You can make a prenatal appointment as soon as you find out you are pregnant. Your chosen healthcare provider may see you immediately, but first prenatal appointments generally take place between eight and 12 weeks into your pregnancy. If you are not sure when you conceived, keep in mind that early ultrasounds are much more effective at dating your pregnancy than alter ones. You will probably asked over the phone when your last menstrual period took place, but make sure to mention you don't know, if that is the case.
Most women in the United States opt to receive prenatal care from obstetricians/gynecologists. Some choose to see their family practitioner or a midwife, and others even do a combination of these. Generally, if you are planning to give birth at a hospital with an OB, you should see one during your pregnancy too. If you receive prenatal care from a midwife, either in a hospital, a birth center, or from a homebirth midwife, that also reflects your wishes for the type of birth you want. If you are not yet sure what kind of prenatal care you feel most comfortable with, feel free to shop around. Your options depend on your insurance and whether you are low-risk or high-risk.
Competent care providers will refer you to high risk doctors if you need them. Midwives sometimes work with OBs, who will perform ultrasounds and order tests midwives cannot. Remember your prenatal care provider provides a service to you. If you are not happy with them, you can seek a second opinion or switch providers altogether. But, this is easier during early pregnancy than later on.