8 Weeks Pregnant
Your first prenatal visit usually occurs between weeks 7 and 10. During this visit, you will fill out a medical record sheet that will ask you for information such as:
- Your name and address
- Your age
- Your marital status
- Your insurance information
- Your medical history (e.g., chronic illnesses, hospitalizations, surgeries, medications, and allergies)
- Your family's medical history (e.g., heart disease, cancer, and birth defects)
- Your gynecological and obstetric history (including length of menstrual cycle, duration and regularity of periods, past births, abortions, and miscarriages)
- Your lifestyle and habits (including information about exercise, smoking, drinking, diet, and occupation).
During the checkup, you will:
- Give a urine sample
- Get undressed and put on a dressing gown
- Be weighed
- Give a blood sample
- Have your blood pressure taken.
Then, the doctor will come in and talk to you prior to beginning the examination. Your doctor will check your heart, lungs, and breasts. He or she will then ask you to lie back and put your feet in the stirrups. The doctor will then insert a device called a speculum into your vagina to widen the opening to the cervix. This allows your doctor to assess your reproductive system, which includes the:
- Fallopian tubes.
To check for the physical signs of pregnancy, your doctor will slip two fingers into your vagina as far as they will go, while pressing down on your abdomen with the other hand. This allows your doctor to feel the already softened part of the uterus, which is now slightly enlarged, and the changing texture of the cervix, which is the neck of the uterus. Although this examination may be uncomfortable, it will not be painful and it will not harm your baby. The fetus is well protected and cannot be dislodged from the uterus by this internal examination.
If you are not already taking a prenatal vitamin, your doctor will then give you a prescription, which will give your body added nutrients that you will need to nourish your growing baby. These vitamins are meant to be in addition to the nutrients that you receive from food -- they are not a replacement for poor eating habits.
Before you leave your first examination, you will be given a date for your next prenatal checkup. Do not lose track of this date, because monthly checkups are absolutely vital in ensuring a healthy pregnancy and delivery. They are not something you can skip.
Be sure to ask your doctor about anything you don't understand. If you think of any questions ahead of time, write them down -- it is easy to forget things amidst the excitement of your first doctor's visit!