If you’re pregnant with your first baby, the doctor may recommend a regular schedule of prenatal visits during pregnancy. Those visits will take place at certain intervals and include a physical exam, blood pressure check, and other tests that can help determine how your baby is developing and whether or not there are any complications.
In order to have a healthy pregnancy, you should check in with your obstetrician (OB/GYN) for your monthly prenatal visits. In addition, you’ll want to ask about the frequency of your next visit based on when baby is expected to arrive and whether you feel safe delivering at home or going into the hospital. Check out our guide for more information on how best to prepare for delivery!
For a healthy pregnancy, your doctor will probably want to see you on the following recommended schedule of prenatal visits:
- 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 every week.
During pregnancy, your doctor will probably want to see you on the following recommended schedule of prenatal visits. A doctor who is new to caring for pregnant women may be especially interested in discussing any concerns you or your partner may have.
When To Visit Doctor After Positive Pregnancy Test
When you’re expecting, you’ll welcome a new routine into your life: regular prenatal visits. As many moms can tell you, there’s an air of excitement to these visits. You’ll learn your estimated due date and hear your baby’s heartbeat for the first time. Your doctor will also monitor your health and your baby’s health, provide nutrition and activity guidelines, explain what to expect during labor and delivery, and offer tips on how to care and feed your new baby.
Recommended Schedule for a Healthy Pregnancy
For a healthy pregnancy, your doctor will probably want to see you on the following recommended schedule of prenatal visits:
- 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 every week
If you’re pregnant with twins, your doctor will suggest more frequent prenatal visits. You may also need extra tests between visits, such as ultrasounds to check on each baby’s growth and amount of amniotic fluid.
Be sure to stick to the schedule that your doctor suggests — even if life gets hectic. Prenatal care is important for both your health and your baby’s health. In fact, when a mother doesn’t get prenatal care, their baby is three times more likely to have a low birth weight. When your doctor checks you regularly, they can spot problems early and treat them so that you can have the healthiest pregnancy possible.
Risk Factors That May Require More Visits
The recommended schedule isn’t set in stone. Your doctor will decide how often to see you based on your individual health picture. They will want to see you more often if you had any health problems before you became pregnant or if problems develop during your pregnancy. You also may need additional tests to ensure that you and your baby stay healthy.
If you have any of these risk factors, your doctor may increase the number of your prenatal visits:
- Being age 35 and older. Fortunately, most women in their late 30s and early 40s will give birth to strong, healthy babies. But after age 35, you have an increased chance of having a baby born with a birth defect. You also have a higher risk for complications during pregnancy.
- Pre-existing health problems. If you have a history of diabetes or high blood pressure, your doctor will probably want to see you more often. Your doctor will work with you to closely manage these health conditions so they don’t affect your pregnancy or your baby’s health. Other health problems such as asthma, lupus, anemia, or obesity may also require more visits.
- Medical problems that develop during pregnancy. During prenatal visits, your doctor will look for complications that can occur after you’ve become pregnant. These include preeclampsia, or pregnancy-related high blood pressure, and gestational diabetes, a type of diabetes that occurs during pregnancy. If you develop any of these health conditions, you may need to come in more often so your doctor can keep close tabs on your health.
- Risk of preterm labor. If you have a history of preterm labor or a premature birth, or if you start showing signs of preterm labor, your doctor will want to monitor you more closely.
Seeing your doctor for regular prenatal care can help put your mind at ease. You’ll know that you’re doing all you can to have a healthy baby and safe pregnancy.
Twin Pregnancy: Special Concerns
Many women deliver healthy twins, but a multiple birth needs extra attention and care. Your doctor will focus on some key areas during your prenatal visits:
Proper nutrition and weight gain. Given that you’re carrying two little ones, you’ll need to gain more weight than a woman carrying a single baby. A normal amount of weight gain for a woman carrying twins is between 35 to 45 pounds. Your doctor will talk with you about exactly how much weight you should gain, what types of foods you should eat, and what supplements to take.
Preterm labor. Preterm labor, or labor that starts before the end of the 37th week, is the biggest health concern for twin pregnancies. Premature babies have a higher risk for health problems than babies that go full term. About half of all twins are born preterm. Your doctor will review signs of preterm labor with you and watch carefully during your prenatal visits for any signs of preterm labor.
Your health risks. A twin pregnancy raises your risk for high blood pressure, anemia, gestational diabetes, and needing a C-section compared with someone carrying a single child. Your doctor will monitor you for these conditions during your prenatal visits.
Your twins’ health risks. Twins are more likely to be born smaller than average. Placenta problems can occur during twin pregnancies. Also, twins who share a placenta are at risk for twin-twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS). This disorder can cause one baby to have too much blood and amniotic fluid, while the other has too little. If your babies share a placenta, you will probably need to have ultrasounds every 2 weeks starting at your 16th week of pregnancy to monitor your babies for TTTS.
Nervous About First Pregnancy Appointment
When you first discover you’re going to have a baby, you may feel a jumble of emotions from excitement to fear and more. No matter if this will be your first child or your third and whether the pregnancy was planned or a surprise, you want your baby to be healthy and your pregnancy to go as smoothly as possible.
That means that as soon as you see that plus sign on the home pregnancy test and know you’re expecting a baby, when should you go to the doctor? Read on to discover everything you need to know and what you need to do if you suspect you are pregnant.
HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOU’RE PREGNANT?
If you’ve taken one or more home pregnancy tests and gotten positive results, you can probably be sure you’re pregnant. But are there signs to look out for before you even decide to take a test? According to the Mayo Clinic, some common and not so common symptoms could indicate you’re going to have a baby.
If you think you’re pregnant, here are some of the signs to look out for.
COMMON EARLY PREGNANCY SYMPTOMS
Many women experience one or more of the following symptoms during the early days and weeks of pregnancy:
You’ve probably seen this one depicted in a movie or tv show. The lead character tells her best friend, a family member, or maybe her romantic partner that her period is late. The missed period is the classic sign from pop-culture that a woman might be expecting. And if your cycle is regular, it’s often your cue to either call your doctor or take a home pregnancy test.
Vomiting and/or Nausea
Another common 1st-trimester pregnancy symptom is “morning sickness,” the mild to severe nausea, often accompanied by vomiting that many women feel during the first month of pregnancy. Some women never experience morning sickness; others experience it in the early weeks or months of pregnancy, and a rare number may have it throughout their pregnancies.
Sore, swollen, sensitive breasts
When you first become pregnant, your breasts will often feel tender and sore. But as your body adjusts to the shift in hormones that expecting a baby produces, this normally subsides for most women.
As levels of the hormone progesterone rise during the first stage of pregnancy, you might feel sleepier or more tired than usual.
Because pregnancy increases your blood volume, your kidneys need to work harder, and they produce more fluid. That often results in an increased need to urinate.
ARE THERE ANY LESS COMMON SYMPTOMS OF PREGNANCY?
While the above symptoms are the most common early signs of pregnancy, some women don’t have any of them, or also may have the following less classic symptoms:
While the missed period is the classic sign of pregnancy, some women miss that symptom and mistake spotting for a lighter period. If you spot or have a “light period,” it could be a sign you’re pregnant.
Hormone changes can cause some women to experience uterine cramping during the first weeks of pregnancy.
When you first become pregnant, you might mistake the bloating that pregnancy hormones cause for the signs that you’re about to start your period.
Some women experience mood swings during pregnancy. You might also feel weepier and emotionally sensitive when you’re expecting.
Sensitivity to certain smells, food textures or tastes
The hormones your body produces when you’re pregnant can change your senses of smell and taste. As a result, you might become more sensitive to some smells, and foods you typcally enjoy might become things you can’t stand to eat or be around.
If you think you might be pregnant, and also experience a stuffy nose or sinus headaches, don’t worry. You’re not allergic to your baby. It’s just how your hormones are changing your body, and another less common early sign of pregnancy.
Keep in mind that every woman is different. Furthermore, to confuse matters, some of the early signs of pregnancy are the same as some premenstrual symptoms. And some symptoms, such as missed periods and moodiness, can also be signs of perimenopause and menopause in older women. That’s why no matter what, if you’re not sure, or your cycle seems to be changing, whether you’re pregnant or not, it’s always a good idea to check in with your primary care physician or Gynecologist to see if you’re pregnant or if you have another health concern.
WHEN SHOULD YOU SEE A DOCTOR?
How soon do you need to see a doctor if you’re pregnant? Even if a home pregnancy test confirms you’re pregnant, you still need to make an appointment with an Ob/Gyn. The American Pregnancy Association recommends you make an appointment with your doctor for your first prenatal visit within eight weeks of your last menstrual period (LMP). Even if you’ve been pregnant before, every pregnancy and every baby is different. That’s why starting out with the best care, and following your doctor’s advice for prenatal care, including regular appointments, is critical to the health of both you and your baby.
If you just found out that you’re pregnant, your first will help you and your Ob/Gyn discover things like:
- Your due date
- Any potential hereditary, health-related, or age-related pregnancy risk factors
- Your family health history
- Your best schedule of prenatal care
After that, you’ll set up how often you’ll need to see your doctor and how to recognize any potential emergencies. The typical prenatal schedule of visits often looks like this:
During the first 4 to 28 weeks of your pregnancy, you will need to see your doctor once a month.
During the second trimester — weeks 28 to 36, your prenatal visits will increase to once every two weeks.
Then when you reach the third trimester, during weeks 36 to 40, you will see your doctor every week until it’s time to deliver your baby.
Again, no matter what life throws at you, it’s vital you stick to the prenatal appointment schedule. Prenatal care helps to ensure a healthy pregnancy and improves outcomes for not just your health, but the health of your child.
WHAT TO DO NEXT
Now that you know what to when you suspect you are pregnant and when to contact your primary care doctor or obstetrician/gynecologist, what happens next? If you’re in Cooke County, Texas, you contact the North Texas Medical Center (NTMC) to set up all your prenatal care. We specialize in everything from prenatal care to labor and delivery to maternal newborn care and beyond. Our women’s health specialists and state of the art facilities will give you and your baby the best care. We also can provide you with education and are always happy to answer any questions you might have. Contact us today to set up your appointment.
When Should You See a Gynaecologist When Pregnant
around week 8
Set up your very first prenatal visit as soon as you find out you’re pregnant. For most women, this happens around week 8, when they’re about 3-4 weeks past their missed period.
As soon as you find out that you’re pregnant, it’s time to set up your very first prenatal visit. For most women, this happens around week 8, when they’re about 3-4 weeks past their missed period.
As soon as you find out you’re pregnant, set up a first prenatal visit. A first prenatal visit should be completed by week 8, when women are at 3-4 weeks past their missed period.
When To Go To Gyno for Pregnancy
The American Pregnancy Association recommends you make an appointment with your doctor for your first prenatal visit within eight weeks of your last menstrual period (LMP). Even if you’ve been pregnant before, every pregnancy and every baby is different.
You should make a doctor’s appointment for your first prenatal visit within eight weeks of your last menstrual period (LMP) even if you’ve been pregnant before. Every pregnancy and every baby is different, so it’s important to talk with your doctor about what’s normal for you.
Your first prenatal visit is a chance to review your medical history and check for any signs of pregnancy or health issues. If you’ve been pregnant before, it’s important to know if you’re going in with a previous baby timeline.
It’s important to always follow up with your doctor, no matter how often you’ve delivered and are about to start pregnancy again. Your doctor will want to check on things like your weight gain, health conditions, and of course, the baby.