The test showed positive – you’re going to have a BABY! You don’t have to rush straight to the doctor (there won’t be much to see until around 8 weeks), but it’s important to see your gynaecologist from 8 weeks on.
What to expect from the first visit
The first visit to your gynae is to check your general health and to confirm your pregnancy. This appointment will be longer than usual as your doctor will give you a full examination.
During this visit, your gynae will weigh you and check your blood pressure, heart, lungs, and breasts. Next will be a pelvic exam and a Pap smear to screen for cervical cancer and cultures are taken to detect sexually transmitted diseases (such as gonorrhoea and chlamydia). The fun part is when your doctor listens for the baby’s heartbeat with a special scan.
Your doctor may take blood to check for blood problems such as anaemia, any STI’s, Rubella (German measles), Varicella (chicken pox) and other conditions, as well as your blood type. You may also have to give a urine sample to be tested for kidney disease or bladder infections and high sugar levels that might indicate diabetes. All of these tests are there to protect both your and your baby.
What do I need to know?
It’s important to tell your doctor everything about your health, and to ask any questions you may have. You can print out this list to help you remember what to ask:
- When is my due date?
- Are the symptoms I’m experiencing normal?
- Do I need prenatal vitamins?
- Is it normal not to experience certain symptoms?
- Is there anything I can take for morning sickness?
- What are the specific recommendations regarding weight gain, exercise and nutrition?
- What activities, foods or substances should I avoid?
- Can I have sex while I am pregnant?
- For what symptoms should I call you?
- What is a high-risk pregnancy?
Your first prenatal visit is exciting, but it can also be a bit stressful – all those tests can make you nervous! If you have any concerns, talk to your doctor; he or she will be happy to explain everything to you. Have a happy, healthy pregnancy!