What to Expect as a First-Time Mom
Writer / Dr. Travis Richardson, OB/GYN at IU Health West Hospital
The joys and excitement of a new pregnancy and becoming a new mom can lead to lots of questions. Having a supportive doctor and care team can help alleviate stress. Here are a few things to expect as a first-time mom and how your care team can assist you.
Know what to expect from your care team
Your care team can help you through this exciting time of unknowns, so it is important to talk to them about any questions you may have. Throughout your pregnancy journey, you can count on them to provide around-the-clock care. Your care team during pregnancy may consist of an OB/GYN, childbirth and lactation educators, maternal fetal medicine specialists, nurse practitioners and ultrasound technicians.
Include your care team in pregnancy planning
You should start taking a daily prenatal vitamin before attempting to conceive. If you are planning to become pregnant but are not yet expecting, your care team may suggest a pre-pregnancy exam to help you be as healthy as possible before conception. During this exam, your care team will look at your overall health and can also note possible risk factors that may complicate your pregnancy.
Expect care throughout pregnancy
Once you are pregnant, prenatal visits are checkups to watch your baby’s growth and development. Your care team will help you learn about proper eating habits, exercise, weight gain and other factors. They will also test for and treat any complications that may arise. Pregnancy ultrasound is a test that uses sound waves to create an image of your baby in the uterus. An ultrasound does not use radiation and is completely safe.
Childbirth can be one of the most meaningful times in life not only for parents, but for extended family and friends as well. To help prepare for this experience, ask your care team about childbirth programs and offerings designed to educate and enlighten those waiting to welcome new life into the world.