Everything You Need To Know About Your Antenatal Appointments
You have peed on the stick and gotten that all-important big fat positive but what now?
First Things First
The next step to take is to visit your GP to have your pregnancy confirmed (this usually happens between week 4 and 8 of pregnancy). At this appointment, the GP will do a repeat pregnancy test, check your blood pressure, your weight and advise you regarding diet and steps you can take to increase your chances of a healthy pregnancy.
You will be advised to eat healthily, quit smoking if you are a smoker and refrain from alcohol consumption. You will be advised that it is important to keep active and sleep well. Your GP will then refer you to one of the local hospitals to be seen by a consultant/midwife or both.
Pregnancy Appointment Breakdown
During the 40 weeks of pregnancy, there are regular appointments scheduled to ensure that both you and your baby are healthy and well and also to identify any potential issues or risks that may come up during the course of your pregnancy. There are several options for how these appointments can be carried out; you can decide to have consultant-led care (where you see the consultant at every appointment), midwife-led care (where you see a midwife at every appointment), hospital-led care (where every appointment takes place at the hospital) but the majority of people are seen through the combined care system (which is a combination of hospital and GP visits).
READ MORE: Check out our week by week guide to pregnancy
At every visit, the medical professional who sees you will check your urine for any irregularities i.e. protein etc. which may indicate other issues, they will check your blood pressure and check your weight to monitor whether your weight gain falls within normal parameters. This is all perfectly normal and is standard practice when looking after a pregnant woman. Every appointment is also an opportunity for you and your partner to ask questions and get information.
Here's a rough guide to your routine of visits (It is important to note that this is simply a guide, your appointments may vary):
Once these appointments are over, you will have your gorgeous bundle so well done mom, you did it!