First Gynae PreNatal Visit: Preparation Tips and Expectations
While you’re looking forward to your first prenatal appointment with your gynaecologist, you’re still probably in the dark about what really happens when you’re already there – or maybe even when you should schedule it. Your first maternity appointment usually takes place between the eighth and 10th week of your pregnancy. Once the date is already on your calendar, perform a little prep work to make the most out of your very first appointment. The following tips can be a great place to start your prep work.
1. Jot Down Some Key Health Facts. Since it’s your first prenatal appointment, expect that your gynaecology practitioner will want to scoop out every detail of your health history. So do him or her a favour by listing down the details of your previous pregnancies, medical conditions or contagious diseases that you might’ve been exposed to. It’d also be a smart move to provide your gynae will all the details of your past pregnancies or miscarriages (if there are any). If you were handled by another practitioner on your previous pregnancies, have your medical records transferred to your new gynae before your scheduled visit.
Lastly, write down the answers to all the important questions for the female gynae doctors from Singapore at the medical center as to when you had your last period. This will be a helpful factor in determining the due date of your baby. But don’t stress yourself out if you forgot the date of your last menstrual cycle, since your due date can also be determined using an ultrasound.
2. Research on Your and Your Spouse’s Family Medical History. Aside from listing every detail of your personal medical history, jot down the illnesses that are present in your family and your spouse’s family. With this, you’ll be able to clue in your gynaecologist about the possible illnesses you might have right from the get-go.
3. Bring a List of Your Medications. Along with your medical history, your gynae or midwife will also want to know about all the medications you’re currently taking. Create a list of these medications, including your supplements and vitamins. Most over-the-counter and prescription medications are unsafe to take during pregnancy, which is why it’s important that you discuss them with your specialist. He or she will certainly recommend alternative prescriptions for the medicines that are unsafe, and will also likely advise you to take prenatal vitamins.
4. Create Your Own List of Questions. Due to the excitement of their first prenatal appointment, a good number of Singapore moms-to-be tend to forget to ask the questions that they’re extremely concerned or curious about. To keep this from happening to you, make sure to create a list of questions beforehand and don’t forget to bring it with you during your appointment.
5. Share All of Your Pregnancy Concerns. Apart from your pregnancy questions, bringing up your concerns during your first visit can also be a good idea. Pregnancy can become an overwhelming process, so don’t hesitate to ask anything and share your current experiences. Remember that your gynae is not only there to help you deliver a healthy baby, he or she’s also there to help you achieve a rather comfortable pregnancy period.
What to Expect on Your Prenatal Visits on Your First, Second and Third Trimester
1. The First Trimester
On your initial visit, your specialist will work on obtaining or updating your medical history record. Prior records from your previous doctor who’ve been caring for you will be sent for. Your initial physical exam will be used to evaluate your general maternal health through conducting initial vaginal cultures, laboratory tests, and checking your uterus size. Your weight, blood pressure, and urine values for protein and sugar will also be taken, tested and recorded during this time.
Other than that, an initial ultrasound might also be conducted during your first trimester to document your foetus, and to establish your possible due date based on your last menstrual period. The first ultrasound is often done before your 12th pregnancy week, while the second ultrasound is usually done a month after so that an appropriate interval-growth will be documented.
2. The Second Trimester
Normally, the second trimester is the time when the generalities of foetal and maternal health, and foetal growth are observed. This is also a perfect time to address your additional concerns and questions pertaining to your pregnancy and other things that are important to you as a prospective mother. Your gynaecologist will also start looking for signs of preterm labour or, if you have a history of having preterm deliveries, incompetent cervix.
An alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) test will also be done to you during this time to screen your baby for any neural tube defects and chances of getting a Down syndrome. If you’re already over 35, you’ll also be offered to do an amniocentesis for the genetic studies.
3. The Third Trimester
On your third trimester, the interval between your hospital or clinic visits will already get shorter, depending on the considerations being addressed. As your due date nears, your gynaecologist will check your cervix for any changes – a predictor as to how close your labour date is. Doing an additional ultrasound and several non-stress tests might also be a good idea at this time.
The third trimester is also the time to undergo some philosophical discussions about having an elective induction, because if there’ll be no medical indications of induction, the elective induction will be done during or after your 39th week. Your gynae will also advise you to perform an extra surveillance two weeks after your assumed due date because your baby’s continuous growth may outpace your placenta’s ability to deliver the nutrients your baby needs.
Feeling anxious is only normal when you’re having your first prenatal visit. However, don’t let your anxiety stop you from scheduling an appointment with your gynaecologist as soon as possible. Going on such appointments will allow your doctor to learn a lot of things about you and your baby. So go ahead and schedule your first ever prenatal visit.