16 Dec 2018
Congratulations, you are pregnant! Realising that a very small human is growing inside of you is both an exciting and an overwhelming experience – and the journey has just begun! This is the beginning of a long, exciting, fantastic, fun, sometimes tough and tiresome journey that promises to change your life forever, in the greatest way possible.
The first step in your pregnancy journey is to find yourself an obstetrician (a specialist for pregnant women) who you trust, are comfortable with and who will be able to accompany you throughout this once in a lifetime journey.
Choosing a specialist
It’s a good idea to start thinking about who will be your lead maternity carer or general practitioner throughout your pregnancy and beyond.
You can choose a midwife, a specialist or an obstetrician to look after you, however, it is imperative that you are comfortable enough to discuss all factors throughout your pregnancy with the individual you choose because they are responsible for not only keeping you healthy but your little one too.
Make sure you have lots of information and that your expectations are realistic when you start your search – and start searching as soon as you can! The person you pick will look after you during your pregnancy, the birth and the first few weeks after the birth.
Take a partner to the first appointment
The first visit to your doctor is special. This is when your obstetrician will ask you and your partner, mother or best friend questions about any medical problems that run in your family. Remember this is not the time to hide things. For example, if you’re a smoker, it is important to let your doctor know. You’re not the first, nor the last, and he will give you the support and guidance that you need to stop.
This first visit to your specialist is your opportunity to set your worries aside by asking any questions and addressing any concerns that you might have.
What can you expect?
Your obstetrician has a few main roles which include monitoring and supporting you – and delivering a healthy baby, of course. Most women have between seven and ten antenatal [pre-birth] visits, with the usual schedule being monthly visits until 32 weeks, then fortnightly until 36 weeks and then weekly, until the baby is born.
Ensuring that your baby stays healthy throughout the pregnancy and delivery is the most important thing to remember, so be honest with your specialist and allow them to provide the guidance you need during this special time. If you do not already have an obstetrician, you can find one here.