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My first guide to pregnancy week by week

This week by week pregnancy guide will walk you through the pregnancy journey and tell you what to expect during certain weeks of your pregnancy. This guide to pregnancy will be especially useful if it's your first pregnancy.

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Pregnancy Guide

My first guide to pregnancy week by week

If this is your first pregnancy, or it has been a few years since you have had a child, you may be wondering what is going to happen throughout this pregnancy. Your body is making miraculous changes inside and out, and by being informed on what is happening, you may understand your pregnancy better. This pregnancy guide can help you know what to do during pregnancy and some of the things that are happening to your body.

Prenatal vitamin rich in folic acid

Now that you have seen that little pink line and found out you are pregnant, it is important to begin taking a prenatal vitamin rich in folic acid. Folic acid has been known to greatly reduce the likelihood that your baby will be born with any neural tube defects. Vitamins are also valuable to ensure that you maintain enough nutrients for your general health.

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First prenatal visit

At around eight weeks gestation, your doctor will want to see you for your first prenatal visit. This appointment will consist of a physician's assistant asking you questions about your health and any family medical history. It is at this appointment that your pregnancy will be confirmed, you will receive an estimated due date, and will hopefully receive information about your pregnancy and set up routine prenatal appointments. At this time you should ask any questions about pregnancy that you may have. Blood work will be taken to check for blood type, any possible genetic diseases, and any other diseases you may have. If you are in the high risk category for diabetes, you may be checked for gestational diabetes at this time.

Your first pregnancy exam

A few weeks later, your doctor will want to see you for your first exam. During this time, you doctor will weigh you, check your blood pressure, and check the iron in your urine. All of these checks will be performed at each of your prenatal visits. Your first exam will consist of a Pap smear to check for any cervical problems, STD testing, and an internal exam to check the size of your uterus and pelvis. It is often at this appointment that you will first hear your baby's heartbeat. This is an exciting milestone of any pregnancy. Many women often experience the sense of knowing the pregnancy is actually real upon hearing this.

Routine doctor visits

You will visit the doctor about every month after this, and rest assured you will not be put through all this testing each time! The monthly visits routinely check your weight, blood pressure, urine, fundal height, and fetal heartbeat. Your doctor will be willing to answer any questions you may have at each of these appointments. They will be a great pregnancy guide throughout this entire journey.

Get an ultrasound

More than likely you will get an ultrasound at or around the eighteenth week of pregnancy. Depending on the doctor, some women will get ultrasounds at around the eighth week of pregnancy, and then again at the twentieth. If there are suspected complications, you may get even more than this. At the ultrasound, you will lay down on a small cot for the scan. A technician will spread a small amount of conductive jelly on your tummy so a transducer and glide easily across. The technician will take images from this scan for your doctor to look at. It is important to know that the technician is not allowed to tell you if everything is looking normal or if he suspects something is wrong. If you are past eighteen weeks of your pregnancy and baby is cooperating, you may be able to tell the sex of your child at this time. Whether you want to know or not is up to you!

Test for diabetes

At twenty four to twenty eight weeks of pregnancy, you will be given a test for diabetes. For this test you will have your urine checked and you will be asked to drink a sugary beverage. An hour later you will have your blood drawn to check your glucose levels. The results of the test will be given to you at your next appointment.

Group B Streptococcus

Toward the end of your pregnancy, between thirty five and thirty seven weeks, you will be checked for Group B strep. Group B Streptococcus (GBS) is harmless bacteria in normal healthy adults, but when a pregnant woman is diagnosed with GBS, she can transfer a serious infection to her newborn baby. If you do test positive for GBS, you will simply have to be given an antibiotic during labor and delivery to reduce the likelihood that the bacteria will be passed on to your baby.

Birth plan

Also toward the end of your pregnancy, your doctor may schedule a visit to the hospital. This will help prepare you for where you will be staying. You may also inform the hospital at this time of your birth plan.

It always helps to have a pregnancy guide so you are not in the dark as to what is going to occur during pregnancy. The more informed you are, the easier your pregnancy is.

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