Early Pregnancy Care
You’re pregnant – congratulations! Early pregnancy care is a vital part of ensuring a healthy pregnancy and delivery.
What is early pregnancy care?
Early pregnancy care is the care you receive in early pregnancy, which is around the first twelve weeks of your pregnancy.
During this time, you may not see Dr Hong until you get closer to the 12-week mark. However, you can arrange for an earlier consultation if you have any concerns; have a known high-risk pregnancy or have specific questions.
Your early pregnancy appointment will involve some antenatal tests as well as advice to prepare you for a healthy pregnancy.
At your first early pregnancy appointment, Dr Hong will talk to you about:
- What to expect during your pregnancy
- Pregnancy tests and procedures
- Tips to stay healthy
- When to call the hospital in an emergency
- Planning for the birth of your baby
- Which hospital to deliver at
You can also start to think about your ongoing pregnancy care. In Cairns, you have the option for a private delivery with a private obstetrician. Dr Hong is a private obstetric pregnancy specialist who you will see every four weeks initially then every two weeks and then weekly when you get closer to your due date.
In early pregnancy staying healthy is important. Dr Hong will talk to you about steps to take now that you’re pregnant. If you haven’t already discussed the following topics in your pre-pregnancy care planning, you will need to consider them now that you’re pregnant:
- Existing medical conditions – some medical conditions can impact your health and the health of your baby
- Family history, age and risk factors – you may need tests to identify any genetic risk factors
- Previous pregnancy – a previous pregnancy complication or outcome can impact future pregnancies, so discuss your pregnancy experience with Dr Hong
- Medications – talk to Dr Hong if you are taking any medications as certain medications can be harmful to a developing baby
- Folic acid supplements – taking folic acid in early pregnancy can prevent some birth defects, so talk toDr Hong about a recommended folic acid supplement
- Your diet – a healthy diet helps to ensure a healthy body and conception, so you should aim to eat plenty of fresh, whole foods, and cut out junk foods during pregnancy
- Alcohol and drugs – as there is no safe amount of alcohol to drink during pregnancy, it’s best to avoid drinking and taking drugs altogether
- Smoking – smoking is dangerous to your health and your baby’s health, so phone 13 QUIT (13 7848) or ask Dr Hong or your GP about taking the first steps towards quitting
- Exercise and your weight – maintaining a healthy weight and exercising regularly are key components of your pregnancy health plan
Early pregnancy is an exciting time – though some women find the first few weeks a bit stressful and overwhelming. It’s important to take time to look after yourself and stay relaxed as much as possible.
Some women choose to tell family and friends about their pregnancy, while others opt to wait until the 12-week mark. There is no right or wrong time to announce your pregnancy, so it’s important to do what feels right for you and your partner.
Read next: General pregnancy care