Your first pregnancy is bound to come with a lot of excitement and a lot of anxiety. It’s impossible to know exactly how your body will respond to a pregnancy, but most women should prepare for certain things from their prenatal care. It is also smart to make sure that you’ve chosen a prenatal care provider who understands your desires and body.
As a first-time mother, the most surprising thing is going to be how long you have to wait before you see a doctor. While seeing that positive pregnancy test result was probably one of the most momentous occasions in your life, it’s not such a big deal for the average OB/GYN office. Unless you were undergoing fertility treatments or have a reason to think you’re at risk for miscarrying, your provider may ask you to schedule your appointment around the 8- to 12-week mark. This might seem like a very long time to you, but it’s perfectly normal.
Once you have started seeing your provider, you should be scheduled for regular appointments. Initially, they’ll probably want to see you once a month. During the third trimester, appointments will increase in frequency to every two weeks, and during the last month, you might go every week. Make time in your schedule to fit these appointments in and don’t skip unless you have to.
At some point you may meet with a professional with a degree in sonography to get an ultrasound. This can be an important appointment that reveals the gender of your little one, and help monitor how the pregnancy is progressing.
Meeting the Doctors or Midwives
Whether you’ve chose to work with OB/GYN doctors or midwives, most practices have a rotating staff. When you’re finally in labor and head to the hospital, you get the person who happens to be on duty. This means that throughout the pregnancy, you’ll probably want to meet all of the providers who might be the one to deliver your baby. Most practices will schedule your appointments to ensure this happens.
Weight and Health Monitoring
At each appointment, the doctor will monitor your health and how the pregnancy appears to be progressing. This includes weight gain, blood pressure, growth of the fetus, and other general health issues. It’s completely normal to feel nauseated during the first trimester, and to feel a lot of aches and pains as your body adjusts to the pregnancy. However, you should always mention these things to your doctor or midwife. They may be able to offer some relief for any ailments you have, and let you know if something more serious might be going on.
The Final Days
The final days of your pregnancy are usually the most stressful. You will probably be nervous about how to recognize when you’re in labor. Your provider will be able to check things like the baby’s position and whether it looks like you might start labor soon. They may also discuss whether to induce labor or perform a C-section based on a variety of factors. Discuss any concerns with your provider.
Having a baby is exciting, but you’ll feel more comfortable if you have as much knowledge as possible. Work hard to develop a relationship with your provider and feel free to ask any questions you have. It’s always better to be on the safe side, especially with a first pregnancy.