If you have skipped your menstrual cycle and have been planning a family for some time now, then the joys of motherhood may just be round the corner for you!
Are you a bundle of nerves because it is your first pregnancy, and you are clueless about what all happens during prenatal visits to the gynecologist? Read on to know more about why these checkups are mandatory for every expecting woman.
What Happens During Prenatal Visits?
Your gynecologist will be someone you will be regularly visiting during the prenatal checkups schedule. Depending on which trimester you are in, your doctor will schedule your appointments. Sometimes, factors like other health conditions or medical needs may alter the frequency of appointments.
If all is fine, you will need to visit your gynecologist every four weeks during your first and second trimester. These will be more like monthly visits. Once you enter the third trimester, you will need to visit your doctor once every two weeks till the 36th week. After that, you will be visiting your gynecologist each week until the baby’s birth.
[ Read: Rh Factor Test ]
What Happens In Your First Prenatal Visit?
First prenatal visit happens around the eighth week of pregnancy unless there is a medical emergency. Usually, your gynecologist will ask you many questions related to your pregnancy and health during your first visit. A detailed discussion with your doctor will help her understand and note your medical history and concerns for reference throughout your pregnancy and childbirth.
Here are a few things you may expect in your 1st prenatal visit:
- Your gynecologist will help you understand the process especially if you are a first-time mom.
- It is important that from the very first visit you feel free to ask your doctor about any query or concern you have. Try to prepare a list with all your questions for first prenatal visit beforehand.
- Your doctor will ask for your urine sample to check for any infection and to confirm the pregnancy.
[ Read: When To Take Urine Pregnancy Test ]
- Your doctor will be checking your weight, blood pressure, and height.
- Your doctor will ask you various questions related to your medical history especially related to your past surgeries, pregnancies, abortions or miscarriage if any.
- Your doctor will ask you about your last menstrual date to calculate your expected due date.
- Your doctor may also schedule an ultrasound examination.
- Your doctor will ask about your family medical history and genetic health issues if any.
- Your doctor will ask you questions related to your lifestyle and habits. Accordingly, she may inform you about the adverse effects of smoking, drinking and drug abuse during pregnancy. Your doctor may also seek information on your daily exercise routine.
- Your doctor may suggest a few prenatal blood tests to determine your blood type, Rh (Rhesus) factor, blood count, and hemoglobin levels. The doctor may also advise hematocrit (3) test to check for hepatitis B, HIV, rubella, and syphilis.
- Your doctor will also perform a complete physical examination. A pap test will be done to check for cervical cancer. In addition, your doctor will also perform a manual pelvic exam and gonorrhea and chlamydia cultures.
- Your doctor will also suggest genetic testing to check for Down syndrome and any other chromosomal problems and cystic fibrosis.
[ Read: Genetic Testing During Pregnancy ]
What Happens In Your Later Prenatal Visits?
Depending on your health, and how your pregnancy is progressing, you may expect the following in your later prenatal visits:
- Your doctor will check your blood pressure and weight gain
- Your doctor will schedule tests like blood test and ultrasound exams
- Your doctor will check fetal heart rate
- Your doctor will measure your abdomen to check your baby’s growth
- Your doctor will check for swelling in your feet and hands
- Closer to your delivery your doctor will feel your abdomen to check baby’s position
[ Read: How To Reduce Swelling During Pregnancy ]
Always remember prenatal checkups are a precautionary norm to safeguard the health and well-being of both the mother and child. It does not imply any complications in pregnancy. It is normal to feel constantly stressed about your baby’s development during pregnancy. Look forward to the doctor visits where you can voice and share all your concerns.
Listen carefully and follow the doctor’s advice throughout your pregnancy to have a safe delivery and a healthy baby. We hope this article helps you in preparing for your prenatal visits. We wish you all the very best!
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