So after you’ve peed on a stick and confirmed that you’re expecting a baby, what next?
How you might be feeling
Anything from sick, very tired and emotional to scared, bloody happy and worried and that can be all in one day! And there’s no easy solution to all of this either. If you are feeling emotional and worried, it can just be a case of riding it out but talking it through and joining some online forums could help.
Morning sickness – this can be due to low blood sugar or tiredness. You may need to eat as soon as you wake up and it can be a case of eating little and often throughout the day to ease the nausea and/or vomiting.
Fatigue – try to eat well, drink lots of water, rest and sleep when you can. It might feel like you just fall into bed at 8pm but, if that is what you need, then so be it! If you have an older child, don’t be surprised if you end up falling asleep during bedtime story time.
Pelvic pain – some women experience pain in their pubic bone or hips from quite early on in their pregnancy, especially if this is not their first pregnancy. Seeing a physiotherapist could help with this. By week 8, your uterus is about the size of a grapefruit, which could cause some lower backache.
By week 8: Your metabolism will speed up and your blood volume will start to increase to meet the demands of pregnancy. This increase in blood volume can cause headaches.
By week 12: Your boobs and waist may feel bigger and, as your uterus moves above the pubic bone, your bump may develop. After week 12 your energy levels might start to increase.
What’s happening in your body?
In those first few weeks, as soon as your egg is fertilised, the cells multiply fast and turn into a baby and that is why you can be so tired – your body is working hard to grow a baby.
By the time you have missed your period, your fertilized egg has become an embryo – a ball of cells developing all your baby’s the vital organs and systems.
By 7 weeks your baby is about 1.2 cm long, all of his internal organs are beginning to work and he is starting to look like a baby.
BY 12 weeks your baby is about 5.5cm long and he will be wriggling alot, although you probably won’t be able to feel him just yet. At this point he will be fully formed – the critical part of your baby’s development is now complete – and your embryo becomes a fetus.
Seeing your midwife
Contact your GP surgery and they will make an appointment for you to see a community midwife, who will work as part of a team of midwives within your local area.
Your Booking In appointment will probably take place when you are about 10 weeks pregnant and it could be the longest midwife appointment you have as there is a lot of paperwork to complete and she will explain your care to you.
Your midwife will want to:
- ask you about your health, job and lifestyle
- know where you want to give birth to your baby and how you plan to feed your baby – some women are very clear about these and other women really don’t know so it is ok to say that you don’t know at this stage. You can change your mind at any point.
- Tell you about your antenatal care – when to expect appointments and what tests you can have throughout your pregnancy. These will include your scans, screening tests for Down’s Syndrome, HIV and Hepatitis B
- Arrange your dating scan, which women usually attend at about 12-14 weeks pregnant.
- Take a blood sample to check for Rubella immunity, your bloody group and your iron levels.
- Take a urine sample to check for high blood pressure and infection
- Take your blood pressure
The information will be completed in your maternity notes, which are yours to carry with you. You will be asked to bring them with you to each midwife/maternity appointment.
Your midwife should also talk to you about where to go if you need more support and reassurance in between your appointments – all the local maternity units have a Pregnancy Assessment Unit, which is where you can go to get checked out if you experience pain or bleeding or reduced movements as your pregnancy progresses.
She will also give you your due date – although I am sure you will have worked that out already!
Feel free to ask all the questions you need to feel better informed and reassured about your pregnancy.
If this is your first baby, you can expect to have another 8-9 appointments with your community midwife at approximately: 16 weeks, 25 weeks, 28 weeks, 31 weeks, 34 weeks, 36 weeks, 38 weeks, 40 weeks and at 41 weeks, if your baby hasn’t arrived by then.
If this is not your first pregnancy and your previous pregnancies were straightforward you can expect to have fewer appointments at approximately: 16 weeks, 28 weeks, 34 weeks, 36 weeks, 38 weeks and at 41 weeks, if your baby hasn’t arrived by then.
Your midwife and GP for any medical concerns and queries
Plan your antenatal classes
Birth & Baby Antenatal Services – With Birth Debrief, Birth Essentials, Baby Essentials, Relax & Breathe workshops and Private Consultations – there is something for every expectant parent.
There is more information here
Written by Janine Rudin
a specialist in pregnancy, birth and early parenting | birthandbabycompany.com
The Birth & Baby Network