You have been planning for a pregnancy for quite a while. Finally, after missing your period, the pregnancy test kit shows a positive result. What should you do now?
It is almost tempting to want to announce to the whole world that you are pregnant. At the same time, you may find it hard to believe the positive urine pregnant test you have in your hands. Many couples who have been trying to conceive find this the most agonising moment of their lives. Some may choose to repeat the pregnancy test again not just once, but at least multiple times, on different days and using different brands of test kits, just in case!
Once you are convinced that the pregnancy test(s) is(are) positive, the next commonly asked question is when exactly should you make the appointment to see your doctor? Although modern urine pregnancy tests are increasingly capable at letting you know earliest that you might be pregnant, the actual baby (with a pulsating heart beat) may not be visible on the ultrasound until a while later. Assuming that you have regular 28-day period cycles, the pregnancy may not be clearly visible until 7-8 weeks counting from the first day of your last period. As such, most gynaecologists would advise delaying the first appointment until then. If your period cycle is usually longer, it may even make sense to delay this first appointment for another 1-2 weeks.
You may want to consider arranging for an earlier doctor’s visit however, if you have one or more of the following:
Inability to tolerate food or fluids due to extreme nausea or vomiting
A history of pelvic infection
A history of ectopic pregnancy (a pregnancy that had developed outside the womb)
Pre-existing medical disorders such as high blood pressure, diabetes, thyroid conditions, autoimmune disease such as SLE, etc.
On long term prescription medications (the doctor may switch you to safer, pregnancy-friendly alternatives)
While you are waiting for your first doctor’s visit, you may want to start taking folic acid supplements (if you haven’t already been taking them). Folic acid supplements help to nourish the healthy development of your baby’s developing brain and spine. Focus on getting enough rest and relaxation, and eat healthy! It is tempting to want to read up on pregnancy facts and knowledge as much as and as soon as possible: do focus on taking baby-steps (pun intended). The whole pregnancy journey lasts for approximately 40 weeks and you will have enough time to think about and explore your options.