You've taken a pregnancy test and it's positive... now what?
If you're like me you did a lot of research of how to get pregnant, but didn't look past that. I've created a quick summary of appointments / dates / scans in the first 13 weeks, based on my experience.
This may be more relevant to those who have chosen to go private, but the first few steps should be the same whether you're going public or private.
Positive test result
When you take your test (if you're trying to conceive & tracking your cycle) you'll usually already be 4-6 weeks pregnant. The first thing to do is book a GP appointment.
First GP appointment
I displayed a positive result on an at home pregnancy test when I was 4 weeks pregnant, and went to see the GP that day. At this appointment the GP:
- Sent me for a blood test that same day - to confirm pregnancy as well as test a few of my levels (iron etc)
- Referred me for a dating scan (an ultrasound usually performed between 7-10 weeks)
- Referred me to an obstetrician (as I chose to go private)
After you leave the GP, call and book your dating scan. This can be performed around 7-10 weeks and will confirm how far along you are, as well as your due date!
Your dating scan is an ultrasound. They may need to do an internal ultrasound to get the measurements right (as your baby is so small at this stage) so keep that in mind when booking. If you would prefer a female you can request that.
I had this at what I thought was 7 weeks, but turns out I was only 6 weeks 1 day (due to a longer menstrual cycle).
First Obstetrician Appointment
If you are going the private route, you will first see your obstetrician (OB) at around 8-10 weeks. This appointment is after your dating scan as they like to see the results. I had my first appointment at 8 weeks. Give them a call after you book your dating scan to discuss when your first appointment should be.
In this appointment the OB will run you through what happens next but generally they'll:
- Give you a referral for your 12-13 week ultrasound (called the nuchal translucency screening)
- Discuss other screening options (eg NIPT)
- Give you their fees & appointment schedule
The NIPT is optional and tests for a range of chromosomal abnormalities (and can determine the babies gender). I had this at 11 weeks. It is a blood test and costs around $300-600.
Some people will wait to have their 12 week ultrasound first, as this can give you a good indication of your risk level. Chat to your OB about this in more detail.
12 week scan
I had this bang on 12 weeks, but can be done between 12-13 weeks. In this ultrasound they'll be looking for signs of Down syndrome, trisomy 13 (Patau syndrome), and trisomy 18 (Edwards syndrome), as well as looking at physical features (arms, legs, hands). You'll be able to hear the heart beat at his appointment so make sure your partner comes along as it can be quite special!
They may then recommend you also get an NIPT if you haven't already. Another thing to discuss with your OB in more detail.
Subsequent OB Appointments
You'll next see your OB at 12 weeks where they'll talk through your results from the nuchal translucency screening & NIPT (If you had it) as well as any other tests/screening they recommend.
After that you'll see your OB every 4 weeks until you're 34 weeks, where it will go to every 2 weeks and then weekly from 38 weeks*
This might vary - but just a guide of what to expect!
Thanks for reading, I hope it was helpful! Please keep in mind I'm not a doctor. I've written this because it would have been helpful for me when I found out I was pregnant.
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