I’m pregnant when should I go to the doctor?
The purpose of your first visit to the antenatal clinic at around 12 weeks is to give information to the staff so that they can judge whether or not your pregnancy and delivery are likely normal. If you want to have a home delivery, you will be asked about the social and domestic side of your life to assess whether your circumstances are suitable for home delivery.
The staff will also run tests to check your health; for instance, taking your blood pressure, collecting a sample of your blood and testing your urine. The results will be available on your next visit. Ask questions, too. It’s important for you to gain confidence in your pregnancy by expressing any concerns. It isn’t essential now at the first visit, but it’s as well to discuss your preferences for pain relief during the labour, whether you want an early discharge, and what course of action you want if the baby is overdue. Your file and notes will be made available to you.
At the end of the visit, you may be given iron and you can ask to
see a dietitian if you need information about diet and nutrition. You will probably attend the antenatal clinic every four to six weeks up to 36 weeks, and after that every two to three weeks. Check-ups are more flexible than they used to be, and their frequency will depend on your health and the health of your baby.
When you enrol at an antenatal clinic, you’ll be told about the antenatal classes and will be given details of where they’re held and at what time.
What to do when pregnant
– A midwife is trained in the care of women with normal pregnancies and the delivery of their babies. If all goes well, a midwife will deliver your baby whether at home or in a hospital. Midwives also work in the community and once you return home after delivery, you will be visited by a midwife every day until ten days after the birth of your baby.
– Your family doctor may be responsible for part of your antenatal care. He or she may attend your delivery at home although family doctors do not routinely attend home births; if all is well, they are happy to leave it to the midwife.
– The obstetrician is the hospital doctor who specializes in pregnancy and birth, and he or she heads the team of midwives, nurses and other doctors who provide your antenatal care and deliver your baby. The consultant obstetrician should usually be on hand in the hospital delivery unit to supervise and teach the junior doctors.
Testing protein in urine pregnancy
At every antenatal visit, you will be asked to supply a sample of your mid-stream urine. Routine tests will be done on the sample immediately and the results will be marked in your notes.
Taking a pregnancy blood test
A routine sample of your blood will be taken twice during pregnancy, and tested for specific problems and as a general check on your health. The first sample is sometimes also used to confirm the pregnancy.
Taking your blood pressure
This is measured at every visit so that any change can be quickly brought under control. Raised blood pressure may be a sign of pre-eclampsia so you will be closely monitored by your doctor and midwife.
I think I’m pregnant: Getting pregnant at 40
Nowadays the age of the mother is much less important than her medical history, diet and lifestyle (what are the chances of getting pregnant ). However, if you’re over 35, you may still be asked extra questions at your first antenatal appointment. Once all the questions are answered, any tests performed, and you’re found to be generally fit and well, your care will be no different from that of younger women.
I’m Pregnant: What Do I Do Now? First-time parents can gain confidence and information from pregnancy classes. They should ideally cover an understanding of pregnancy and birth; techniques of relaxation and breathing to prepare for labour; and caring for a small baby. Hospital-run classes will help you understand the procedures in that hospital and you will be able to see the delivery suite and postnatal wards.