Arranging The First Meeting With Your Doctor
Arranging the first meeting with your doctor
- If you’ve taken a home pregnancy test and it’s confirmed your suspicions that you’re pregnant, the next step is to call your doctor.
- Some doctors like to see you first to confirm for themselves that you’re pregnant. They will then organise your first meeting (or booking appointment).
- Ideally, you should have met your doctor for your first appointment by the time you’re 12 weeks pregnant.
What will your doctor want to know ?
Your doctor will be a great help during your pregnancy but to do this they’ll need a good picture of your health and expectations for pregnancy and birth. That’s why your doctor will need to ask a few questions about your:
- Medical history and lifestyle: Your doctor will want to take down details of your medical history and your partner’s. They’ll want to know the details of any previous pregnancies and any family history of diseases or genetic conditions. Your doctor will also ask about your diet, whether you smoke, how much alcohol you drink and if you are taking any medication.
- Dates: Your doctor will also want to know the date of your last monthly periodsohe or she can calculate your due date, and you may be offered a dating scan to check when your baby’s due. This is usually done around the 12th week.
- Labour and birth: They should also give you some information about your birth options so you can start to decide what you’ll want to happen when the time comes. Remember to tell your doctor of your final choice and they’ll be able to help you prepare.
- Where you’re giving birth: Your doctor needs to know whether you’ve opted for a home birth, a birthing centre or a hospital if you’re opting for a hospital birth.
- Feeding: Your doctor will discuss your feeding options and find out whether you want to breast or bottlefeed your baby.
What about tests and examinations?
- Blood Tests: You’ll have some blood taken and be asked for a urine sample for a range of tests, which you can read about here. Don’t worry, it’s all standard procedure and everything should be fine.
- Physical examinations: Your doctor will feel your tummy to check your baby’s growth and also listen to their heartbeat using a hand-held device placed on your belly. Your weight and height will also be recorded.
Your opportunity to ask questions – big or small!
You’ll probably have a million and one questions racing through your head so this first meeting with your doctor is the perfect opportunity to get some answers. And no matter how silly you think the question might be, if you don’t know the answer, it’s a question worth asking! Before you meet, you might like to jot down questions and things as they pop into your head like:
- Any worries you have or symptoms which are causing you discomfort?
- What sort of screenings and tests will I need?
- What birthing options are available?
- How do I go about booking antenatal classes?
- What sort of food should I be eating and what food should I avoid?
- What sort of exercise should I take?
- What are the facilities and requirements of the hospital you’ll be visiting?
How often will I see my doctor?
During a first pregnancy it’s typical to have around ten appointments with your doctor, which will become more frequent towards the end of your pregnancy. The exact scheduling and number will vary from area to area and will also depend on whether you are having a high or low risk pregnancy.
Remember, if something is worrying you, there’s no need to wait for your next appointment. Your doctor will give you a contact number (usually for your local maternity unit) that you can call 24/7 for help.
Disclaimer: All content on this Website is provided solely for informational purposes and is not intended as a substitute for medical and/or other professional advice for your specific condition. Please do not disregard medical and/or other professional advice or delay seeking it because of something you have read on this Website. Always seek medical advice before starting any new treatments.
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