You’re Pregnant. Now What?
A little over a year ago, I was crowded in a tiny stall at the grocery store with my three-year-old daughter. I suspected I could be pregnant and I just.couldn’t.take.it.anymore. I had to know now.
So I parked my cart full of groceries outside after bribing a teller into watching them and corralled my daughter into the stall with me with the pregnancy test stuffed into my purse.
I managed to distract her long enough to pee unsuspectingly on the stick—which displayed two blue lines instantly. After snapping a picture and sending it to my husband (which of course, he didn’t even look at), we flew home to celebrate the good news.
The next morning, when I called a local doctor to schedule my first prenatal appointment, I was surprised to learn that they wouldn’t see me.
“We don’t typically see patients until they reach 12 weeks of pregnancy,” the nurse told me over the phone.
It may come as a surprise to some women that the majority of pregnancy care providers may not schedule a woman’s first prenatal visit until they are between 8-12 weeks pregnant, unless she has a medical condition that warrants an early visit. Waiting to see a doctor can be hard, especially in early pregnancy, when anxieties can run high and there are no obvious signs of pregnancy.
So what should you do in the meantime?
- Your doctor may call in a prescription of prenatal vitamins over the phone for you before your scheduled visit; if not, pick up an over-the-counter brand of prenatal vitamins. They should all contain folic acid, an essential nutrient for pregnant women, but check the label just to be sure.
- Stay hydrated—this can be difficult if you are experiencing morning sickness, but try sipping small amounts throughout the day.
- If you are anxious about the pregnancy, schedule some time with other moms to chat, or try a distracting stress-reliever, like walking while listening to music, some shopping, or a pampering day.
- Rest up and enjoy some quiet time before the craziness of pregnancy and parenting begins!
When did you first see the doctor during you pregnancy?
Photo credit: Chaunie Brusie/J & J Brusie Photography