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Just found out your pregnant? What do I do next + what to expect at your first appointment!

Congratulations! You're pregnant!!
Whether this is a planned or unplanned pregnancy there is so much to think about! Two lines are on the stick.... where do I go from here?
Well firstly, of course you are going to share it with your partner (if you haven't already :))
 And then you can decide who else you want to tell now, or if you want to keep it a secret for the first trimester!

How do I get my first appointment?

The first thing you need to do is decide if you will go public or private for your care. If you decide to go private, you need to get in touch with your Obstetrician to let them know you are pregnant and then they will organise your first appointment. 
If you choose to go public then there are two options you can take. 

1. Book an appointment with your GP who will help confirm your pregnancy with a blood test and register your pregnancy so that you can be allocated a public hospital provider. 

2. Call the Australian Pregnancy Hotline (for SA its 1300 368 820) you can register your pregnancy, they will give you a number and allocate you to your closest public hospital to organise your first visit. 
 
*sidenote - I would recommend seeing your GP anyway, even if you choose option 2, that way they can do all the bloodwork and urine test and even put in an order for your 12 week ultrasound for you so that you're prepared before your first visit. 
 
You will need to know roughly how many weeks you are so that they can organise your first appointment around the 10-13 week mark. To figure this out you will need to know the first day of your last period (LMP). Then you can enter it in this pregnancy calculator to figure out your rough due date and how many weeks you are. Please note this may not be the exact right due date, this will be determined at your first appointment or scan. 

 

 

 

Those first few weeks can actually be super hard as you don't receive any medical care till about 12 weeks when you have your first scan! I know I often wondered if I even had a baby inside me :) even though I felt sick constantly! Haha! Make sure you use your supports and reach out if you need help. The first trimester can be lonely otherwise, especially if you want to keep the pregnancy a secret till 12 weeks. 

 

 

Your first midwife appointment:

Tips from one midwife/mumma to another:

     ~ Take a drink bottle
     ~ Take snacks (if you need to eat when you feel sick)
     ~ Don't be afraid to say you need a break to go pee
     ~ Bring your partner if possible, its exciting for them too!

 Your first appointment is quite often the longest one. Be prepared for it to go for at least an hour and a half or longer, and anything shorter than that would be nice!

 

What's discussed?

 ~ Chase up your blood and urine test results (if you haven't had any they will    give you a form to go and get them done ASAP. These include things like -Complete Blood Picture, Ferritin, Blood Group, Rubella etc. 

 ~ Full Pregnancy history. This will include all previous pregnancy's (live births, still births, miscarriage, VTOP/s)

~ Full medical history, including any surgeries that you might have had. 

~ Full mental health history plus risks and the interventions available

~ Relevant family history on both sides of the family ie. congenital conditions, heart conditions, diseases, mental health. It's ok if you don't know all of these :)

~ Consent to give blood if needed in an emergency 

~ Current intake of alcohol, drugs and cigarettes

~ The midwife will give you a screening tool to asses for anxiety and depression. These tools are called EPDS and ANRQ

~ Current living conditions and relationship with partner ( this is just to make sure that you are safe and therefore so is your baby).

~ They take down your partner and one other designated persons details to keep for their records in case they can't get in contact of you. 

~ What type of care you would like to receive at the hospital - midwife based/MGP/ GP led care etc.

 

OK now for the FUN stuff.... 

Then the midwife will sit down and figure out when your due date is. This is when you will need to have an idea of the first day of your most recent period is (LMP). This will be how they calculate how many weeks you are. They will then compare this with your 12 week scan if you have had it already and then determine a due date. 

The midwife will also take your height and weight as well as your blood pressure as a guide to measure the rest of your pregnancy by. 

Unfortunately your baby is still too small to be heard via the fetal doppler so sadly they cannot listen to your baby's heart rate at this visit. 

 

Once all of this is completed, if you have not yet had your First Trimester Screening (which is part of the 12 week scan) then the midwife will write an order form for you. 

Part of this screening includes a blood test, and then a Nuchal Translucency scan. This scan looks for the 'risk of fetal abnormality' specifically at the risk of Down Syndrome and Trisomy 18 &21. 

The midwife will also give you a form for your Morphology scan to have between 18-21 weeks gestation. And will then proceed to book an appointment to have within a couple of days after your scan. 

 

They will then run through things to look out for, where to go if you need help or have a pregnancy emergency and ensure you have ambulance cover.

 

That's it!!

 

Even I came away overwhelmed by all of the information (and technically I know it all :)). So allow yourself a couple of days to take it all in, and feel free to write down any questions you might have (because baby brain is a real thing and you'll probably forget by your next visit!)

 

Good luck Mumma! And CONGRATULATIONS once again on your pregnancy!! Hope you're able to go take a nap now :)

 

*Written by Registered Midwife Sharne King 

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