The beginning stage of every pregnancy has the tendency to be filled with anxiety and many expectant mothers might wonder if their husband should come to the first prenatal visit, whether or not it is considered appropriate, and what else to expect.
You should bring your husband or partner to your first prenatal visit and other appointments to provide support for you and to help learn more about what to expect during the pregnancy. Couples that learn about this together will be more comfortable communicating and working together with their physicians.
Your husband or partner is going to a huge part of your pregnancy and every step thereafter. That’s why it’s important that they are with you every step of the way. Keep reading if you want to know more.
Is it Normal for Husbands to Come to the First Prenatal Visit?
Your first prenatal visit is both an exciting and scary experience, especially if you’re a first-time mom. There are many important things you need to bring to your appointments such as necessary medical records, family history information, medication list, and other important things your doctor may want.
50-years ago you would have never seen a husband or partner at a prenatal visit. You would have been doing it all alone and simply bringing the information back home with you rather than your partner hearing it firsthand.
Today, it’s perfectly normal for a husband or spouse to go with you to your prenatal visit and, in fact, it’s expected in most places for the couple to come to appointments together.
At the end of the day, it’s about what makes you the most comfortable. In my opinion, it’s best to always keep your partner close and communicate often throughout the pregnancy. Unless there is a reason why they can’t join you, always invite them to attend for support and mutual education.
What to Expect at the First Prenatal Appointment
Your first prenatal appointment is exciting. You may feel nervous and that’s perfectly okay. You will learn a lot of information that is vital to you and your baby’s health. That’s why it’s important to bring your husband or partner with you. Here are some of the things you can expect at your first prenatal visit:
Your baby’s due date will be determined right off the bat.
They will ask you when your last menstrual cycle was and will determine how far along you are from there. At around 11 to 12 weeks you will get an internal ultrasound that will look for heartbeat and size. However, if you have irregular periods, this ultrasound maybe sooner.
Your doctor may use a fetal doppler monitor to scan for your baby’s heartbeat if you’re at least 12-weeks weeks along. However, it may be able to be detected between 6-7 weeks if you have an internal ultrasound done. If your doctor can’t find it, don’t panic, it’s normal. It can happen for various reasons including:
- Date off by a few days
- Earlier than 12-weeks
- Bladder is too full
- Tilted uterus
- High body mass index
Having your husband or partner there with you can help ease the fear that may come from this normal occurrence.
At your first prenatal visit, you may ask about birth plans. Your husband or partner may be interested in a birth plan as well. If you are making such an important plan, you should definitely include your partner. They need to know what you want and how you want it. The birth plan should include the following:
- Pain medication or lack thereof
- Delayed cord-cutting
- Who is allowed to be in the room during the birth
- Skin-to-skin contact
- Anything else that will make birth more comfortable for you
Your pregnancy is monitored in a number of ways. The doctor or midwife will measure your weight, height, and blood pressure.
While you may not have a complete physical at your fist visit, but within the first few you will be examined from head to toe. You will also have blood taken to measure your HGC levels, thyroid, sugar, and other levels. Additionally, they may perform a Pap test, which is an internal swab that looks at your cervical cells for anything cancerous.
They will also check your neck, heart, lungs, skin, and breasts.
This will happen at every appointment you go to. This checks for sexually transmitted infections, such as chlamydia, and anything else abnormal in your pee.
Urine tests can also include proteins and glucose that could indicate pre-eclampsia or diabetes. It will also check for urinary tract infections and kidney infections.
First Trimester Screenings
Depending on where you live, you may be asked if you want to participate in a first-trimester screening. This will check to see if you are at risk of having a baby with Down Syndrome or other genetic complications. You will get a blood test and ultrasound done at 11 to 14 weeks.
If there are positive results from the first test, have already had a pregnancy with positive results, or if you are over 40 when the baby comes, then you may be able to have a blood test done called non-invasive prenatal testing.
The non-invasive prenatal testing can be done as soon as 9-weeks. It may also provide additional genetic information about your baby’s risks.
Many Questions Will Be Asked
In addition to everything else, you will also be asked what seems like a ton of questions about your mental health and current lifestyle.
This is the area where your partner could really help you out. He knows more about his family’s history than you do and since your genes are mixed with his, it’s important to know everything about his family’s mental health. Your doctor or midwife will ask various questions about mental health, past and present. They will ask if you have or had anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, and other mental health issues that could be genetic.
Additionally, they will ask you about your diet, sexual activity, travel, and exercise routine. They will also stress the importance of prenatal vitamins and how to properly take them.
Reasons Why Your Husband Should be With You at Prenatal Visits
There will be a ton of information given to you at your first prenatal appointment. This is why it’s so important for your husband or partner to be there with you.
A second set of ears and eyes can help you in the future if you have questions or concerns. If you want a breakdown of why your husband or partner should be there with you, then here are 8 reasons why:
Your first baby is both exciting and stressful. Your nerves may be jittery and there’s just so much to talk about and learn. Your emotions may be running wild and that’s why you should have your husband or partner there with you. They can help ease some of that nervousness by just being there with you.
The First Heartbeat
Hearing your baby’s heartbeat for the first time is unbelievably exciting. It when you know everything’s real and your baby is okay. It’s not something your husband or partner is going to want to miss.
What if Something’s Wrong?
The fear that comes along with the doctor telling you something isn’t right is gut-wrenching. It may be because they can’t quite find a heartbeat or may feel something out of the ordinary. Either way, it’s scary. Having your husband or partner there with you can help relieve your stress, calm you down, and have a word with the doctor in private if need be.
There’s No Baby
Those are the words that no expecting mother and father want’s to hear. It’s definitely not something you want to hear when you’re by yourself. Your husband or partner will be the shoulder to lean and cry on.
Second Set of Ears
There is so much information that will be thrown at you in a short amount of time. From physical health to what you should expect each trimester. It’s important to have a second set of ears there with you for when you may have questions in the future. Instead of calling your practitioner, you can simply ask your husband or partner if they remember what was said.
You and your husband or partner are in this together. You guys are a team and I can tell you, if my partner made a decision without me regarding our baby, I would be a little upset. If the doctor asks about the Down Syndrom test or any other test that could affect the baby, it should be talked about with your husband or partner.
If your husband or partner can’t make every single appointment, then they should aim for the ultrasound visits. These are amazing experiences that give you a glimpse of your baby in real-time. You can count its fingers and toes together, listen to its heartbeat together, and learn the gender of the baby together if that’s what you guys decide to do.
These appointments can also be scary if there’s a risk of any kind associated with your pregnancy. That’s why it’s so important for your husband or partner to be there with you every step of the way.
They Won’t Be Clueless
It sounds mean, but it’s really not. If your husband or partner is with you at your appointments, they won’t be completely clueless when you’re talking about the weird stuff like the mucous plug, dilation, gestation, gestational diabetes, and other pregnancy things. At the appointments, they have a chance to ask questions about something they may not be 100% sure of.