Early pregnancy care helps to keep you and your baby healthy throughout pregnancy, delivery and beyond. If you’ve just learned that you are pregnant, you may feel apprehensive about what to expect during your first doctor’s appointment. Preparing for early pregnancy care ahead of time can help to soothe some of your nerves.
When you learn you are pregnant, your first step should be to make an appointment with a care provider. Typically, this appointment will take place when you are eight to 12 weeks along depending on the doctor’s preference. You may want to see our OB/GYN while you are trying to conceive since this can help to make sure that you are in optimal health to become pregnant.
First, a doctor will take a detailed medical history, including information about your menstrual cycle and gynecological history, personal and family medical history, any past pregnancies, use of prescriptions, over-the-counter medications or supplements and lifestyle, including the use of substances like alcohol and caffeine. This information helps our doctor to identify any potential health issues to be aware of as the pregnancy progresses.
A health care provider will also determine your due date by using the first day of your last period, adding seven days and then counting back three months to arrive at approximately 40 weeks conception. Keep in mind that this date is only an estimate, and very few women give birth on their actual due dates.
During early pregnancy care, the doctor will determine your body mass index, or BMI, and use this information to indicate how much weight you should expect to gain during pregnancy. Your blood pressure, heart rate and breathing will also be checked.
Lab tests that are performed early in pregnancy include checking your blood type and hemoglobin levels, determining whether you are immune to certain infections, including chicken pox, and detecting exposure to sexually transmitted infections.
Most importantly, our doctor will educate you on how to care for yourself and your baby, including information on nutrition, physical activity and side effects you may experience. At Associates in Women’s Health in Cincinnati, we welcome you to come to your appointment with any questions you have about your pregnancy and what you can expect in the exciting 40 weeks to come.
In most cases, you’ll see our doctor every month during the first and second trimesters, and more frequently as your pregnancy progresses. Contact us today to schedule your appointment for early pregnancy care.