by Shannon Bartlett
Even though you've already confirmed your pregnancy and seen the baby's heartbeat, you might be feeling nervous and anxious to hear that everything is going well. Here's your opportunity!
Not only can you find out all about those tests and screenings, you might be able to hear your baby's heartbeat. Toward the end of the first trimester, you can hear the "thump" with a doppler device. This small device bounces sound waves off your baby's heart.
This visit will probably be shorter than your first prenatal visit. You won't have to fill out all those forms. Whew!
Instead, you'll have the chance to talk over the test and screening results as well as discuss the things you're curious about -- especially those that might be embarrassing.
• Bring your list of questions. Some moms-to-be seem to be forgetful. Others get so excited by the baby's heartbeat that they walk out of the appointment without remembering to ask a single question. Jot yours down ahead of time and then all you'll have to remember is the list.
• Schedule your next prenatal appointment. Schedule your next prenatal appointment and any diagnostic tests you've decided to have.
• Go over lab results. You'll review laboratory tests from your first prenatal visit. Are some of your results borderline? Your provider might suggest meeting with a nutritionist, additional screening test or more frequent prenatal appointments.
• Discuss your first trimester screening. Your midwife or doctor will offer a chorionic villi sampling (schedule between between 8 and 12 weeks) or an amniocentesis (schedule between 15 and 21 weeks). If you decide to pursue one of these addition tests, get it on your calendar.
• Weigh in: Kick off your shoes and step up on the scale. During each appointment your weight will be checked. If you start pregnancy at a normal weight, experts suggest you gain two to four pounds the first trimester and about a pound a week for the rest of the pregnancy.
• Check blood pressure: At each prenatal checkup your healthcare provider will check your blood pressure. If it's high early in pregnancy, you'll be offered extra blood pressure checks, stress management ideas and if necessary, medication.
• Screen urine: You get to pee in a cup again. Then urine will be tested for protein, sugar and ketones. Whoever knew pee had such a story to tell.
• Talk time: You'll have a chance to learn about pregnancy -- from nutrition to birthing and everything in between. Take this chance to talk about how you're doing and ask any and all questions you might have.
Are you concerned about exercise, morning sickness, sex or birth? Feel free to ask anything.
Are you wondering what questions other first trimester moms bring to their appointments? We've tapped our members to see what they'd ask. Try these out: