Determine Your Babys Due Date
At your first prenatal appointment, youll book some follow-up tests to confirm your pregnancy and your babys gestational age, or due date. Your healthcare provider will ask about your last menstrual cycle to help them determine how far along you are. Generally, if your periods are fairly regular and youre planning to do the first-trimester screening, you may not get an ultrasounduntil around 11 to 12 weeks, says Thorne. But if youre unsure or your periods are irregular, youll likely get a scan sooner.
Here’s What To Expect At Your Prenatal Visits
If youve recently scheduled your first prenatal visit, you probably have a few questions. Are there documents you should bring to your first appointment? How often will you be seeing the doctor over the next nine months?
Heres a guide to planning your prenatal visits, plus a few tips to help you prepare for your first appointment. Its going to be a busy but exciting nine months, so this guide will help you keep things simple.
What Happens At Later Prenatal Care Checkups
Later prenatal care checkups usually are shorter than the first one. At your checkups, tell your provider how youre feeling. Theres a lot going on inside your body during pregnancy. Your provider can help you understand whats happening and help you feel better if youre not feeling well. Between visits, write down questions you have and ask them at your next checkup.
At later prenatal care checkups, your health care provider:
What Questions Should I Ask At The First Prenatal Visit
Just as your provider will ask you questions at your first prenatal visit, it’s a good idea to come prepared with a list of questions for your provider. Ask anythingâdon’t be shy. Again, try to keep a running list in the weeks before the appointment, so nothing important slips your mind.
Here are some questions to consider if your provider doesn’t bring up the topic first.
Last but not least, ask about your next visit and schedule the appointment before leaving the office. Until your 28th week of pregnancy, you will likely see someone every four weeks or so. You may also want to ask whether future visits will be in-person or virtual. Certain practices offer virtual visits for low-risk patients, those who’s doctors aren’t close in proximity, or even higher-risk patients that need to be evaluated more often.
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Timing For Obgyn Visits
Seeing your physician as soon as you’re pregnant lets your doctor establish an accurate due date and keep tabs on your pregnancy. Research shows that due datesestablished by ultrasound are more reliable in the first trimester than later in the pregnancy.
If you have a history of miscarriage, your doctor may want to monitor your hCG levels or perform an early ultrasound. If you’re feeling anxious, that monitoring might help you feel more reassured, too. You should see your doctor as soon as possible if your last pregnancy was ectopic or your doctor told you to come in right away for some other reason.
Unfortunately, miscarriages are common, but just because you had one miscarriage does not mean you will miscarry again. If you have had multiple miscarriages, you should see a fertility specialist for further testing.
If you’re not feeling especially anxious, you don’t have an established relationship with a care practitioner, or there’s some other reason why you don’t want to go in right away, it’s typically not urgent to go on the same day or week you find out you’re pregnant.
In the absence of bleeding or other miscarriage symptoms, it is most likely OK to wait a few weeks to begin prenatal care. Don’t wait too long, though. It’s important for your doctor to establish an accurate due date as early as possible.
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Get Your Prenatal Care Started
Prenatal appointments are key to the care and treatment of people during pregnancy. The checkups and testing done at each visit are how your care team will ensure that you and your baby get the support you need at every stage. Whatever makes your pregnancy unique, you can be sure that when the big day rolls around, youll be ready.
Gynecologist Exams Prenatal Care And More: When Should You See Your Obgyn
To know which type of physician you should visit, its important to understand the difference between them and what they specialize in.
What is a primary care provider?
A primary care provider is focused on the whole patient, specializing in family medicine, internal medicine or pediatrics. They are often at the center of your health journey and will refer you to other specialists as needed.
What is a gynecologist?
A gynecologist is a primary care physician who specializes in womens health needs, reproductive health, and womens health after menopause. Gynecologists also perform minimally invasive surgeries including hysterectomies, removal of ovaries or ovarian cysts, tubal ligation, removal of polyps and fibroids from the uterus , treatments for precancerous changes of the cervix such as LEEP, and other surgical procedures.
What is an obstetrician ?
An obstetrician is a physician who has received specialized training in the care of women who are pregnant. They care for women throughout their pregnancy, delivery, and into their post-partum period. While they are primarily focused on womens health and reproductive health, they can also help women manage other health issues.
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Blood Tests To Determine Pregnancy
Another way to take a pregnancy test is by having your blood tested for human chorionic gonadotropin , which is a hormone that is produced by the body during pregnancy. This test is called a beta-hCG test or quantitative hCG blood test. An hCG blood test for pregnancy is more common if you have not had a period and dont know when your last period was, or if you have been using hormonal birth control.
Address Any Health Concerns And Stock Up On Supplements
In an ideal world, this would be a planned pregnancy, with preconception screening for immunity such as rubella , hepatitis, HIV and syphilis, and iron levels, says Dr Abigail Lukhaimane, a specialist obstetrician and gynaecologist at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital in Soweto.
These tests will check your immunity against certain diseases that are dangerous to a foetus. If you havent done these tests, you need to do them immediately.
Reviewing all medications youre taking is also best done pre-pregnancy. And once youre pregnant simply avoid taking even over the counter remedies without consulting your doctor, explains Dr Zinn.
When it comes to what supplements to take, folic acid is important for the first few weeks of development, when the babys spine is forming. Taking 400 micrograms daily of a folic acid supplement reduces the risk of spina bifida and similar midline developmental disorders, says Dr Zinn. Your healthcare provider will also suggest a prenatal vitamin.
All about: Holistic healing
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What If I Have Questions Outside Of These Appointments
Always feel free to raise any questions or concerns that you have outside of appointments. Your obstetrician will advise you on how to do so during your first appointment.
Typically, you can call the practice and speak with a member of the obstetricians team, who might be able to answer your query directly or refer you onto the obstetrician for a return phone call/email or appointment.
Screenings On The Early Schedule
Common tests during pregnancy also include a series of screenings that can provide information on your babys health. These include:
- Noninvasive prenatal testing is typically available after 10 weeks of pregnancy. This blood test screens for genetic conditions such as Down syndrome, Trisomy 13 or Trisomy 18.
- A quad screen is a blood test offered between weeks 15 and 20 to assess potential risks and development complications involving your babys brain, spinal cord and neural tissues.
- A test for gestational diabetes is usually provided around weeks 24 to 28 to see if hormonal changes are pushing up blood sugar levels.
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When Will My First Ob Appointment Be
Many healthcare providers will schedule your first visit for when you’re about 8 weeks pregnant. Some will see you sooner, particularly if you have an existing health condition, had problems with a pregnancy in the past, or are having new or severe symptoms such as vaginal bleeding or abdominal pain.
If you’re taking any medications or think you may have been exposed to a hazardous substance, speak with your provider as soon as possible.
Why Its Important To Talk To A Doctor If Youre Pregnant
In addition to the routine prenatal care all pregnant women should follow, such as quitting smoking, abstaining from drinking alcohol, and taking folic acid supplements, an early appointment with a doctor is the best way to detect conditions that might put you or your baby at risk.
Some issues can be discussed over the phone, and others may require an in-person appointment. Here are a few of the conditions that may affect your pregnancy:
- Prescription medications
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What You Need To Know If Youre Asking The Question When Should I Go To The Doctor For Pregnancy Tests And Appointments
So you or your partner have taken a home pregnancy test and its come up positive. For many, this is an exciting time, ready to jump into the journey and plan for parenthood. For others, it may leave you feeling uncertain or nervous. Thats okay, too! But for almost everyone, the next question is often, When should I go to the doctor for pregnancy?
Whether you were planning to conceive, or if you are feeling completely surprised, this is an overview to help orient you to the first steps of pregnancy.
If you live in the Coral Springs, Florida area and think you may be pregnant, you can easily schedule an appointment today at Dr. Lona Sasser Obstetrics & Gynecology. We offer pregnancy confirmation as well as total obstetrical care.
How Often Should I See My Doctor During Pregnancy
Ensure youre giving your baby the best possible start by maintaining the recommended schedule of prenatal visits during your pregnancy. While it may be challenging to fit ongoing office appointments into your busy schedule, prenatal visits are the best way to protect your health and the health of your baby.
In addition to providing support for physical changes, prenatal visits are also a good opportunity to address your questions and concerns about your body, your babys development, and the upcoming birth.
Your prenatal provider is an important resource for treatment, education, and support throughout your pregnancy. Our OB/GYNs at The Association for Womens Health Care have the expertise necessary to care for you and your unborn baby whether you have a normal or high-risk pregnancy.
Our team of pregnancy specialists provides comprehensive pregnancy services, from routine examinations to diagnostic testing, through all stages of pregnancy.
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Common Topics To Discuss With Your Health Care Provider
There are a number of tests and screenings that your health care provider can do during your pregnancy. The tests help to identify any risks factors or concerns. Some are recommended for all pregnant women, while others depend on your health history or pregnancy.
The decision to have testing and take action on the results is a personal decision for each pregnant woman. Talking to your health care provider is an important part of the decision making process.
It is important to ask questions about every test being done. Before your visit, you may want to write down your questions.
Immunizations strengthen your immune system so that your body can fight off serious infectious diseases. Some immunizations are safe in pregnancy and others are not. Your health care provider will recommend which immunizations to receive during pregnancy. It may be best to receive some immunizations after the birth of your baby.
An infection is a normal part of life and is caused by bacteria or viruses that invade our body. However, infections in pregnancy may cause problems for the growth of your baby. Sometimes infections can cause preterm labour.
Regular prenatal care from your health care provider will help identify any signs and symptoms of infections. Early treatment may prevent or reduce complications from infections.
Infectious diseases can include:
What Happens At A Prenatal Visit
While each visit may differ slightly, here is what you can expect at a prenatal visit: At the first visit, the doctor or nurse will likely take your medical history and your vital signs, including your height, weight and blood pressure. The doctor will listen to baby’s heartbeat and feel and measure your abdomen. Occasionally, you will give a urine or blood sample and you’ll probably have an ultrasound or two. Toward the end of your pregnancy, your doctor will also check to see how far dilated you are.
Your doctor should also talk to you about any questions or concerns you have and instruct you on how to best care for yourself and your growing baby. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, especially if this is your first pregnancy or if something doesn’t seem right.
Prenatal visits are routine, so don’t be surprised if they are fairly short after the first one. The doctor simply wants to check to make sure everything is looking okay, and if it is, you should be good to go until your next appointment!
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You Have A Positive Pregnancy Test Now What
As soon as you know youre pregnant, call your doctor and schedule in your first prenatal appointment.
Most women like to make an appointment fairly soon after they find out theyre pregnant. If this is your first pregnancy, its likely youll want to see a doctor straight away.
Most doctors recommend that, as soon as youre ready, booking in to see a GP should be one of the first steps you take when you find out youre pregnant. You can make an appointment online right now by finding your preferred practice here.
If, like most other women, you have a long list of questions you want answered immediately, dont hesitate to phone the practice. The staff will be happy to talk through any concerns that you may have about your pregnancy before your appointment.
Make A Pregnancy Plan
Depending on where you want to give birth and who youll be seeing during your pregnancy, youll want to discuss a plan for who to call or where to go if you require medical attention. Most doctors and midwives will provide you with contact information if you experience cramping, bleeding or any other signs of concern.
What Happens During Your First Ob/gyn Visit During Pregnancy
When expecting mothers go to their OB/GYN appointments, the most exciting thing that typically occurs is the ultrasound.Not only do you get to see your kid, but you also have the comfort of knowing that he is healthy and secure inside that gorgeous bulge.Nevertheless, Dr.Cannon stresses the need of obtaining permission from your OB/GYN before undergoing any kind of medical examination or test when you are pregnant.
This includes ultrasounds.
Questions To Ask At Your Next Gynecologist Exam
Never be afraid to ask your doctor anything! We care about you as a whole person, so well ask you a lot of questions that cover many aspects of your life. If we havent covered something in our conversation with you, please feel free to ask us.
Here are the most common questions were asked. If it helps, write a list ahead of time of questions youd like your doctor to answer .
- Do I need birth control? How does it work?
- Is my period normal?
- Do I have to be in so much pain every month?
- Do I have to have my period every month? Is it too heavy? Too light?
- How often should I consider sexually transmitted infection screening?
- What should I expect about perimenopause and menopause?
- How can I reduce perimenopause and menopause symptoms?
- How can I reduce mood changes associated with my menstrual cycle?
- I have a family history of chronic illnesses, like diabetes, heart disease, and thyroid disorders. How can I reduce my risk of living with these disorders?
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Ask For Testing Or A Referral
According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, if youve been trying to get pregnant for more than a year, even if you have no other symptoms of infertility, you should talk to your doctor about having fertility testing done. If youre over 35 and have been trying for at least six months, you are 40 years old or older, or if at any age you have a condition known to cause infertility, you will need to have prompt testing and treatment.
Most doctors will take your concerns seriously and either start testing or refer you to a fertility specialist, but not all doctors are willing to take action when they should. You might be told that you are too young for infertility and that you need to try to get pregnant for longer than a year. Some people are told that they are overweight and therefore need to lose weight to conceive and to only return to their doctor if weight loss doesnt help them get pregnant.
The problem with putting off testing is that some causes of infertility worsen over timeeven when youre young. You can still decide to lose weight or try a little longer to get pregnant after you have had testing.