When you find out you're expecting a new baby, you may be a flurry of all different kinds of emotions. Long before you start shopping for baby gear or those oh-so-cute newborn outfits, you'll need to see your obstetrician (OB) as soon as possible for early prenatal care, which is vital to both your health and your baby's. 

You may only see your obstetrician once or twice during your first trimester because by the time you're past the 12-week mark, you're on to the second trimester. Many women don't find out they're pregnant until they're 6 or more weeks along, so it's important to call your OB's office as soon as you get a positive pregnancy test to schedule your first appointment. Here's what you can expect during your first visit.

Medical History

Your OB will take a thorough medical history from you. This includes your personal medical history, the medical history of your baby's father and any family history of major illnesses and diseases. Come to your appointment armed with as much information about your immediate family members' medical histories as you can. Your doctor will be particularly interested in any birth defects, chromosomal abnormalities and other hereditary conditions in your family and your baby's father's family.

Let your OB know the date of your last period (or your best guess). Discuss any past pregnancies and any issues relating to them, even if those pregnancies ended due to miscarriage or abortion. Bring a list of any medications or supplements you're currently taking, as well as any you remember taking since your last period. Be up front and honest with your doctor about any smoking, alcohol or drug use -- your OB is an excellent resource to help you with any addictions you're struggling with to help ensure the best possible outcome for your baby.

Physical Examination and Blood work

Your doctor will check your vital signs and give you a basic physical. He or she will check your cervix to help determine how far along you are. You may also get a pap smear done if it's been awhile since your last one to check for signs of cervical cancer. You'll also give a urine sample to check for a urinary tract infection.

Your doctor will order blood work to check for sexually transmitted diseases, low iron, immunity to rubella and your Rh status. If you're Rh-negative, you'll need to get an injection of Rh immune globulin to prevent your body from producing antibodies against Rh positive blood if your baby's blood and yours come in contact. This is because most people are Rh positive. If you're Rh positive, you won't need the injection.

An OB (such as one from Women First OBGYN) may order an ultrasound to see how far along you are and determine a due date. Sometimes these ultrasounds are performed with a wand that the doctor will insert into your vagina to see your uterus, rather than a traditional abdominal ultrasound. A vaginal wand can produce a better view if you're still very early in your pregnancy.