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Thoughts on Your Pregnancy: What to Expect from a Gynecologist

 

Having a child is the most exciting and challenging time in your life. It’s a period when you are overwhelmed with different emotions, questions, and concerns. What is even worse is that many women have no idea what to expect with their pregnancy due to the lack of knowledge or experience in their circle of friends or family. A gynecologist can help answer these burning questions, alleviate any fears, and make sure your child is healthy and safe through your whole pregnancy journey. Read on to find out what you should expect when visiting a gynecologist during your pregnancy.

 

What to Expect During Your Prenatal Visit


With all the appointments, tests, and checkups during a pregnancy, it’s normal to feel a little overwhelmed. But don’t worry; your doctor will walk you through each visit and what to expect. Your first prenatal visit is normally 8 weeks after conception (when the embryo attaches to the uterus wall). During this visit, you’ll have a full physical exam, including a Pap smear, breast exam, urine analysis, and blood tests to check your health and the baby’s health. You may also have an ultrasound to see how your baby is developing. The doctor will review your health history, family history, medication use, diet, and answer any questions you may have. 


During each prenatal visit, your doctor will perform a physical exam to look for signs of complications such as gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, or high blood pressure. They will also discuss your diet and exercise, take your blood pressure, and perform other tests as needed. If you have a high-risk pregnancy, you may have more frequent visits.

 

Morning Sickness and Constipation


Morning sickness is a common condition that affects about two-thirds of pregnant women during the first three months of their pregnancy. It is caused by an increase in certain hormones during pregnancy. While not all women experience this, it can last anywhere from a few weeks to the entire pregnancy. 

Morning sickness usually gets better as the pregnancy progresses. There are many ways to deal with morning sickness, from eating smaller meals more often to eating more dry, bland foods. Some women find that eating ginger, other herbs, or certain foods help relieve morning sickness. If you have severe nausea and vomiting, it is important to see your doctor to rule out other causes. Constipation is another common pregnancy complaint. It is caused by a combination of hormonal changes in the body, poor diet, and lack of physical activity. Drinking plenty of fluids, exercising regularly, and eating fiber-rich foods can help prevent or treat constipation. If you are still struggling, talk to your doctor about remedies.

 

Weight Gain and Body Changes


During pregnancy, your body experiences many physical changes. It is normal to gain anywhere between 25 to 40 pounds. During the first trimester, you may experience morning sickness, an increased appetite, and be tired more often. During the second and third trimesters, you may experience the need to urinate more often, heartburn, varicose veins, swelling, and back pain. Most doctors suggest that healthy weight gain during pregnancy is between 25-35 pounds. It is very important to maintain a balanced diet and exercise regularly throughout your pregnancy. Getting on a healthy diet and exercise routine will also help you lose weight after the baby is born and make it easier to get back in shape.

 

Ultrasound and Fetal Development


An ultrasound is a safe medical procedure that uses sound waves and a computer to create images of your baby. It can be done at any stage of pregnancy, either to check the baby’s health or to get an idea of how far along you are. A transvaginal ultrasound is the type done during pregnancy, usually between weeks 11 and 14. As your baby grows and changes, you may want to get another ultrasound so you can see him or her again. It can be magical to see your baby move and grow. In some cases, you may even be able to see the baby’s sex.

 

Due Date Confirmation


Your due date is a calculated date that is based on your last period, your health, and the length of a normal pregnancy. However, many women do not deliver on their due date. Around 10-15 percent of women go into labor on their due date, but the majority go beyond it. If you have an ultrasound and your due date is confirmed, you will also receive other important information. Your doctor will let you know the baby’s size, the amount of fluid surrounding the baby, the gender (if they can tell), and the position of the baby. They will also confirm your due date and provide you with a written record of the ultrasound results.


Final Thoughts


Having a child is the most exciting and challenging time in your life. It’s a period when you are overwhelmed with different emotions, questions, and concerns. What is even worse is that many women have no idea what to expect with their pregnancy due to the lack of knowledge or experience in their circle of friends or family. A team of OB/GYN physicians at Newton-Wellesley OB/GYN - Newton office can help answer these burning questions, alleviate any fears, and make sure your child is healthy and safe through your whole pregnancy journey. 

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