Making the Most of Your Many Doctor's Appointments
After the initial prenatal visit to the doctor, which takes place about eight weeks into your pregnancy, you may think you’re done with appointments for a while. Let’s just say you should keep a couple of (long) novels in your bag, because this is just the beginning of OB visits. While some expectant women feel as if they spend half their lives at the doctor’s office, try to think these visits as time where you can get answers to all those burning questions: When will morning sickness be over? When will the mood swings stop? Does my baby have a heartbeat yet? This time with your doctor is valuable, so make the most of it!
Keep a journal – Pregnancy hormones can make it even harder than usual to remember all the questions you need to ask your doctor, so journaling is a great way to keep track of questions, pregnancy symptoms you’re experiencing, and any other things you want to discuss with your OB.
Ask for a progress report – Ask your doctor for a progress report of everything that’s happening with your baby. And yes, it is completely normal to feel giddy when your doctor tells you that your baby is developing hair, skin, nails, and optical nerves. Did you know your baby will go through three sets of kidneys during development?
Bring someone with you – Consider bringing your partner, labor coach, a friend, or a family member with you to these early doctor’s visits. It’s normal to feel nervous and jittery during the first few prenatal appointments because you’re just not sure what to expect. Having the support of someone close to you can help you feel calmer and more comfortable asking questions.
Remember, even though prenatal appointments are aimed at making sure that both you and baby are healthy, these are also educational opportunities for you to learn about what’s happening with your body. Get more pregnancy resources and tips at BayCareMaternity.org or find an obstetrician near you.