The 1st trimester of pregnancy can be the most overwhelming. Specially if it is your very first pregnancy. Over the course of your life you have probably heard more than enough about what to expect during pregnancy, but it most likely is the same things over and over again.
You will probably be told all about the same topic before pregnancy and maybe even during. Not often will they tell you what you truly want to know. Or even the full story.
Check out the Top 5 Things You Should Know About the 1st-Trimester for more things you should know before pregnancy or even during the 1st trimester.
Don’t forget to check out what to expect at the 2nd-trimester doctor visits!
Now let’s get to the doctor visits!
The first doctor visits
Between 6-10 weeks will usually be your first appointment. It tends to depend on when you find out you are pregnant and when your doctor has an appointment available. 8 weeks is the most common time for the first doctor visit. Then you should be having an appointment every 4 weeks for the 1st trimester and into the 2nd.
The first appointment is one of the most important ones you will have because it determines the due date most accurately than any later down the road. You will be asked many things by your doctor, including if you have had any previous pregnancies, medical history, medications you use or are on, if you have been or are in an abusive relationship, if you have abused before, and your use of alcohol, tobacco, and caffeine.
They will check your height, weight, blood pressure, heart rate, breathing rate, take a urine sample, and do a few blood tests. From here on out be prepared to have your weight and blood pressure checked and be ready to leave a urine sample. This will happen at every appointment before you meet with your doctor for the remainder of your pregnancy.
Now for the first visit, they will be doing 2 scans. An abdominal ultrasound that is done on your belly, but usually it is hard to see much at this point. These are the ones you are used to seeing and will be the ones you get for the rest of the pregnancy unless there is a complication.
The second scan is a transvaginal ultrasound. This one is important. The transvaginal ultrasound is what will show you the small baby that is growing. It will pick up on the heartbeat and is used for measurements in the beginning. The growth of the baby and the date of the beginning of your last period will determine the due date.
The transvaginal ultrasound will be pretty awkward because you may feel violated. You won’t be used to this if this is your first pregnancy, but you will learn that pregnancy gives you no privacy when it comes to doctors. They are just trying to make sure both you and baby are healthy and not having any complications.
This will be your second appointment and it usually happens at 12 weeks, but again can vary between 10-14 weeks of pregnancy. At 12 weeks you should be able to hear baby’s heartbeat on a fetal doppler. This is also where you will be offered your first trimester combined screening.
The first trimester combined screening consists of 2 parts. The first part is where they will use an ultrasound to check the amount of fluid behind the baby’s neck. This is because if there is too much fluid it can be a sign of Down Syndrome or other abnormalities. The second step is them drawing your blood to have it tested for chromosomal abnormalities.
Not to forget that before you see the doctor you will be weighed, have your blood pressure checked, and leave a urine sample just like every visit you will have.
You may also find out the gender of baby around this time. For some, it will be a long wait before they will know because of the positioning of the baby, but many find out the gender between 11-14 weeks.
That is basically it for the 1st-trimester.
There are only 2 doctor visits usually, but some may have an extra visit if they have concerns. Usually, it is just a visit for the sake of the mother because as a first-time mom or even if it is another child for them, they tend to worry about certain symptoms.
Many times the mother will worry about the initial spotting from the placenta attaching to the wall. Or the cramping they will get from the body preparing itself. Or even when they worry because they haven’t been eating much due to food aversions and nausea. Usually, it is just another normal symptom, but it is always best to ask a doctor if you are worried. Don’t feel bad about it either. At both of the appointments and all appointments to come with your doctor, they will ask if you have any questions or concerns. Let them know if you have any because that is what they are there for, to help you with your pregnancy.
So, what should I expect for the 1st-trimester visits?
- 2 doctors visits during the 1st trimester. One at 8 weeks and one at 12 weeks.
- First one will include 2 types of ultrasounds, the abdominal ultrasound, and a transvaginal ultrasound.
- Transvaginal ultrasound will be crucial for measuring how far you are and may make you feel awkward and an invasion of privacy.
- They will ask you about your medical history; if you have been pregnant before, the medications you take, and if you use things like tobacco, alcohol, and your caffeine intake.
- Second visit will offer the combined screening for abnormalities.
- You should be able to hear baby’s heartbeat on a fetal doppler around 12 weeks.
- There is even a chance to learn the gender of baby around 11-14 weeks.
- At every appointment be prepared to be weighed, have your blood pressure taken, and leave a urine sample.
- And don’t forget to ask any questions you have to your doctor.
As short and sweet as I can make it, but packed full of information for you. Feel free to check out more of our sweet articles about pregnancy or even motherhood. Here is a few to get you started:
- Top 5 Things You Should Know About the 1st Trimester
- Our Helix Sleep Mattress Review (super comfy for pregnancy as well!)
- Pregnant at the Electric Daisy Carnival
- What to Expect at the 2nd-Trimester Doctor Visits
- Top 5 Things You Should Know About the 2nd-Trimester
Now it’s your turn!
What do you feel most nervous about during the 1st trimester? Has any of your doctors done something different for your 1st trimester visits? If so, what did they do? I am curious to hear about your experiences! Let us know in the comments below.