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I'm Pregnant. When Should I Go to the Doctor?

by Impact Health Sharing

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Congratulations! 

 

This is an exciting time—a new life being formed—a miracle to be cherished!

 

During your pregnancy, being stress-free is important for both you and the baby and we want to help. 

 

You may be wondering how soon you should schedule your first prenatal visit after your pregnancy tests are positive.

 

There’s no right or wrong time.  On average, your first prenatal exam will be between week 6 and 12.

 

After you have set up your first appointment with your doctor or certified nurse-midwife, make a list of what to take. That’s where we come in! 

 

Your first visit.

  • Write down any questions. One question you may want to ask is who will deliver your baby, especially if you are seen at a practice or clinic that has multiple doctors. 
  • Make a list of any medications and supplements you are taking.
  • Take your immunization record. This information will be helpful in determining which vaccines you might need during pregnancy.
  • Family health history is important. You will be asked about you and your baby’s father’s health history, as well as that of your families.
  • You will most likely have a physical exam and possibly urine and blood tests will be ordered.
  • You may get to hear your baby’s heartbeat! Typically, the heartbeat can be heard after 10 weeks of pregnancy. 

 

Tips for a healthy pregnancy.

  • Stay active. Go for a walk! Your feet might grow as your baby develops, so you may have to invest in some new shoes further into your pregnancy.
  • Change up chores. Stay away from heavy lifting, kitty litter, or from standing for long periods of time. 
  • Take a prenatal vitamin. Your physician will recommend a prenatal vitamin and if you find they upset your stomach, let him know. They  can offer alternative  options. 
  • Drink more water. Staying hydrated can help a number of things in pregnancy. Add a splash of lemon or lime to switch it up.
  • Have a birth plan. Write down your wishes and  the procedures you want to avoid.  Discuss them with  the person who will be with you during labor and delivery. If immediate family members will be around the baby, make sure they are up to date with their immunizations. Tdap is usually recommended, as it protects infants against pertussis.
  • Avoid caffeine.  Replacing caffeine with fresh  fruits, such as apples and bananas can give you a quick boost of energy. 
  • Relax. Try swimming or Pilates to help boost your mood while staying active. Always check with your doctor before starting any exercise program.

 

Although not always possible, try to avoid stress, especially prolonged stress. The March of Dimes says, “High levels of stress that continue for a long time may cause health problems, like high blood pressure and heart disease. During pregnancy, stress can increase the chances of having a premature baby (born before 37 weeks of pregnancy) or a low-birthweight baby; weighing less than 5 pounds 8 ounces. Babies born too soon or too small are at increased risk of health problems.” Read more here.

 

Tips for morning sickness.

Morning sickness may peak around 7-8 weeks in pregnancy due to the change in hormones. You may want to take some days off if you are still working full time. You might experience nausea at other times during the day, or even in the evening. So, what should you do to help ease the suffering?

  • Avoid strong odors that for many can trigger nausea.
  • Eat small snacks often. Carry a few crackers with you and eat 1 or 2 to avoid feeling nauseous.
  • Avoid laying down after eating.
  • Clear soda and weak warm peppermint tea may help a queasy stomach. Check out these other options.
  • Foods like ginger, fresh vegetables and fruits, soups, and healthy fats can give your body the nutrients it needs and help keep nausea at bay.

 

Frequency of doctor or midwife visits.

When you have a healthy pregnancy, your doctor will typically want to see you based on the following recommended schedule.

  • Weeks 4 to 28: 1 prenatal visit a month.
  • Weeks 28 to 36: 1 prenatal visit every 2 weeks.
  • Weeks 36 to 40: 1 prenatal visit a week. If you have a high-risk pregnancy, they may want to see you more often.

 

"A baby is God’s opinion that the world should go on." - Carl Sandburg

 

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Remember, your top priority is to keep you and your baby healthy. It’s natural to have questions after your first visit. Write them down before your next one, or call your physician’s office.

 

Also, while friends and family will offer good advice, keep in mind that their advice can often be based on personal experiences and every pregnancy is different. When in doubt, call your doctor or midwife for peace of mind!

 

In Impact, maternity is eligible for Sharing after the mother has been a member for 12 consecutive months.

 

Sharing is limited to $150,000 for any single pregnancy event, including antepartum care, the cost of delivery and complications to the mother and/or child(ren), and postpartum care.

 

To be eligible, delivery must be performed by a doctor of medicine, doctor of osteopathic medicine, or midwife who is properly licensed, certified, and/or registered in the state of delivery.

 

For more details call 855-378-6777 or visit our website.

 

Tags: Health & Wellness

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