1. Choosing a pregnancy healthcare professional
Just because you might have been going to the same doctor for 10 years doesn’t mean they are a good fit for you and your new baby. Explore your options, find someone you are comfortable with, and don’t feel guilty about your choices. Midwives, obstetricians, and family medicine physicians may provide pregnancy care in your area. Ask family or friends who have recently been pregnant for their recommendations. Where you plan to give birth—be it a hospital, birth center or at home—will also influence your choice of provider.
2. Your first prenatal visit
At this appointment you’ll have to answer questions about your own medical and surgical history, family medical history, and general health questions. More excitingly, your chosen healthcare professional will:
- Confirm your pregnancy.
- Give you an estimated due date.
- Give you helpful information about your pregnancy.
- Set up routine prenatal appointments with you.
- Order laboratory examinations.
- Schedule ultrasounds.
- Offer to test you for any possible genetic conditions.
3. Your first pregnancy exam
- Weigh you.
- Check your blood pressure.
- Perform a deeper internal exam to check the size of your uterus and pelvis.
- Listen to your baby's heartbeat an exciting moment for all parents.
4. Buying maternity clothes
Regardless, you're going to need a few key items to keep up your comfort levels. Try to save your money until your second trimester when your belly will really start to expand.
Maternity pants are one of the key pieces you’ll need. You may be able to borrow a nice pair from a mother friend; if not, get a simple black pair. You might consider getting a good maternity bra and a few figure-hugging dresses to show off your new bump.
5. Creating a birth plan
While you’re thinking about the kind of birth you’d like to have, consider enrolling in a local childbirth class. It's a great place to meet other expectant parents and learn about your options and rights at the time of birth. The more you know, the more in control and comfortable you will be on the big day.
The information of this article has been reviewed by nursing experts of the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric, & Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN). The content should not substitute medical advice from your personal healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider for recommendations/diagnosis or treatment. For more advice from AWHONN nurses, visit Healthy Mom&Baby at health4mom.org.