pregnant woman at her first prenatal doctor visitQuestion: I just took a home pregnancy test and it came back positive. When should I call my doctor to schedule the first visit?

Answer: Don’t put off setting up your first appointment, because getting good prenatal care is one of the best ways to have a healthy baby. It’s a good idea to call and set up your first appointment as soon as you get a positive pregnancy test. How soon they’ll be able to get you in for that appointment depends on office traffic and policy. Some doctors can fit you in right away, but other offices may be very busy and not able to fit you in for several weeks or longer. At some offices, it’s normal procedure to wait until a woman is at least six weeks pregnant for that first prenatal visit.

Even if your doctor’s visit has to be delayed, don’t put off taking care of yourself and your baby. Start taking prenatal vitamins, stop smoking, stop drinking, and start eating right. If you have a feeling that you may be a high-risk case or would just feel more comfortable seeing your doctor a bit earlier, check with the office to see if the rules can be bent and you can come in earlier.