Your First Pregnancy
If you have recently become pregnant for the first time you likely have about a million questions you want to ask. Hopefully the information contained in this article will help answer some of your questions and get you more comfortable with the idea of there being a small person growing inside of you.
There are many signs of pregnancy (see this article), however you should be on the lookout for signs that are out of the ordinary, as they could be indications that there is a health issue or a possible problem with your pregnancy.
Consult your physician if you experience any of the following:
Bleeding (heavy, light, spotting, red or pink).
Headache that is not relieved by acetaminophen (Tylenol) **note that acetylsalicylic acid (Asprin) and ibuprofen (Advil) are not recommended for pregnant women.
Pain or burning sensation when urinating.
Abdominal pain (some light cramping is normal).
Excessive swelling in face or limbs.
Problems with eyesight, such as blurry vision or spots.
Excessive weight loss (some women lose a few pounds during the first trimester due to morning sickness.
One of a pregnant mom’s first pregnancy concerns is what she is allowed to take to relieve certain pregnancy-related conditions. Here are a few common conditions that pregnant moms may encounter and what they can take to help:
Constipation Metamucil ®, Citrucel ®
Docusate (Colace®, DUcolax®)
Milk of magnesia
Hemorrhoids Tucks ®
Preparation H ®
After an initial visit to your physician or other health care provider to confirm your first pregnancy you do not need to see a doctor until you are about 12 to 13 weeks pregnant. However, when you first become pregnant you should begin researching your options for prenatal care. These include a family physician, OB/GYN, or midwife. What you choose is entirely up to your comfort level and birthing preference.
Following your 12 week visit, and assuming your pregnancy progresses normally you will return to your health care provider every 4 weeks until you reach 28 weeks. From week 28 to 36 your visits will be every two weeks, and after that every week. This is so your health care provider can keep a closer eye on your pregnancy as you approach your due date.
When you visit your health care provider make sure you mention anything unusual, such as recurring headaches, vaginal leakage or increase in mucous discharge, vision problems, rapid weight gain or stomach pain.
Generally at each visit you will be required to submit a urine sample to test for sugar levels, blood and protein in the urine. You will be weighed and your blood pressure will be checked. The physician will listen to the fetal heartbeat and measure your fundal height (length of uterus) to confirm adequate growth. As you approach your due date your health care provider will monitor the positioning of the baby and likely check your cervix for changes.
There are many medical tests that are performed when you are pregnant, and all of them are meant to ensure that both mother and baby are healthy. Make sure you understand the pros and cons of each test, and find out if the test is mandated if you do not wish to have it performed. Keep in mind that this is your pregnancy, and you are in control of what tests should and should not be performed.
Throughout all of this, make sure that you take time to simply enjoy your first pregnancy. While there may be many instances where you despise being pregnant (morning sickness, heartburn, constipation, etc) it is a wonderful time in your life and you should cherish every single moment.