I am 5 weeks pregnant and this is my first pregnancy. I just scheduled my first prenatal appointment. I was expecting that the first appointment would be the most comprehensive one, that I would get a chance to meet my doctor and be able to ask a lot of questions. I was surprised when I learned that the first appointment wouldn't be with my doctor, but with a nurse practitioner.
Is this the usual practice? Should I be worried? Should I look for another provider?
My opinion is that you lucked out!!! This is a practice that has created the time for you to see a knowledgeable professional and for you to get exactly what you are asking for--a chance to get all your questions answered and the practice to get a complete history (and physical in some practices).
In most cases, if you want that type of care all the time, you would have to go to a midwife; but if you want a doctor (who will normally see you for only a few minutes, and not necessarily every visit), then be grateful that they have a nurse practitioner who will actually spend some time with you.
-- Cynthia, CNM. PhD.
Cynthia Flynn, CNM. PhD, is the General Director of the Family Health and Birth Center which provides prenatal, birth, postnatal, gynecological and primary health care to underserved women and their families in Washington, D.C. Recently Cynthia served as Associate Professor of Nursing at Seattle University. There she not only taught, but remained in full scope clinical midwifery practice at Valley Medical Center where she cared for pregnant and birthing women, and practices well-woman gynecology, family planning, and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases.
Cynthia founded Columbia Women's Clinic and Birth Center, where she took care of pregnant women and infants up to two weeks of age and attended both birth center and hospital births. Before Cynthia earned her CNM, she worked as a registered nurse in labor and delivery and postpartum and is a certified Doula and Doula trainer.