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Pregnant….NOW WHAT?

Finding out your pregnant can be exciting, nerve wrecking, rewarding and scary all at the same time. If its your first time or 5th time. All pregnancy journey experiences are not the same. Every mother has a story to tell about there journey. Cravings, pains, aches and even weight gain are different during everyones journey. One thing that is pretty standard for the average pregancy is your medical appointments. First time momma….let’s go over what your medical journey look like, during pregnancy.

Your 1st Prenatal Visit

Your first appointment with you provider is probably going to be the longest you’ll have through the next 40 weeks of your pregnancy. It will be a comprehensive visit with lots of information-gathering and some tests to be performed.

Let’s run you quickly through what you should expect at your 1st prenatal appointment.

  • A General Check-up: Your general health examination includes a check-up of your lungs, heart, abdomen, and breasts. The doctor will also take your baseline blood pressure reading, check for swelling and varicose veins, do a pelvic exam, and will assess your uterus size.
  • Urine Test to Confirm Pregnancy: Though you may have a home pregnancy test with a positive result, expect your provider to do a test to confirm your pregnancy, which is usually done by collecting a urine sample from you.
  • Blood Test: A blood test may be performed for checking your hCG levels depending on your specific need.

There are plenty of other tests that you may expect during your first appointment. These may include:

  • Urine Test (for glucose, protein, bacteria, white blood cells)
  • Bloodwork
  • Genetic Carrier Screening
  • STD Tests
  • Pap Smear
  • Blood Sugar test

How Many Appointments Should You Expect to Have

Typically, you can expect to have 10-15 visits during your pregnancy. Most complication-free pregnancies follow the following schedule for appointment frequency:

  • Once every month during Weeks 4-28
  • Every other week during Weeks 28-36
  • Every week from Week 36 until delivery

You can expect to see your provider more often if you have had complications with your past pregnancies or if your health history deem you to be a high-risk obstetrical client.

This is generally for women who are:

  • 35 years of age or older
  • Obese, overweight, or underweight
  • Suffering from certain health conditions before pregnancy, like cancer, diabetes, HIV, or high blood pressure
  • Pregnant with more than one babies

Calculating Pregnancy Due Date

Wanting to find out when you are due is the first thing you and your family want to know, as soon as you see find out your pregnant. I can help you with that, my friend! Keep in mind that most pregnancies take almost 40 weeks (consider 38 weeks since conception). That said, the simplest way of calculating pregnancy due date would be to count 280 days, or 40 weeks, from the day your last period started.

You can also calculate your due date by subtracting 3 months from the day when your last menstrual period started and then add 7 days to the result. That’s how providers usually estimate your pregnancy due date.

The pregnancy due date calculation based on the last menstrual period can only work for women with a regular cycle of menstruation. It may not be the best option for those with an irregular menstrual cycle. So, for reliable results, it is always a good idea to use the date of conception if you remember when you had conceived. Simply add 266 days to your conception date for getting the estimated due date.

Remember here that it’s completely normal for the delivery to happen a couple of weeks (2) earlier or later than the estimated due date.

**The information in this blog is helpful but it is not a substitute for your obstetric care provider. He or she will have specific information about you and will be able to help tailor your prenatal care for your personal circumstances. These are guidelines and the best care will sometimes mean doing things different than or in addition to what is outlined in this blog. Information is not being endorsed by any government or public entity. The views expressed in this blog are only those of the author**

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