Your eighth week of pregnancy is a major milestone; you may have your first or second prenatal appointment at the end of this week. Week eight also marks the end of your second month of pregnancy.
Your Baby's Development
If you have not scheduled your prenatal appointment, you should by the eighth week of your pregnancy. Prenatal care is instrumental in ensuring your pregnancy is healthy and lasts to full term. Many problems during pregnancy can be avoided with good prenatal care.
During Your First Appointment
During your first prenatal visit, which often happens at the eight-week point, you can expect the following to happen:
- Your doctor or midwife will take a complete family history. This will help predict potential pregnancy complications.
- Your health practitioner will draw blood and check your blood type and Rh factor. They will also test your blood for indications of anemia or infections, and to see if you are immune or have been exposed to some specific diseases such as Rubella and Hepatitis.
- You may receive a pelvic exam at the first visit, or it may be postponed until later. During the exam, your caregiver will take note of the size of the uterus and any abnormalities. You will usually be offered a PAP test and a cervical culture.
- Your weight will be taken. This weight will act as the baseline for ensuring you gain the recommended amount during your pregnancy.
- A urine sample will checked for glucose, a possible sign of diabetes, and a sample will be sent to be cultured for bacteria.
- Your blood pressure will be taken.
Questions for the Doctor
When you go to your first prenatal exam, it is a good idea to go in with a list of pertinent questions, especially if this is your first visit with this health care provider. Consider asking some of these questions:
- When is my due date?
- Do you foresee any problems with my pregnancy?
- What are your qualifications?
- Do you anticipate being in town when I deliver?
- How often should you schedule prenatal visits?
- What hospitals are you associated with?
- What tests do you routinely run on pregnant women?
- Do you have any concerns about my weight, diet, exercise regimen, or symptoms?
Bring Dad Along
Things are changing for your significant other as well, and accompanying you on this first doctor's visit can help him feel involved. He may have questions of his own to ask the doctor, and it's good to have a little extra support for this first appointment.
If you need help downloading the pregnancy calendar, check out these helpful tips.
When you went to your first prenatal appointment, whether it was this week or earlier in your pregnancy, you began a relationship that is essential to the health of you and your baby. Be sure you feel comfortable with your doctor or midwife and that you ask about any questions or concerns you may have.