5 Key Milestones in Your First Pregnancy

Feb 23, 2022 | 2 minutes Read

Being pregnant for the first time is one of the most eye-opening experiences a woman will go through. No matter how much people explain to you or how many books you read, nothing seems to prepare you for it.

Although every pregnancy follows a predictable pattern, every pregnancy is unique. The most important thing to remember is to not panic and to try to keep an open mind. It's completely OK if your experience is different from what you've heard or read. Your body will go through many miraculous changes over the 9 months of your pregnancy and being informed can help you to feel more in control. Here is a helpful list of the 5 key milestones coming up in your first pregnancy.

1. Choosing a pregnancy healthcare professional

As a first-time mom, everything about pregnancy is going to feel new. You may get confused, over-excited, or simply overwhelmed. That's why choosing the right healthcare professional to support you and your partner during this time is so important.

Just because you might have been going to the same doctor for 10 years doesn’t mean they are a good fit for you and your new baby. Explore your options, find someone you are comfortable with, and don’t feel guilty about your choices. Midwives, obstetricians, and family medicine physicians may provide pregnancy care in your area. Ask family or friends who have recently been pregnant for their recommendations. Where you plan to give birth—be it a hospital, birth center or at home—will also influence your choice of provider.

2. Your first prenatal visit

Once you’ve had a positive pregnancy test, you can schedule an appointment with your chosen pregnancy care provider. This is your first prenatal visit.

At this appointment you’ll have to answer questions about your own medical and surgical history, family medical history, and general health questions. More excitingly, your chosen healthcare professional will:
  • Confirm your pregnancy.
  • Give you an estimated due date.
  • Give you helpful information about your pregnancy.
  • Set up routine prenatal appointments with you.
  • Order laboratory examinations.
  • Schedule ultrasounds.
  • Offer to test you for any possible genetic conditions.

    3. Your first pregnancy exam

    A few weeks later or sometimes at the first visit, depending on how far along you are, you’ll have your first pregnancy exam. During this appointment your provider will:
    • Weigh you.
    • Check your blood pressure.
    • Perform a deeper internal exam to check the size of your uterus and pelvis.
    • Listen to your baby's heartbeat an exciting moment for all parents.

    4. Buying maternity clothes

    Shopping for maternity  clothes can seem like a big task. Trying to make a beach ball look flattering is an art.

    Regardless, you're going to need a few key items to keep up your comfort levels. Try to save your money until your second trimester when your belly will really start to expand.

    Maternity pants are one of the key pieces you’ll need. You may be able to borrow a nice pair from a mother friend; if not, get a simple black pair. You might consider getting a good maternity bra and a few figure-hugging dresses to show off your new bump.

    5. Creating a birth plan

    It's a good idea to consider what type of birth experience you want to have. Natural? Medication- free? Epidural? Water? Try to learn everything you can about the choices you’ll have at your chosen birthplace and which fits your preferences best.

    While you’re thinking about the kind of birth you’d like to have, consider enrolling in a local childbirth class. It's a great place to meet other expectant parents and learn about your options and rights at the time of birth. The more you know, the more in control and comfortable you will be on the big day.

    The information of this article has been reviewed by nursing experts of the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric, & Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN). The content should not substitute medical advice from your personal healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider for recommendations/diagnosis or treatment. For more advice from AWHONN nurses, visit Healthy Mom&Baby at health4mom.org.