If you’ve landed here, then you’ve just gotten a positive result on your at-home pregnancy test and are wondering: what’s next? Your mind is likely swirling with questions and possibilities, but the main question lingering in your mind probably has to do with how soon you should see your doctor. The answer is: get your doctor’s office on the phone and schedule an appointment!
The majority of women like to schedule an appointment right away after a positive at-home pregnancy test, especially if it’s their first. You don’t have to worry about visiting a doctor immediately unless you’re experiencing the following combined with your positive pregnancy test:
- Excessive headaches and nausea: Headaches and nausea are pretty normal during pregnancy, but if they feel excessive then you’ll want to see a doctor right away.
- Vaginal bleeding: If you have vaginal bleeding that’s more than a little bit of spotting, as spotting is fairly normal.
- High fever: This could indicate an infection or some other ailment.
- Itching throughout your body
- Pain during urination
- Sudden swelling of your hands, feet, or face
- A chronic health condition: These can affect your pregnant body in a variety of ways, and it’s good for your doctor to stay on top of things right away.
You may also consider getting a blood test done to confirm your positive at-home pregnancy test, because false positives can happen as well as other things within the first few days of pregnancy. The best choice is to go in for a blood test to confirm.
If you don’t have any of these things to be concerned about, don’t worry about seeing your doctor immediately. You’ll just want to schedule an appointment as soon as you can to start prenatal care.
Starting with the Basics of a Pregnancy
Pregnancy is different for everyone, but there are obviously a lot of similarities! A few of the most common for most women is calculating the due date of their baby, choosing the medical professional they would like to oversee their prenatal care, and deciding when to announce their pregnancy (the answer to this may surprise you).
Calculating Your Due Date
Forget trying to calculate it in your head. There are actually many handy due date calculators out there that can help you and explain a bit more about when you can expect certain milestones in your pregnancy (like baby’s first heartbeat and finding out their gender). One option is BabyCenter’s Pregnancy Due Date Calculator, which helps give you an estimate of your due date. Keep in mind that only 1 in 20 women deliver on their due date, so this is definitely an estimate and not set in stone.
Another fun option to calculate your due date and track your pregnancy is through The Bump Pregnancy Countdown App. This is a very popular choice because it provides a lot of helpful and fun features that new mother’s love! It can also help you determine which questions to ask your doctor at your appointments.
Choosing Your Doctor or Midwife
There are a few different names you’ll be hearing a lot of in the coming months that you may not be used to hearing, and those include an obstetrician (learn more about what an obstetrician is and how they help you here), family physician, and midwife. Choosing the medical professionals you want to surround you during this season is so important. Once you decide who you’d like to be “in your corner” per se, you’ll want to schedule that first prenatal appointment. This is usually scheduled when you are at least 8 weeks pregnant.
Deciding When to Announce Your Pregnancy
You may be surprised to hear that most women wait to announce their pregnancy until after the first trimester, at least to anyone outside your immediate family, because it’s at this milestone that the risk of miscarriage drops. Some women announce their pregnancy right away. Others may wait to tell their co-workers or supervisors until later in their pregnancy to avoid being treated differently, or tell them right away so that they know why there are so many more trips to the bathroom lately, constant snacking, and maybe even some naps in the break room. Obviously, it’s up to you and your partner on when and how you want to share the news!
If you’re looking for a great team to surround you during your pregnancy, we can help! At OGA, we take care of our patients as if they were family and we will always serve you with the utmost care and skill. Contact us to schedule an appointment!