You're Pregnant! What's Next?

Congratulations… you're pregnant! Now what? See 5 tips you should know. 
  
#1 Once you've become pregnant and have taken a home pregnancy test that is positive, you need to schedule an appointment with the board-certified OB-GYN doctor who will be taking care of you, like Dr. Patterson. At your 1st visit, Dr. Patterson will have you take a pregnancy blood test to confirm your results. Dr. Patterson will also test your blood levels for the hormone Progesterone, which helps him determine if the pregnancy is viable. Dr. Patterson will work with you to determine how far along your pregnancy is and what your due date is, based on your last period or your day of conception. Based on your needs, your due date may or may not be changed. 
  
#2  Assuming your pregnancy is viable and you are not having any complications, Dr. Patterson requests most patients to come back at 6 1/2 - 9 weeks gestation for an early ultrasound. This ultrasound further confirms that your continuing pregnancy is viable and healthy for mother and baby. Dr. Patterson will take measurements to make sure your pregnancy due date aligns with your estimated date from your previous visit that sometimes, the due date may need to change SO YOU have an accurate due date early on, which is very important to have to receive the best care. 
  
#3  Assuming your ultrasound at the previous visit is normal, Dr. Patterson will suggest a follow up in 1-2 weeks after the previous visit. If you have nausea during pregnancy, Dr. Patterson can get you on safe meds at your 1st or 2nd visit. This next visit is called the ACTUAL FIRST Prenatal Visit, which is a longer visit because Dr. Patterson will ask for your medical history, perform a physical, have you sign forms, do a pap smear and cultures and complete the prenatal blood work. Dr. Patterson will then discuss how he practices and what to expect for the rest of your care, and will give you information about which hospital you want to deliver at, as he is on staff at two fine hospitals. 
  
#4 The next visit is between 11 1/2 - 13 1/2 weeks and a Nuchal Scan (NT scan) is completed to check the Nuchal Translucency of the baby to help rule out spinal cord and other defects. If you are over 35 years of age, Non-invasive Prenatal Testing (NIPT) can be done that checks for major chromosome defects like Down's syndrome and also will tell you the gender of the baby. After completing this test, it should take 5-7 days to receive results. Depending on your insurance, you may or may not be able to do this before you are 35 years old, but over the past 1.5 years, more insurances are not covering this test if you are under 35 years old.  
  
#5 After this, you will continue to come in to Dr. Patterson's office for the rest of your prenatal care schedule, which was reviewed during your first prenatal visit. 
  
We look forward to seeing you in the office! Contact us today.

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