If you’re anything like me, your first month of pregnancy was filled with a ridiculous number of pregnancy tests, lots of anxiety and kind of surreal, “is this actually happening?” fog. Now that we’re past all of that and the reality (read: excitement) actually starts to sink in, there is one incredible thing you should be looking forward to hearing your baby’s heartbeat.
Your first prenatal visit will take place at the end of your second month and while I may be skipping ahead and jumping to the best part of this month, I have good reason to do so. Having gone through two very different pregnancies, I feel I have some wisdom to impart. You see, the first time around, I was completely clueless. I had no idea what I should be talking to my gynaecologist about, what questions I should be asking and generally what to look out for during this first scan. So let’s start with that.
Here are 5 key questions you should consider asking your doctor during your first prenatal visit:
Who will deliver my baby if you are not around?
I cannot overstate the importance of this question. You will spend 8 months getting to know your doctor. If your doctor is not available to deliver your baby, you need to be very comfortable with his or her back up. Trust me; they will get to know you intimately.
How do I manage my existing health conditions?
I am an asthmatic and a lot of my anxiety about what was and was not safe for my baby stemmed from simply not asking the questions I needed to ask right off the bat. If you are on chronic medication, chat to your doctor about how to safely manage your condition during your pregnancy.
How much weight is safe to gain?
While we do tend to wax lyrical about eating for two and pregnancy cravings, there are very real dangers associated with excessive weight gain during pregnancy. Your doctor should be able to measure your BMI and give you a safe guideline on how much weight you should be gaining.
Which prenatal vitamins should I be taking?
There are many on the market and it’s really tough to choose the right ones. Your doctor should be able to help you make the best decision based on your blood tests.
OK, now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, let me walk you through the second month of pregnancy…
Your changing body
This is about the time that morning sickness will start to rear its nauseating head. If you’re one of the lucky ones, it will skip past you completely. I found the best cure was to watch for triggers. Take note of the foods that seem to bring it on and eliminate them from your diet.
Soul restoring sleep
The best thing (for me at least) about the first trimester was the inescapable tiredness. This sounds a little strange I’m sure. But I am a light sleeper and I will never forget the deep, absolutely restoring sleep I had during my first trimester. There is nothing quite like it.
Let’s talk about the negatives
The worst part about this phase? Easy, it was, for me, without a doubt, my painful and itchy boobs. They’re growing. They’re changing from simple accessories to food making, baby nurturing machines. The process is not fun. I remember rushing to the bathrooms at work to take off my bra and claw at boobs because the itch was so intense. I ended up changing my body lotion and I started using Lanosil nipple cream, which made a world of difference.
There is a lot going on with your body right now and while most of it is amazing, there are a few less than amazing symptoms that can take away from the absolute magic of your pregnancy. I say, don’t let them. Your body is in the process of making a life. And while your body is changing and your hormones are raging, it can be really hard to just enjoy these moments. So I will leave you with this: while we know it takes a village to raise a child, it also takes one to grow a child. Rely on your partner, your friends, your siblings. Share the load and when you’re feeling like the itchy boobs, morning sickness and anxiety may be getting you down, try to remember that you have two months left of the first of the first trimester and things really do take a turn for the incredible the closer you get to your due date.