Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning we get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through our links, at no cost to you. Please read our disclosure for more info.
A woman is pregnant for an average of 280 days of the year, or about 9 months.
Although this doesn’t seem like a long time, it is full of doctor’s appointments and tests.
If you are planning to have a baby or are already expecting, you must understand the process.
Continue reading to discover all of the steps to pregnancy preparation that you should know!
In This Post:
Make the Call
The first step in preparing for pregnancy is to confirm with a test that you are pregnant!
Once you have gotten a plus sign or confirmation that there is a baby in the making, it is time to call the doctor’s office. Many people use the same doctor that they see for annual checkups. A gynecologist will be able to assist you along the entire way.
On the call, you will likely speak with a nurse. The nurse will ask you several questions to begin your patient file. Prepare for questions about the start of your last period, how many times you’ve been pregnant, and the current medications you are taking.
During the first obgyn appointment for pregnancy, you will go over medications and medical history.
The first prenatal appointment will primarily be with a nurse; however, you may have the opportunity to meet a doctor. The nurse will want to discuss the current medications that you are taking and will review your medical history.
This appointment lasts around 45 minutes, depending on your medical history. To prepare for this appointment, write down all of your medications and vitamins that you take, along with their dose and frequency took. This information will get confirmed at every appointment you go to during pregnancy.
The nurse will be able to discuss with you any concerns or medications that you should stop taking. They will also go over risk factors that could affect you in the early weeks of pregnancy.
Determine the Due Date
If you have done some pregnancy research, you likely know that the due date doesn’t necessarily indicate when you will deliver.
Due dates are a prediction of when the baby will be arriving. The due date is 40 weeks from the start of your last period. Since there is some flexibility within those days of when you can get pregnant, this is just an estimation.
As you can get ultrasounds done, you will be able to determine how many weeks you are along. The doctor will be able to look at the size and development of the baby to see what point you are at.
It is exciting for expecting moms to find out the due date because this is the timeframe that they will be done with pregnancy and holding their child!
Get Your OB Physical Exam
At the first appointment with your OB doctor, you will complete a physical exam.
Vitals will be checked at this appointment. They will take your blood pressure, weight, and height to get baseline information for your pregnancy. If you are under or overweight, your doctor will tell you how much weight to gain or lose throughout the pregnancy.
You will also have a breast exam and pelvic exam at your first appointment. These tests help ensure that you are healthy and everything is in good condition to hold a baby.
Get Testing Done
Around the time of your first prenatal appointment, you will be asked to complete blood work testing.
By getting your blood drawn, the doctor will determine what your blood type is and gather information about hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is found in red blood cells, and it helps carry oxygen throughout the body, which is crucial during pregnancy.
The nurse will also have you give a urine sample to check for infections, dehydration, and more. Do your best to be prepared for this appointment by drinking water ahead of time and having a full meal.
If you feel dizzy from getting your blood drawn, talk to the nurse, and they will be able to assist you.
See Your Baby
Around week 12-14 of pregnancy, you will go to the gynecologist for a prenatal visit.
At this appointment, the doctor will be able to pull up your baby on the ultrasound and listen to the heartbeat. It may take a moment for them to find the heartbeat, so don’t get scared if it is quiet in the beginning. Hearing the baby’s heartbeat for the first time is exciting, and a moment you won’t forget.
Another fun part about this appointment is that you will also be able to see your baby moving around on the screen. This is when the doctor typically prints out a picture for you to take home!
Complete the Ultrasound
Between weeks 14 and 20, you may have a check-up appointment that leads to the ultrasound.
The ultrasound can be done around week 20 when the baby is developed enough. At this appointment, the doctor will pull up the baby on the monitor to view with your partner and will look for any abnormalities.
Not only will they be checking the health of your baby, but they will also be checking on the gender! Talk with your partner about finding out the gender or waiting if you want to be surprised. This is one of the most exciting appointments that you will attend.
From this point, you will have increasingly period checks at the office. Keep in mind that you will see several doctors that could potentially be delivering your baby.
Have You Focused on Pregnancy Preparation?
There is only so much that you can do for pregnancy preparation and understanding the process is most important.
By knowing the process of your gynecology visits, you can be best prepared to deliver and have a healthy pregnancy. These appointments will guide you along with pregnancy and ensure that you and the baby are prepared for the big day.
Don’t be afraid to talk to your gynecologist and ask questions. The doctors and nurses are there to help you.
Be sure to check out our blog for more articles with baby preparation and parenting tips!