Antenatal Care During The First Trimester

Antenatal care refers to any and all medical supervision and treatment that you might receive whilst pregnant. Antenatal care is an important part of your pregnancy, and different parts of the pregnancy determine what kind of care you need. The pregnancy is split into three trimesters, each three months long and representing a set of developmental changes that a foetus undergoes. This article discusses some of the antenatal care you might experience or should seek during your first trimester.

Who do I see for antenatal care during my first trimester?

After a positive pregnancy test, your GP will usually refer you to a specialist obstetrics and gynaecology department which will take over your care. Or if you’d prefer you could inform a midwife of your pregnancy, and he or she would be able to arrange the necessary appointments.

What does antenatal care during the first trimester involve?

Generally speaking your first antenatal appointment will involve lots of information. You will be told about how important it is to eat right and keep yourself fit (while not overdoing it), and about the importance of particular parts of the diet, like vitamin D and folic acid. You will also be informed about how dangerous smoking and drug use can be, and will be screened to determine the health of your baby. Your midwife might also give some advice on how to deal with morning sickness, for example the use of ginger or antihistamines is often recommended as a safe way of dealing with the nausea and vomiting that can occur during the first trimester.

During your first appointment with either a midwife or doctor it is very important that you are completely honest in answering any questions you are asked about your lifestyle, even if you feel embarrassed by the answer. If you have had a child previously and experienced any complications you should bring that to light, and similarly if you are being treated for any kind of long-term illness like depression or diabetes, you will need to tell your doctor or midwife.

Your first appointment will also involve arranging a second appointment that will be scheduled for the end of the first trimester, usually between 8 and 12 weeks into the pregnancy. This is usually a two-hour appointment during which you can talk to your midwife or doctor about the pregnancy so far, ask any questions you may have, and undergo an ultrasound scan to check that all is well. You can expect to be given more information that is relevant to the second trimester of your pregnancy.

Attending your antenatal appointments is important as it allows your doctor to keep track of your pregnancy and ensure that everything is going well. It’s also a good way for you to find out about anything that may be bothering you, and thereby give you peace of mind.

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