When to Schedule a Prenatal Visit After a Miscarriage

Answers About Your First Prenatal Checkup After a Pregnancy Loss

Pregnant woman having an ultrasound
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I miscarried before and now I just found out I'm pregnant again. Do I need to go see a doctor right away or should I wait a few weeks?

Many women who have lost a pregnancy wonder about this when they get pregnant again.

In most cases, it's optimal to seek prenatal care as soon as you find out you're pregnant. This is no less true for a pregnancy after a miscarriage.

Pregnancy After a Miscarriage - Why It's Best to See Your Doctor Soon

Going in right away lets your doctor establish an accurate due date and keep tabs on your pregnancy from the beginning.

Research shows that due dates established by ultrasound are more reliable in the first trimester than later in the pregnancy.

With your history or miscarriage, your doctor may also want to monitor your hCG levels or perform an early ultrasound. If you're feeling anxious, having that monitoring might help you feel more reassured, too.

If You Don't Want to Go Right Away

In these cases, you should see your doctor right away:

  • Your last pregnancy was ectopic.
  • Your doctor told you to come in right away for some other reason.

Otherwise, if you're not feeling especially anxious, you don't have an established relationship with a care practitioner or there's some other reason why you don't want to go in right away, it's usually not urgent to go in the same day or week you find out you're pregnant.

In the absence of bleeding or other miscarriage symptoms, it's probably OK to wait a few weeks to begin prenatal care.

Don't wait too long, though. It's important for your doctor to establish an accurate due date as early as possible. You should probably go in for your first checkup by the time you are seven or eight weeks pregnant. Your doctor will probably want to see you about once a month thereafter until you are in the third trimester.

The First Prenatal Visit

Especially if you're feeling anxious this time around, you might forget to come prepared to your first prenatal appointment. You might need a reminder of what happens at the first visit. According to the March of Dimes, at the first prenatal visit your doctor will probably ask you about:

  • date of your last menstrual period 
  • health problems and sexually transmitted infections
  • past pregnancies (your miscarriage, for example)
  • past hospital stays
  • medicines you’re taking and allergies to medicines
  • your lifestyle
  • exercise
  • stress
  • the safety of your environment
  • your family's health history
  • your partner’s family health history

In addition to the tests mentioned above, at the first prenatal appointment your doctor will probably run some tests:

  • weight
  • blood pressure
  • physical and (internal) pelvic exam
  • urine sample for infections
  • blood tests for anemia and other infections
  • HIV unless you say no
  • Pap smear 

You'll probably also be given a prenatal vitamin with folic acid (600 micrograms) at this visit.

Sources:

Your first prenatal care checkup. March of Dimes. May 2011.

Prenatal Care. March of Dimes.

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