Whether it's a complete surprise or you've been planning it for months, a positive pregnancy test result can send your mind spinning in a million different directions. From where you'll deliver to the color of the nursery, you immediately start making to-do lists to help get you and your partner through the next nine months. But if you have no idea where to start, you may simply be wondering what type of doctor do you go to when you learn you're pregnant?
If you're anything like me, the doctor's office is your least favorite place on earth. But getting the proper prenatal care can make all of the difference in having a healthy baby. According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, babies with mothers who don't receive prenatal care are five times more likely to die than those with mothers who do visit their doctor regularly. Your prenatal checkups are about more than just being poked and prodded. These visits will be an important time for you to find out how your baby is developing and to get answers to all of your questions.
According to What to Expect, 90 percent of women choose an OB-GYN to treat them during their pregnancy. However, there are other available options, including midwives and family practitioners, that are just as safe and effective. And while you are checking on the health of your baby, be sure you make time for your dentist and optometrist as well.
I can already feel you starting to worry that you'll be spending the next nine months in waiting rooms, but it will all be worth it when you bring home a healthy new baby.
1. Family Practitioner
If you're looking for a one-stop shop, you may want to consider your family practitioner. As Kid's Health mentioned, family practitioners provide a wide range of coverage — including obstetrics. If you choose this option, the doctor who delivers your baby could end up being your baby's pediatrician.
OB-GYNs are doctors who specialize in the treatment of women's reproductive health, as Healthline mentioned. If you've been seeing a gynecologist regularly for checkups, you should make sure they also have an obstetrics practice to handle your pregnancy. Otherwise, they should be able to refer you to one.
Though not technically a doctor, a midwife is a great option for women with low-risk pregnancies. According to What to Expect, midwives have been trained and certified to assist women in childbirth. They generally take a more holistic approach to the birth process. While many midwives perform births at home, some also work in hospital settings.
As Fit Pregnancy mentioned, maintaining healthy teeth and gums are important to your baby's health. Along with regular brushing and flossing, you should schedule a checkup with your dentist.
According to The Bump, pregnancy can have some effects on a women's vision, including the ability to see things close up. While many of these issues will resolve themselves after you give birth, it might be a good idea to have an eye exam to rule out a more serious problem.