Navigating Your First Pregnancy With Your OBGYN
So you’re pregnant for the first time and you’ve chosen your OBGYN – now what? There are several unknown factors when you haven’t experienced pregnancy before. We break down what to expect during doctor appointments to help alleviate some of the stress you’re feeling in your first pregnancy.
During your first trimester, you’ll likely visit your OBGYN once per month. For your first visit, the doctor will compile a detailed medical history from your previous medical records and provide a physical exam. You can expect a variety of laboratory tests to be performed in order to look for:
- Blood type
- Sexually transmitted diseases
- Immunity to rubella
Additionally, you’ll be given a Pap smear and possibly an initial ultrasound to confirm your estimated due date. You can definitely expect an ultrasound before 12 weeks. For the remainder of your first trimester visits, the doctor will check your weight, urine, and blood pressure.
Once you’ve entered the second trimester, your doctor will continue with the routine testing you experienced during the first trimester. However, added tests for fetal heart rate and fundal height will be added to the regimen. You will also be offered tests to screen for neural tube defects, Down syndrome, and other genetic studies between 15 and 20 weeks of pregnancy.
As your baby grows bigger, you’ll likely experience more side effects like nerve tingling and ligament pains. Your doctor will keep an eye on these and look for any signs of preterm labor, difficulty with movement, or issues with growth.
In your third and final trimester, you’ll begin seeing your doctor more often – likely every two to three weeks at first, and then weekly after 36 weeks. The nurse or doctor will check your cervix for any changes as your due date becomes closer. You may get an additional ultrasound, along with non-stress tests and tests for gestational diabetes. It’s during this time you’ll want to ask your doctor any remaining questions you may have. Remember, even though you have a due date, your little one could arrive at any time. Ensure you’ve spoken with your doctor ahead of time to address remaining concerns.
If you have any questions or concerns about upcoming doctor appointments or how your OBGYN will be handling your first pregnancy throughout every stage, don’t hesitate to ask him for clarity. Having peace of mind during your visits can eliminate stress and help you have the healthiest, happiest pregnancy possible.