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Comprehensive Guide to First Pregnancy Appointment

First Pregnancy Appointment Day

You can’t wait for your first pregnancy appointment, can you? You just tested positive for pregnancy and you’re overwhelmed with a ton of questions about this beautiful journey. From what sort of tests you need to the healthy foods and vitamins you should take.

How about your first ultrasound and getting to hear your baby’s heartbeat. Well, all will be well, slow down. The first crucial step you should take is making an appointment with your doctor, midwife, or preferred choice.

When Is The Right Time To Schedule Your First Appointment For Pregnancy?

Are you worried or have doubts about how soon you can schedule your first pregnancy appointment? Worry not! Even if you took a home pregnancy test and confirmed positive, you need to make an appointment with your GYN/Ob. You can also visit your midwife, GP, hospital, or clinic.

According to American Pregnancy Association, you should make an appointment with your doctor for your first prenatal visit within the first 8 weeks after your last menstrual period. This applies even if you’re not a first-time mom as pregnancies differ.

Starting out with good prenatal care and following your doctor’s advice including eating a well-balanced diet and regular appointments are the most vital steps. Prenatal visits not only help you carry a healthy pregnancy but it’s a great way to ensure your unborn baby gets the care it deserves. 

Talking with your doctor or preferred choice will help you discover essential information such as health, family health history, due date, and your best schedule of prenatal care. The GP will teach you how quickly you can recognize any potential emergencies. Here’s an example of how a typical prenatal visit looks like.

First trimester4 to 28 weeks, you’ll see your doctor once a month
Second trimester28 to 36 weeks, your prenatal visits will increase to once every two weeks
Third trimester36 to 40 weeks you’ll see your doctor every week until you deliver your baby

Keep in mind: No matter what happens or life throws at you, it’s crucial you stick to your prenatal appointments’ schedules.

What’s the Cost For Your First Pregnancy Appointment?

When you’re pregnant, you often think about your baby’s welfare and craving to hold him in your arms. But many moms forget one important thing—the financial costs that come with parenting. And as much as childrearing is priceless, you’ll want to be sure your financial status is in order.

That said, your top priority on your pregnancy should be on your health and baby. If you have health insurance, diagnostics tests and prenatal appointments will likely be covered as they are considered preventive care. And if you don’t have one, the average cost will be around $2000.

Another important thing is the prenatal vitamins, which you should consider paying for even before trying a baby. You need a vitamin that contains 400 mcg of folic acid to help prevent birth defects.

If you opt to go over the counter, the cost range is $10 to $20. However, if your doctor prescribes and it’s covered by the health insurance, you’ll pay whichever the co-pay price might be. Either way, it’s a worthwhile investment.

Childbirth can be expensive. According to a survey carried out by government data in 2008, the charge for an uncomplicated cesarean section was about $18, 800. Uncomplicated virginal birth was about $9600.

If you have an individual health insurance policy, often the maternal care coverage is completely excluded. However, group private insurance plans and Medicaid cover almost all pregnancy-related health care costs.

What Goes On In the Prenatal Room?

Usually, your first pregnancy appointment will be the longest. Your doctor will ask you about:

  • Your medical history including prior pregnancies, diseases, and operations.
  • Your family medical history.
  • Calculate your due date.
  • Complete check-up, usually physical exam, urine and blood tests which include – pap test, breast exam, screening for diabetes, hepatitis b, anaemia, pelvic exam and testing for STDS.
  • Measuring your weight, pulse, blood pressure and bleeding.

Feel free to discuss with your GP any issues related to your pregnancy and also how you can stay healthy. After your first appointment for pregnancy with your doctor, later prenatal visits will be shorter.

However, you should avail yourself to keep track of your growing baby and your health. The appointments will include:

  • Measuring your weight gain.
  • Checking your baby’s heart rate.
  • Checking your blood pressure.
  • Measuring your abdomen to check your baby’s growth.

You’ll also have routine tests throughout your pregnancy journey to check the risk of gestational diabetes, harmful infections, and anemia. Other tests might be offered in regard to your age, family or personal medical history, or results of the routine tests you had. All your appointments are vital. Keep up with them.

How You Should Prepare Yourself?

Whether it’s your first pregnancy or second, you need to prepare yourself both psychologically and physically. Your body will change drastically during pregnancy. You’ll embrace a lot of hormonal changes and gain weight as your baby grows. Your uterus will grow bigger than normal size and your nipples and breasts will enlarge as well.

You might notice some change in your body hair texture and amount. At some point, you’ll feel like it’s too much or get depressed because maybe what you were expecting is the opposite of what you are receiving which is okay and very normal. Some of the common things you might experience include:

However, alongside medication, counseling, and sometimes therapies, there are things you can do to feel more comfortable like changing your diet and doing some exercise or better doing something that makes you feel great. It doesn’t matter how little or silly it might look.

Questions To Ask the Doctor On Your First Pregnancy Appointment

Pregnancy is a totally new experience that comes with excitement, joy, disbelief, uncertainty and can be overwhelming too. It’s also filled with endless questions, especially for new moms.

You can calm your emotions by writing down all the questions you need (you don’t want to leave even the tiny details) and have them answered by your doctor or midwife in your first pregnancy appointment. Alongside your question, here are some crucial ones to include in your list:

1. How Much Weight Should You Gain?

Your provider will calculate your BMI to help you with a healthy weight gain. A rule of thumb – if you have a healthy weight, you should gain between 25 to 30 pounds. Underweight women – 40 pounds and obese or overweight women – 11 to 20 pounds throughout your pregnancy.

2. Who Will I Deliver My Baby?

Who will help with your delivery depends on their practice. It’s great if you get to know about their birth philosophy. Be sure to ask how that goes on so you can be at ease when the delivery day comes.

3. Is Your Medication Safe for Pregnancy?

Be sure to let your doctor know about any medication you’re taking at present. Whether they are herbs or supplements. Some medicines may cause birth defects and or hurt your baby. Your doctor may change what you’re taking or tell you to stop.

4. Who Should You Reach Out To For Questions or Emergencies?

Most hospitals or practices have a phone number where they can call or ask for help in case of emergencies. This is very important as babies don’t have the time to knock nor respect the business hours. So, make sure the door is open and you have the after-hour contact information.

5. What Pregnancy Symptoms Are Normal and What You Should Be Alert On?

This question varies depending on the stages you’re in. During your first pregnancy appointment, you’ll be guided on what to expect during your pregnancy stages. In some hospitals, you’ll be provided with a booklet containing helpful information. However, don’t hesitate to make a call if you are uncertain or have doubts about anything.

How Long Will Your First Pregnancy Appointment Take?

Honestly, this will not be just an in-and-out appointment. You’ll need to pack a snack because it will be a relatively long appointment session. Your first pregnancy appointment with your midwife or doctor will last between 30 minutes to 1 hour. Some might even take a long time depending on your medical history or other intense issues.

Finding Support

Support is important when you’re pregnant and more so for your first pregnancy appointment. A lot will be at stake and everything around you will change starting with your body.

Surrounding yourself with people who can help you talk things out is a wonderful thing especially if you are a first-time mom. It can be your doctor, midwife, family, and friends. Besides this medical team, you can also find other expectant mothers to share ideas and challenges of pregnancy.

Final Thoughts on First Pregnancy Appointment

Your first pregnancy appointment can be a little intimidating and overwhelming. But it is the most vital process you can have for a healthy pregnancy plus you will be armed with all the information you need to make incredible decisions. The detailed information above will help make your first appointment for pregnancy easy.

Sources: Health University of Utah, Your First Pregnancy Appointment, Oct 2016, American Pregnancy Association, Your First Prenatal Visit, Apr 2017, NHS UK, Your First Midwife Appointment, Oct 2018, Cleveland Clinic, Pregnancy: Prenatal Care, Jan 2018 and Mayo Clinic, Healthy Lifestyle: Pregnancy Week By Week, Aug 2020.

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