This article is part of the Ultimate Guide to Pregnancy.
The news that you’re pregnant can be both exciting and overwhelming, especially if this is your first baby. You’ll likely have a lot of questions, including what to do—and when to do it.
After you’ve confirmed that you’re pregnant and calculated your baby’s due date, the next step—within the first ten weeks of gestation—is to schedule your first prenatal appointment with an obstetrician.
As part of your first prenatal visit, you’ll schedule follow-up appointments, arrange laboratory tests, and do a through review of your medical history.
What is an obstetrician?
Gynecologists are doctors who are specialists in women’s reproductive health, and obstetricians help deliver babies and take care of women during their pregnancy and after their babies are born. OB/GYNs are physicians who are trained to do all of these things.
How to choose an obstetricianExpertise and compassion matter the most when you pick an obstetrician and prenatal care team.
It’s crucial to feel comfortable with the doctor you choose for your medical care while pregnant because you will see them a lot throughout pregnancy and delivery.
- Do you feel comfortable enough to ask them all the questions you have?
- Does your gynecologist or family doctor recommend the obstetrician?
- Is the obstetrician’s office close by?
- Is the obstetrician available after-hours?
- Does the obstetrician take your health insurance?
Along with choosing an obstetrician, this early stage of your pregnancy is also the best time to consider where you want to deliver your baby.
Here at Logansport Memorial Hospital, all of our obstetricians are part of the hospital’s Family Birth Center.
As a Baby-Friendly facility, the entire team at the Family Birth Center prioritizes giving each mom and baby the best evidence-based medical care during labor, delivery, and beyond.
What to expect at your first prenatal appointment
Prenatal care is equally important for all pregnancies.
Schedule your first prenatal appointment as soon as you find out that you are pregnant, even if this is not your first pregnancy.
Typically, you’ll come in for your first appointment when your pregnancy is at about eight weeks, and it’s not unusual for your first prenatal visit to be one of your longest.
Before your initial prenatal appointment, write down every question you think of so that you can go over all of them with your obstetrician. The more you think about and learn about your pregnancy, the more questions you will have.
In your first prenatal appointment, your obstetrician may perform a variety of routine procedures, that may include:
- Review of your medical history
- Pelvic exam
- Pap smear
- Blood tests
- Urine tests
- Determination of gestational age and due date
- Assessment of fetus position
Depending on your pregnancy, medical history, and your doctor, you may not have an ultrasound at your first prenatal appointment. In fact, many moms-to-be don’t have their first ultrasound until sometime between weeks 18 to 20.
Early pregnancy and prenatal care FAQs—answered by our obstetricians
When will my bump start to show?
While the answer to this question is different for every mom-to-be, first-time moms usually begin sporting their baby bumps between 12 and 16 weeks.
When should I sign up for prenatal classes?
To get the most out of your prenatal classes, plan to attend them during your pregnancy between weeks 28 to 32. Make sure you get a spot in the classes by signing up at least one month in advance. You might want to start looking into prenatal class options around week 20.
Logansport Memorial Hospital’s experts offer a variety of helpful prenatal classes for moms-to-be planning to deliver their babies at the Family Birth Center.
When can I tell my friends and family?
Some women choose to wait until after the first trimester to tell friends and family about their pregnancy since this tends to be when your risk of miscarriage drops significantly. However, feel free to tell your loved ones whenever (and however) it feels right for you.
Will I gain a lot of weight during pregnancy?
Your obstetrician will take your body, lifestyle, and situation into account when making a recommendation for your pregnancy weight gain.
When can I find out the baby’s gender?
Your obstetrician will perform a mid-pregnancy ultrasound between weeks 16 and 30 at which time you can learn your baby’s gender before he or she is born, if you want.
Get a prenatal checkup
Healthier beginnings start with you. See an OB/GYN at Logansport Memorial Hospital, and learn what to expect during each trimester and how to take care of yourself and your baby.
Schedule an appointment by calling (574) 722-3566 or request an appointment online.