I just found out I’m pregnant. How soon should I go to the doctor and how do I choose the right doctor for me?
Now that you are pregnant, if you know when your last period was, I would call the office and plan on seeing the doctor in the next four to five weeks. If you're unsure of your last period, then I would call right away and ask to be seen at the next available opening. As for choosing a doctor that's right for you, it should be somebody that you're comfortable with because you are going to be spending a lot of time with that person or in that office.
What should I expect from the first visit?
The first visit is a meet and greet. We go over medications and symptoms of pregnancy. We go over your medical history, do a very basic physical exam and then we will schedule your first ultrasound.
How frequently do I go to the doctor for checkups during pregnancy?
In the very beginning, you will see the doctor every four weeks. Late second trimester, you will start coming every two weeks. That is approximately 24 to 26 weeks gestation, or about halfway. At the very end, you will start coming weekly and that is from 35 weeks on.
Should I even go to the hospital for checkups during COVID? Is it safe?
Absolutely! It is very safe. The hospital is taking many precautions. We have screening at the door, we give you masks if you do not have one and there are hand sanitizer stations all over the hospital.
What if I’m considering a natural birth?
If you are considering a natural birth, that's wonderful. We will have that discussion with you. That will be part of the plan that we develop along the way.
What types of education should I look into as a first-time parent?
The internet has a lot of information out there. Specific to our practice, we would prefer that you go to our website for resources, books, and information, or ask us at your next appointment!
What are some surprising things that I should plan for during pregnancy?
Pregnancy is very surprising; all of it. I would just be very open to the whole process and enjoy it, because it seems like a long time, but it really does go fast.
What are warning signs of pregnancy complications that I should look out for?
Complications or warning signs would be severe blood pressure, not feeling good, feeling different, headaches, diabetes, gestational diabetes is a concern as well. If you have excessive thirst, again, feeling dizzy, not feeling well. If you are having a lot of pressure and pain. Some of that is normal, but if you are feeling that or you're leaking fluid, those are all very concerning symptoms and you should definitely call the doctor and make a visit prior to your scheduled appointment.
What should spouses or partners be doing to support their pregnant partners?
Spouses can do many things, even though they are not pregnant. Helping with the cleaning and cooking is great. If there are older siblings, helping take care of the older siblings for bedtime or getting ready for school, all of those things are very helpful for the pregnant woman in their lives.
My husband was very supportive. I was very, very, very sick, so he did a lot of the cooking and sometimes it was just no cooking because the smell of food would make me sick!
What’s the best piece of advice you have for a first-time parent to be?
For first time parent during pregnancy - I think just being open to the experience and enjoying it and asking questions is very imporant.