You’re pregnant! The fact that you’re having a baby in nine months is very real: as real as those ten positive pregnancy tests sitting on the counter next to you. However, what changes this whole experience from feeling like a strange dream to a blissful reality is your very first obstetrics visit. At Fleur Women’s Health, in Rancho Mirage, California, we are just as excited as you are about your growing baby and we are here for your entire journey, from the first pregnancy test to the days following your birth.
The Obstetrics Difference
The main difference between obstetrics and gynecology is that the focus is on a growing baby, not just your gynecological health. If this is your first pregnancy, visiting an obstetrician will be a new experience for you.
You won’t have to worry about dreading your appointments, but instead, you will look forward to them because at every appointment you’ll be another week closer to meeting your new baby.
A New Focus
Your obstetrics visits will be different from your gynecological ones in that the primary focus will be on you getting pregnant, your actual pregnancy, your labor, and your postpartum aftercare.
Once that season of pregnancy, labor, birth, and aftercare is over, you’ll return to your gynecologist for regular care visits as well as any female health issues unrelated to pregnancy.
More Involved Visits
The visits to your obstetrician will also be more involved. Unlike an appointment for a relatively quick pap-smear or birth control consultation, you’ll spend more time undergoing blood draws, sonograms, blood pressure checks, and weight check-ins.
You will also be able to spend time asking questions and getting answers regarding any concerns or questions you have regarding your symptoms.
More Frequent Visits
Unlike your once, maybe twice-a-year trip to the gynecologist, you will take many trips to your obstetrics office. A very obvious difference between these two visits is that there will be more of them.
Visits will continue to increase the further along you get in your pregnancy. We will provide you with a schedule of visits so that you know what’s coming and can plan your schedule accordingly.
Your Obstetrics Visit
Now that you know that your obstetrics visit won’t be like your typical trip to the gynecologist, there are some things you should know about what will happen during the very first visit.
Whether your first appointment takes place pre-pregnancy or you come in simply to confirm your pregnancy, we are here to help in any way possible.
Prior to Pregnancy
You should know that if you’re not pregnant, you can still schedule a trip to see an obstetrician. In fact, we encourage it! If you’ve experienced a miscarriage or you are over the age of 35, or you’re having trouble getting pregnant, we can help. If you struggle with infertility, we can help you find a fertility specialist.
We can also help you if you are considered high-risk or are prone to chronic infections, diabetes, or high blood pressure. By doing some screenings, we will be able to get a better picture of your healthcare needs.
Confirmation of Pregnancy
If you’re 5 weeks pregnant with a positive pregnancy test, you’re probably showing at least some of the signs of early pregnancy, including a missed period. You may be tired, have strong and even odd food cravings (or aversions), and are taking frequent trips to the bathroom.
Your breasts may feel swollen and tender, you may have morning sickness or shortness of breath and feel like you can smell everything. If you’re still not convinced, we’re here to help.
We can help you confirm your early pregnancy with a blood test. When those positive results come back, you’ll know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you are in fact pregnant.
You won’t have to worry about whether you’re actually or pregnant or not anymore and can begin to make some definitive plans and schedule out your future appointments.
If you’re farther along in your first trimester, usually between ten and twelve weeks, an ultrasound will not only help make your pregnancy real, you’ll be able to see your baby on the screen as well as hear the fetal heartbeat. This is a very exciting time in your early pregnancy journey and is definitely the time to bring a loved one with you to share the experience with.
Your First Pregnancy Visit
Your first visit will most likely be one your longest. While you’re here, we’ll ask you some questions regarding your health, nutrition, and family history. However, we will also create space for you to ask us some questions as well. We want you to feel powerful and informed when you walk out of our offices, after all, you are carrying life within you!
Depending on what point you are in your pregnancy at your first visit, you will most likely undergo some health screenings. We will check your vital signs and may draw your blood, as well as record your weight and take your blood pressure.
An ultrasound may be performed, and we may collect a urine sample. We will go over in detail exactly what tests are necessary, which are optional, and what happens during each one.
Health and Family History
Prior to your appointment, you’ll fill out some paperwork detailing your family and personal health history. Once you’re here in our office, we will be able to discuss in detail how these factors affect and relate to your growing baby throughout your pregnancy.
Your age, health, and family history are all important indicators as to whether you are a candidate for certain health screenings during your pregnancy, such as certain types of genetic testing.
Nutrition is very important during pregnancy. Simply put, everything you eat, your baby eats. During this first appointment, we will discuss your nutrition, prenatal vitamins, and foods to avoid.
It is very important for both you and your baby that you eat high-quality foods and avoid empty calories. For every terrible craving, there is always a healthier alternative. Eating a healthy diet will help you maintain a healthy weight so that you can get back into your skinny jeans as soon as possible.
What to Eat
During your pregnancy, it is important that you eat foods that are high in nutritional value. You want to make sure you are eating a variety of fruits as vegetables (think of the colors of the rainbow), plenty of lean proteins, folic acid, calcium, Vitamin C, and fiber.
Try to avoid foods void of nutrients. Even though fast-food restaurants may seem tempting, do your best to keep driving and get something healthier that will help you both in the long-term.
What to Avoid
We will help guide you through the foods and substances that you need to avoid during your pregnancy. Refraining from smoking as well as avoiding all forms of alcohol are two extremely important guidelines to follow throughout your pregnancy to protect your growing baby from the harmful effects of these substances.
When You’re Feeling Nauseated
If you’re feeling too nauseated to eat, or if nothing sounds good, we can help provide some solutions that will ensure that you and your baby are both getting the essential nutrients you need to stay as healthy as possible.
There are some natural solutions that do help improve morning sickness, and most women find that this symptom resolves itself around the beginning of the second trimester. Rest assured that morning sickness, nausea, and food aversions are all routine parts of pregnancy that many women experience.
Exercise is an important part of a healthy pregnancy. As a general rule of thumb, unless there’s a health reason that would make exercise unsafe for your particular pregnancy, you can continue activities you were doing before pregnancy, in moderation.
You should avoid starting something new, especially if its high-impact and strenuous. For example, if you’ve never done a kickboxing class before, now is not the time to start. Moderation is your primary goal during this time.
During this first appointment, we will discuss any lifestyle concerns you may have and help you determine what you need to change or what you don’t in order to have the best pregnancy possible.
Pregnancy is hard enough on the body so it’s important to keep your stress levels low because your energy isn’t going to be what it used to. Relaxing and limiting your stress will help both you and your baby during these nine months. We will also provide you with suggestions as to how you can avoid miscarriage.
We will review all of the medications and supplements that you have been taking prior to pregnancy, from skincare to prescriptions to even certain vitamins. Providing a complete list of everything you have been taking will help us to fully examine these things and help you know what is safe and what may not be.
Don’t worry about stopping certain medications; it’s only for a season. Once your baby is born and you return to your normal self we’ll be able to clear you to resume these medications and supplements.
Whether you don’t even feel pregnant, or you can’t keep anything down, we will go through all of your symptoms with you, or your lack thereof. We’ll be able to help provide solutions to any discomforts you feel so that you can have an enjoyable pregnancy, not one that is defined by morning sickness or back pain.
There are plenty of safe remedies that can be used to ease the discomforts of pregnancy, you just need to let us know how we can help and we will do our best to relieve your discomfort.
We will have a lot of questions for you during this appointment as we learn about your family history and your general health background. However, we also want to create space for you to ask us questions. You can ask us anything, like what to expect during your upcoming visits.
Tell us about your concerns and we will do our best to silence them so that you’re not walking around carrying worry. Tell us your symptoms and we will do our best to provide relief. Ask us whatever you want, from the simplest question to whatever you think is TMI. We are here and there are no wrong questions.
Schedule Your Visit Today
Your pregnancy is one of the most exciting times in your life. We want to share this time with you and help make your pregnancy a memorable one. Contact us at Fleur Women’s Health, in Rancho Mirage, California today and schedule your first obstetrics appointment.