medications
  • Urine test to check for a bladder infection or urinary tract infection (UTI) 
  • Cervical screening to check for human papillomavirus (HPV) or any abnormal cells
  • Blood test to check blood group, blood type, Rh status, whether you have anaemia, rubella immunity, hepatitis B or C, STIs or HIV. 
  • Blood sugar test to check if you’ve had gestational diabetes in a previous pregnancy or if you’re at higher risk due to factors like family history. 
  • If you're at risk of Vitamin D deficiency, you'll be offered a test for this too. 

Counselling and other questions

Your doctor or midwife will also discuss the process of screening for Down Syndrome, whether you would like any additional vaccines (like COVID-19 or the flu), and outline any lifestyle changes to keep you healthy and happy.

This may include diet, exercise, smoking and drinking, and vitamins. 

How many antenatal appointments will I have?

There isn't one set answer to this question — it will vary from woman to woman and even if your doctor creates an appointment plan during your initial antenatal appointment, it may change as your pregnancy progresses.

Having said that, if it's your first pregnancy, you'll likely go on 10-12 antenatal visits [2]. If you've been pregnant before (without complications), you may have 7-10 appointments instead.

Phew, that was a lot. You will likely have a lot of questions along the way, so we recommend keeping a notebook close by to jot thoughts down as they come to you.

Don’t feel shy about entering every doctor’s appointment with a stack of questions — they’ve seen it all before and, ultimately, this is all about you.

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