Determining how far along you are
Now that you’re pregnant, it’s time to head to the doctor. Visiting the doctor will help you and your doctor understand your body and your pregnancy a lot better. First, they will want to make sure that you are pregnant and will probably want to know the date of your last menstrual cycle. Six weeks seems to be the amount of time that has passed before a woman makes it to the doctor after pregnancy occurs. They determine how far along you are based on the last date of your menstrual cycle. If it was six weeks ago, you are six weeks pregnant (roughly). This is because the whole month that your uterus was preparing for an egg to attach to the inside of the uterus counts toward your pregnancy. It doesn’t matter if you became pregnant a week before you should have had your period, you’re automatically four weeks pregnant by the time you miss your period.
Types of testing that are done at the first prenatal exam
Your weight will be checked and if it’s your regular doctor they will compare it against your weight from before you became pregnant. They will let you know if your weight is on track based on the term of your pregnancy. You will be asked questions about family history with regards to other pregnancies in your family, and other health questions in general. Blood pressure and heart rate will also be checked. They will expect for both of those things to be slightly elevated, but will become concerned if both are too high. It’s normal for both of those to be elevated during pregnancy because of the increased blood volume.
At the first visit to the doctor there are going to be a long range of tests that they do to make sure that both baby and mother are healthy. Most of the testing requires drawing blood, so fortunately, all the testing that you’ll have to participate in is sticking your arm out. Having your blood drawn can make a lot of people squirmy (I know it did me). I suggest looking away from your blood being drawn to avoid feeling lightheaded or fainting. They check for a whole spectrum of diseases just to make sure there is nothing in the way of you having a healthy baby and pregnancy. They will take about nine vials of blood, but they do it all at once to get it out of the way.
They will also do a pelvic exam to make sure everything is coming along the way that it should, as well as do a pap smear. They will also test your urine to check for normal levels of protein and bacteria. Too much bacteria in the urine could be a sign of an infection and they will want to take care of that as soon as possible.
Don’t worry, this appointment might not be the most fun, but you will feel better once it’s out of the way. After this appointment you get to look forward to future ones because sooner than later you will be able to hear the heartbeat, and have ultrasounds done to see how your little bun is cooking!