What should I expect from this first visit? I guess whoever sees me will do an internal, right? Will they do any kind of ultrasound? Will we see or hear the baby in any way? Should I bring DH?
I never have the presence of mind to ask these questions when I'm actually standing there making the appointment. Medical settings always make me freeze up.
Jam 7, Peanut Butter 5, and Bread 2.
With DS we had 2 hour long appointments, all the ladies due that month met together and we did our own weight and blood pressure, dip stick, then a fundal check and heart tones. Then we'd have a discussion about a different topic at every meeting.
Army wife - Mama to Liam (9/07), Laine (5/09), and Eliza (7/11)
My first appointment is mostly paperwork, they'll listen for fetal heart tones (at 9 weeks), send me for blood tests (need to figure out exactly WHAT my blood type is because I've had it tested twice with different results!), weigh me, pee on a stick and discuss what tests are offered (most of which I decline) in the next appointment. Then I come back at 15, 20, 25, 30, 33, 36, 37, 38... etc weeks until I deliver and each time I pee on a stick, weigh, blood pressure, fetal heart tones and position, chit chat and off I go.
Usually with an OB, you'll be weighed and asked to pee in a cup, a pap smear will be performed (internal exam), lab work done on that pap sample, bloodwork and possibly a transvaginal ultrasound to check for heartbeat, amniotic sac, fetus, etc. An OB will also probably counsel you on all the scary genetic diseases your ethnic group is prone to, counsel you about your due date and give you a book about pregnancy and birth. Maybe you'll get some information on diet, but it will probably be in the book you are given.
With a family doc, you might be able to avoid the pap if you've had one in the last year as well as the ultrasound. A family doc will probably spend more time talking to you and making give some diet/nutrition counseling.
A midwife would probably just do the bloodwork if that's what you wanted, but I do know some midwives perform internal exams and paps at the first appt too. You may be asked to be weighed and take the pee test. A midwife will by far take the most time talking to you, asking questions, giving counsel on due dates, nutrition, etc and determine your risk level. If you are high-risk on somethings you might be referred to an OB or specialist. Its most likely that you would be low-risk and a perfect candidate for midwifery care. You may talk about birth plans also.
Most women who see midwives highly recommend the quality of care and personal touch that is much more supportive and encouraging. A lot of women who see OBs feel like they are being scared into certain decisions at worst, ignored or brushed off. At this early point in your pregnancy you are at the perfect time to decide whether you would like seeing a midwife for your pregnancy. Good luck and yay for your new wee one!
M.Ed. Mama to Chunka (1/07), Beauty (5/09) and Elizabear 3/12): Birth Doula (working toward certification) AAMI Midwifery Student, Advocating with Solace for Mothers & The Birth Survey
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