Before Your First Prenatal Visit

Find your care

If you are a new patient seeking prenatal care, please call 310-794-7274. If you are an established patient and need to reach labor and delivery, call 310-825-9111 for Westwood or 424-259-9250 for Santa Monica.

Before Your First Visit with a Health Care Provider

Your pregnancy test is positive or you think you’re pregnant because you’ve missed a period and might have other signs of pregnancy. You may experience a wide range of emotions and want to know what to do next.

The most important next step is to make an appointment with a doctor or other member of the UCLA Health team for your first prenatal visit. Before that visit, take care of yourself, learn about the early signs of pregnancy and read below to learn how to prepare for your first prenatal visit.

When should I schedule my first prenatal appointment?

Make your first appointment as soon as you think you’re pregnant, ideally in the first 3 months of pregnancy. You can consider bringing your partner.

Who will I see during my first visit?

At UCLA Health, you have choices when it comes to who you can see for your pregnancy care.

At the UCLA BirthPlace Santa Monica, located at UCLA Santa Monica Medical Center, we offer an integrated model of care that includes attending physicians, resident physicians and certified nurse-midwives. If you are looking for a nurse midwife for your pregnancy care, your first prenatal appointment will be with an obstetrician to see if you are a good candidate. If you are looking for an obstetrician, you can choose a doctor from our Santa Monica OBGYN clinic.

At the UCLA BirthPlace Westwood location at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, we offer a care team that includes nurses, resident doctors, attending doctors and specialists, working together to care for you and help you during your pregnancy, labor and delivery. You can choose an obstetrician from our Westwood OBGYN clinic.

How to prepare for your first visit:

1. Know your medical history, as well as your partner’s medical history and your family history. 
2. Make a list of prescription medications you are taking, including vitamins, over-the-counter medications and herbal supplements.
3. Write down the questions you want to ask your care team.
4. Start taking a prenatal vitamin if you have not already done so.

What should I expect at my first visit?

Your first prenatal visit will likely be your longest visit. Your care team will ask about your medical history (menstrual cycle, birth control, past pregnancies, previous surgeries, family history and medications). They will also perform a physical exam and order routine lab tests. Your care team will let you know what your expected due date is and may perform an ultrasound.

What is the schedule for the rest of my prenatal appointments?

During pregnancy, regular visits with your OBGYN provider are important to help keep you and your baby healthy. While each pregnancy is different, you will usually see your OBGYN provider every 4 weeks until you reach 32 weeks. Please see our Schedule of Prenatal Care for more information.

What symptoms might I have during the early part of my pregnancy?

The early signs of pregnancy can vary, but one of the first signs is typically a missed period. Learn more about the early signs of pregnancy.

Are there warning signs I should know?

Understanding the signs of an ectopic pregnancy — a pregnancy that develops outside the uterus — as well as miscarriage are important. Learn more about an ectopic pregnancy and miscarriage and their warning signs.

If you are not yet pregnant but are planning for a future pregnancy, here are 10 things to discuss during a visit with your gynecologist:

  1. Pregnancy goals: It is important to discuss your “reproductive life plan” with your gynecologist. Talk through how many children you want to have and how many years apart you would like them to be.
  2. Medical conditions: If you have any medical problems, please discuss how these might affect pregnancy and how pregnancy might affect your health.
  3. Medications: Check with your gynecologist to see if the medications you are taking are safe for pregnancy.
  4. Supplements: Folic acid is very important during pregnancy. Ask your gynecologist how much you should be taking and for how long.
  5. Family history and genetic conditions: Be prepared to discuss you and your partner’s family health history. Collect information from family members about any diseases that run in your family.
  6. Lifestyle and social situations: If you smoke, drink alcohol or use marijuana or other drugs, let your gynecologist know. Also, discuss your work and home environment and any factors that may affect a healthy pregnancy.
  7. Immunization: During pregnancy, infections such as rubella and chickenpox can cause congenital birth defects. Ask your gynecologist how to see if you are protected from these diseases by vaccination or prior exposure.
  8. Infectious diseases: Be prepared to discuss any history of sexually transmitted infections, such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, herpes or HIV.
  9. Maintaining a healthy weight: Discuss your ideal pre-pregnancy weight and how to reach and maintain that before you get ready for pregnancy.
  10. Healthy mind for healthy pregnancy: Discuss how you feel about your life and your mental health in general. Ask your gynecologist how mental health conditions may affect or be affected by pregnancy.