As soon as you know you are pregnant, schedule your first pregnancy appointment with your family physician, obstetrician or with a midwife. You will want to start your prenatal care as soon as possible. Most doctors schedule the first appointment at around the eighth week of pregnancy, according to the Baby Center website.
First One is Longest
Your first pregnancy appointment will probably be your longest one, so set aside some time for it. The first appointment is also a good one for your partner to attend with you. This is the appointment where you can have an in-depth discussion with your health care provider and get all of your questions answered.
Your health care provider will also have plenty of questions for you. She will want to know your medical history, such as details of your menstrual cycle, what kind of birth control you had been using–if any–if you were pregnant before, if you ever miscarried and if you have allergies or any other medical condition, according to MayoClinic.com. You should bring a list of any prescription and over-the-counter medications you are taking. Your doctor should know about any genetic diseases that run in your family. You should be frank about all issues, even if they are sensitive, such as if you had an abortion or use drugs.
Your Due Date
Your health care provider will determine your due date at your first appointment. He will either count ahead 40 weeks from the start of your last period or add seven days to the first day of your last period and subtract three months. If there is any question about due date, your doctor may conduct an ultrasound.
You will have a physical exam at this first appointment. Your doctor will check your blood pressure, height and weight. Your doctor may also examine your breasts, vagina and cervix to see if you have an infection or an abnormality. You may receive a Pap test. You will have a blood test and a urine test. You can opt to take an HIV test at this time.
Taking Care of Yourself
Your doctor will give you prenatal vitamins and discuss nutrition for you and your baby. You may also discuss exercise and other lifestyle issues, such as travel limitations and environmental hazards, according to the American Pregnancy Association.
Your subsequent visits will not be as involved as this first one. You will go in every four to six weeks during your first trimester. Your doctor will weigh you and check your blood pressure each time. You typically won’t get another pelvic exam until later in your pregnancy. Toward the end of the first trimester, you will probably be able to hear your baby’s heartbeat at your appointment.
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