5 weeks pregnant: Doctor appointments

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5 weeks pregnant: Doctor appointments

Your missed period this week was probably the first sign of your pregnancy and you may have already performed a home pregnancy test to find out if this is really ‘it’. It’s also important to visit your doctor for a pregnancy test to confirm you are pregnant. This is usually a urine test but a blood test or ultrasound are sometimes used to confirm the pregnancy. The doctor will also be able to calculate an expected birth date for your baby, based on the date of your last menstrual bleeding. If you have time it might be a good idea to write down some information about your last menstrual cycles and contraception use. If you can’t remember the date of your last menstrual bleeding don’t worry- an early ultrasound test can be used to determine the expected date of arrival of your little girl or boy.

If you have not already selected a health professional to care for you throughout pregnancy, now is a good time to choose. You can see a general practitioner (GP), visit an obstetrician-gynaecologist or nurse-midwife for pregnancy consultations. Whoever it is, finding a constant person who can provide information, treatment and some all-important reassurance is essential at this early stage. If you’ve already established a relationship with your care provider during preconception care consultations, you will have already had a general health check-up and received immunisations, supplements and any treatments for medical conditions you need. For more information about preconception care see Pregnancy Planning.

If you did not receive preconception care, these health checks should occur at your first prenatal visit. The earlier in pregnancy they occur, the better. To prepare for your first appointment, jot down some information about your health, including any chronic medical conditions like diabetes or high blood pressure which affect you or your family and information about your previous pregnancies, if this is not your first time. Write down any questions you or your partner have in case you forget them in the heat of the moment. Make sure you put aside a good amount of time as your first check-up should be comprehensive.

Ideally you will have dealt with immunisation, folate supplements and other health issues in preconception doctor appointments. If you have not, it’s important to get to the doctor to discuss folate supplements and take these as soon as possible to reduce the risk that your baby will have a neural tube deficit which can cause conditions affecting the nervous system such as spina bifida.

Health and lifestyle tips and information

If you have not already started, it’s important that you put aside alcohol, cigarettes and any other substances which might harm your developing baby. It’s also a good time to get your pregnancy diet and exercise right. You don’t need to start eating any extra food yet, but it’s important to ensure that you’re eating all the right foods in the right quantities (see Pregnancy and Food for more information). It’s also the right time to start daily exercises if you have not done so already. Exercising now will make it more likely that you continue to exercise throughout your pregnancy (see Pregnancy and Exercise for more information).

References

More information on the 5th week of pregnancy

For more information on the fifth week of pregnancy, see 5 weeks pregnant.
For more information about the subtle changes in your body which are symptoms of pregnancy, see Changes for mum this week.
For more information about how your baby is changing and developing, see Changes for baby this week.
For more information about the key points on the fifth week of pregnancy, see Key points this week.
Date Created: August 24, 2012 Date Modified: September 7, 2012

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