At the start of your pregnancy it’s natural to feel both extremely excited and at the same time a little anxious.
With your first prenatal visit approaching, you’re probably wondering if your husband or partner should come with you.
There are several reasons why it is important for husbands to attend the first prenatal appointment.
These include the opportunity to learn about the pregnancy, ask any questions, offer you emotional support and share the wonderful experience of hearing your baby’s heartbeat for the first time.
Your husband or partner will be a big part of your pregnancy and you will no doubt want them with you each step of the way, so let’s take a look at prenatal visits in more detail.
Is It Normal For Husbands To Attend Prenatal Visits?
A few decades ago you probably would have never seen husbands attend prenatal appointments.
Fortunately things have changed a lot since then, and nowadays it’s totally normal and acceptable for husbands and partners to attend the first prenatal appointment.
You’ll also find that in most cases health workers actually preferer husbands to be there, so they can hear about what will happen to their partner, listen to general pregnancy advice and be there to discuss any medical issues which may arise.
What To Expect At The First Prenatal Appointment
There is no doubt that your first prenatal appointment is an exciting and nervous time.
During these appointments there is a lot of information to take in (more on this later), which is why husbands are encouraged to attend.
If you are not sure what to expect at the first prenatal appointment, here are a few things to expect:
- Check Up / Physical Exam: Similar to a general health exam where your weight, height and blood pressure may be measured.
- Confirm Pregnancy: A positive at home pregnancy test is a presumptive sign of pregnancy, meaning it’s not fully, 100% confirmed. A urine test or blood test will therefore be carried out in order to confirm the pregnancy.
- Other Tests: Apart from giving a urine specimen and / or a blood test, other tests that may be carried out include: genetic carrier screening, STD tests, pap smear and a blood sugar test.
- Due Date: This is often calculated by asking when your last menstrual cycle was.
- Heartbeat: A fetal doppler monitor will likely be used to scan for your baby’s heartbeat, assuming you are at least 12-weeks weeks along. As we covered before, this is why it’s recommended to wear a 2-piece outfit that is comfortable and loose-fitting when dressing for your prenatal appointment.
- Questions About You: Expect to talk about a range of topics including your medical history, lifestyle, diet, sexual activity and exercise routine. These are important questions so your practitioner can give you the best possible care.
6 Reasons Your Husband Should Come To First Prenatal Visit
Here are 6 reasons why you might want your husband to come with you to your first first prenatal appointment:
1. Emotional Support
For many moms-to-be pregnancy is both an exciting and anxious time.
You don’t want your nerves to get the better of you and stop you from enjoying the special moment of hearing your baby’s heartbeat (see below) or asking any questions.
So having your husband or partner there should help calm any jitters or anxiety and offer a shoulder to lean on should you need it.
2. Experience Hearing The Baby’s Heartbeat
Probably the most memorable part of your prenatal appointment will be hearing your baby’s heartbeat.
This is when you know your pregnancy is really happening and reinforces that you’re growing a tiny human inside you – a truly special moment that your husband or partner is not going to want to miss out on!
3. To Learn
Let’s be honest, most men simply don’t know as much about pregnancy as women.
While this is quite natural given they aren’t the ones carrying the baby, attending your prenatal appointment is certainly a great way for husbands and partners to learn more about what you’re going through, and what you can expect over the coming months.
4. Ask Questions
Prenatal appointments are the perfect chance for your husband to ask any questions, particularly as there’s a good chance that some of the information and terminology will be new to them.
You and your partner may also want to write down a list of questions beforehand, so your husband can refer to these during the visit and make sure they’ve been answered.
5. Remember Things You Might Forget Afterwards
During your appointment you will probably discuss a lot of things with your healthcare worker.
Two sets of ears are clearly better than one, so from a practical point of view it’s a great idea for your husband or partner to be present, so they can hopefully remember anything that you may not have picked up on or are struggling to recall at a later date.
6. There In Case Something Isn’t Right
If your doctor unfortunately has to tell you something isn’t right then you’ll certainly want you husband or partner there with you.
Perhaps they can’t find the heartbeat, which could happen if you’re earlier than 12 weeks, you have a full bladder or a high body mass index.
Or worse yet, you’re told that there is no baby – the words no expecting parents want to hear.
In these situations the support of your husband or partner will be very comforting, so this alone is a reason why many moms-to-be want their partners with them at their first prenatal appointment.
What To Ask At First Prenatal Appointment
The questions to ask at your prenatal appointment will often come down to your existing knowledge, whether you’ve had a baby before, and your personal medical conditions and circumstances.
If you’re not sure of the questions to ask, here are some standard things that most moms-to-be find helpful to ask during a prenatal visit:
- What symptoms can I expect as my baby grows? (In addition to common pregnancy cravings)
- Are there specific symptoms I should tell you about if they occur?
- What types of foods should I eat? (For example protein is very important during pregnancy)
- What types of foods should I avoid? (Such as undercooked meat or dried foods like beef jerky)
- What type of exercise if safe?
- Should I avoid any types of activities? (Such as getting a piercing, which isn’t safe for pregnancy women, swimming in cold water or getting a foot massage).
- Do I need to take any supplements?
- What medications should I avoid taking?
- How long can I expect morning sickness to last?
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