Medical Checkups

Start your pregnancy right by seeing a doctor. During visits, he or she will check both you and your baby for problems. If anything is wrong, your doctor will help you decide what should be done.

You'll have many questions about your pregnancy. Don't worry if you think a question seems dumb. When it comes to your baby's healty, all your questions are smart.

Ask the doctor or nurse your questions. Friends and relatives don't always have the right answers and usually aren't qualified to give you the correct information.

The medical care you get while you're pregnant is called prenatal care. If possible, ask your partner to go with you. That way, both of you will learn what's best for your growing baby.

First Checkup

During your first prenatal visit, you'll be asked some questions about your health. Your doctor or nurse will want to know:

  • if you have been pregnant before

  • if you drink, smoke, or take any drugs

  • if there are any diseases that run in your family or your partner's family

Doctor will also want to know if you've ever had any sexually transmitted infections or diseases.

Your doctor or nurse will take your blood pressure. You will be given a pelvic exam to check your reproductive organs, including your uterus and your cervix.

You'll be weighed and given a uring test. You may be told to take a prenatal vitamin. This vitamin helps you get extra iron and other things your body may need during pregnancy. Someone at the clinic will tell you your due date. Thats the day that the baby should be born. This is estimated by calculated the amount of time it has been since your last period.

Later checkups

You'll be weighed at every prenatal visit. Someone will take your blood pressure to make sure it's normal. High blood pressure could cause your baby to be born too small or too early. The doctor or nurse will test your urin again. Doctor will feel your belly to measure the size of your uterus. After about the 12th week, your doctor will listen for baby's heartbeat. You should begin to feel your baby's first movements at about the 20th week of pregnancy. Let your doctor or nurse know when this happens.

Near the end of the pregnancy, your doctor or nurse will look into the birth canal to see if the cervix is getting softer. The cervix is the opening of the uterus. It softens and thins to let the baby pass through.

Ask the questions about your labor and delivery-soon you'll be at the hospital.

After birth checkup

About six weeks after your baby's birth, you'll be checked again. The doctor or nurse will make sure your uterus is back to normal size. At this visit, you can ask about birth control. Even if you're breastfeeding you can still get pregnant. To make sure this doesn't happen too soon, use birth control when you begin to have sex again. It's best to wait at least three weeks after your baby is born to begin taking birth control pills that won't reduce your milk supply.

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