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You’re Pregnant With Your First Child: Now What?

 

Pregnancy

Being a first-time mother can be exhilarating and scary. There is so much to learn and you will have a lot to do to care for yourself and your baby throughout the pregnancy. As soon as you see a positive result on an at-home pregnancy test, you should be planning to give your OB/GYN a visit.

Choose an OB/GYN

If you have a good relationship with your OB/GYN and are familiar with the hospital where they deliver, you may opt to continue your pregnancy with this physician. This will be beneficial because your gynecologist will already have your medical history. If you decide that the gynecologist which you are currently seeing will not be a part of your pregnancy, then talk to friends and family in your area who have recently given birth, and ask them for any suggestions on finding a new OB/GYN.

Schedule your first prenatal visit       

During your first prenatal visit, you will take a pregnancy test to ensure that you are in fact pregnant. You will also get started on antenatal paperwork that will be used to track your pregnancy and keep up with upcoming visits. Your physician will collect medical history and any family history of a disease or genetic abnormalities in order to evaluate your baby’s risk of developing a birth defect. Other tests performed during your first prenatal visit will include:

  • Pap smear – to ensure the cells of the cervix are healthy
  • Urine test – to test for substances in the urine that may indicate gestational diabetes or preeclampsia
  • Blood work – to test for anemia, blood type, risk of STD infection, measles, mumps and rubella

Throughout your pregnancy, you will see your physician once a month. Once you reach week 32 of gestation, your appointments will increase in frequency to every 2 weeks until you reach week 37 of gestation, in which case you will visit your physician every week until delivery.

Pregnancy

Review your options

During your first trimester, usually around week 11 to 13 of gestation, you will be presented with the option of prenatal screening tests. These tests, combined with your family history, will be used to analyze the risk that your baby will develop a chromosomal disorder, such as Down syndrome, or another birth defect. The results are compiled by using a blood test and an ultrasound.

If the screening test shows that your baby has a high risk of developing a birth defect, your physician will present you with options for prenatal diagnostic testing. These tests will give your physician a more clear answer to any abnormality that may exist.

Your physician may offer non-invasive prenatal testing, a blood test that can be performed as early as week 10 without the risks of prenatal invasive procedures. Other diagnostic tests include chorionic villus sampling (CVS) and amniocentesis which are usually performed during the second trimester. However, these tests are invasive and involve a procedure different to that of a blood draw.

Choosing the right physician and care team will help you feel secure and confident during your pregnancy. They will help you enjoy the process of becoming a mother while ensuring a safe and healthy pregnancy.

Pregnant

References

http://www.babble.com/pregnancy/prenatal-doctor-visit/

http://www.thebump.com/a/prenatal-tests-checklist

http://www.pregnancymagazine.com/pregnancy/pregnancy-health/what-to-expect-tests-during-pregnancy

http://www.marchofdimes.org/pregnancy/prenatal-tests.aspx

http://www.babycenter.com/0_common-first-trimester-blood-tests_9273.bc?page=2

 

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About Kimberly

Kimberly Vetrano resides in the suburbs of New York City with her family and “mini zoo” consisting of five cats, a dog and a Goldfish. Kimberly is a teacher’s assistant for a Kindergarten class. When she is not working or blogging, Kimberly enjoys taking photos of nature and hanging out with family and friends.

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