First trimester – at your doctor
Your due date
At your first visit in the first trimester of pregnancy, your doctor will ask the date of your last period to work out when your baby is due.
Your medical history
You’ll discuss any illnesses or pre-existing medical conditions, and if you know of any inherited disorders that might be passed on to your child.
The exciting 12th-week visit
At your 12-week visit, you should be able to hear your baby’s heartbeat. The heartbeat can’t be heard with a regular stethoscope until approximately 20 weeks, so your doctor will place a Doppler machine on your abdomen. This machine uses ultrasound waves to detect the baby’s heartbeat. You’ll hear an earnest little heart pumping at about 120-160 beats per minute – and if you ever doubted you’ll now know for sure your baby is real.
Your doctor or nurse may record your height, weight, blood pressure and pulse and give you a general physical examination, paying special attention to your heart, lungs, abdomen and pelvis.
Your blood may be tested to confirm your blood group in case you need a transfusion. It will be checked for anaemia, sexually transmitted infections and immunity to rubella (German measles), a disease that can be devastating if contracted early in pregnancy. You may also be screened for sickle-cell anaemia and a condition known as thalassemia (a rare blood disorder).
Protein and sugar levels in your urine may also be checked.
For those who have had herpes, your doctor will check if the herpes virus is active. Herpes virus may be passed onto the baby during delivery however this is not common. Speaking to your doctor about your history of herpes will help with planning precautionary measures to prevent this from occurring.
Your doctor will take some cells to check for early signs of cervical cancer.