Annoyingly frequent and laborious visits to the doctor are in the cards for any pregnant woman during her lengthy prenatal stage. These routine check-ups are usually incredibly standard and often pretty dull. In fact, they can often feel unnecessary after a while. But this is far from the truth. Believe us on that one. These meetings keep a mother's health on track as well as her baby's -- which is arguably more important unless the mother is a sadist.
As routine as these appointments are, there are a number of downright strange things that can happen. This list will get into some of the most common, and yet, oddest, things that women can be up against in their prenatal checkups. Without further ado, here are 20 Strange Things At Prenatal Checkups Every Pregnant Woman Should Watch Out For.
During your first prenatal appointment, you could be asked to take a pregnancy test. In fact, it's likely that you will. This may seem strange but there are a ton of false pregnancies out there. People aren't nearly as good at knowing for sure as one may think. And frankly, doctors don't have time for fake babies. They want real ones... Therefore, they have to be 100% sure that you're pregnant and didn't take a faulty test or eat one too many doughnuts.
It's pretty standard to feel like you're back in high-school when you go to a prenatal check-up. After all, the doctors are going to put you through the wringer when it comes to tests. However, some of these tests have been proven to be less than necessary; including many ultrasounds. None the less, some doctors will make their patients jump through an assortment of hoops just to be on the cautious.
Jenny McCarthy is wrong about vaccines. Sorry, she just is. Let's listen to the scientists and medical experts (as well as logic) as opposed to the former adult model. Although it may seem early, doctors are going to be talking about vaccinations with you during prenatal appointments. But these aren't just for the bun in your oven. The discussion will be aimed at you. This is in order to make sure that you're safe while pregnant. Additionally, if a mother is vaccinated against something like whooping cough, the antibodies will be passed to the baby before birth, helping them avoid this downright bad disease.
When you go to your prenatal check-ups, you'll be measured like a high-end fashion model. Yep, the doctors and nurses will be taking out that good old measuring tape and making sure you're coming along as expected.
Monitoring your size will help them determine when the baby is coming, as well as if they are healthy or not. Regardless, it's a bit strange as you'd expect this only to happen in the bridal shop or at Saks Fifth Avenue.
It doesn't always happen, but some doctors require pregnant women to go through genetic testing at prenatal check-ups. This helps them understand what kinds of hurdles lay ahead. This means that you may be faced with some unfortunate truths about your family's medical record. And these truths could impact your child. Conditions like cystic fibrosis, sickle cell anemia, thalassemia, and tay-sachs disease, all can be passed on.
Kids are expensive. It's one of the many reasons not to have them. But we've come to terms with that. What most of us don't know is just how costly prenatal care can be. Of course, this all depends on your region and your insurance policy. But chances are you'll still be on the hook for a couple of sneaky little bills here and there. For example, a cystic fibrosis test could run you about $500. This can be really strange for moms-to-be who expect every little test to be covered. But, in reality, they'll always find a way to "get" ya.
Yep, you gotta leave urine in a cup. There's no way around it. Going to a prenatal check-up means that your doctor will want to know what's in your system. Urine tests are a great way to screen for UTIs, diabetes, preeclampsia, and kidney infections -- all of which can impact pregnancy and the baby. So, a urine test is very necessary. But that doesn't mean that it's not awkward. After all, you gotta put your cup in that little fridge with everybody elses' pee... ew!
Nobody wants to talk about their history, especially if they've sowed a few wild oats in their day. But a prenatal doctor needs to know about any past ailments as they can become a roadblock for your pregnancy and even impact your baby. It's a really strange and uncomfortable discussion, but it's one that's totally unavoidable. Those who've been "clean" their whole life, congratulations, you have nothing to worry about.
Pregnant women often expect to hear their child's heartbeat during their first or second prenatal appointment. Although this is possible, hearing the heartbeat usually doesn't happen for a while. In fact, the doctor's machinery may not pick up your child's heartbeat until 12-14 weeks in. Some moms may be nervous about this, but it's totally normal. Don't worry your child isn't like your mother-in-law, it still has a heart...
Swabbing for strep throat during a prenatal appointment may feel a bit odd. But once you find out where they swab, it'll certainly feel far stranger...
Yep, they seldom just swab your throat for strep. We can't get into specifics here, but you can use your imagination. It's important that they do this as the infection can be spread to the baby. If they find some, don't worry about it. Usually, a course of antibiotics will get rid of it pretty quickly.
You will NOT be a priority in the prenatal waiting room. This is going to feel really strange given the fact that pregnant women usually get priority over everyone. With all the aggravation of bringing a baby to life, it's the least society can do, right? But the reality is, you're in a room full of pregnant women who may be in more complicated situations. This is why you should expect to wait a while for your appointment. So, ah, bring a book. We suggest "What To Expect When You're Expecting"... or "Howard Stern Comes Again".
"Clear em' fast". That's certainly a motto in some prenatal offices. Every patient deserves some one-on-one time with the doctor, especially since pregnancy can present a number of complications. Strangely, many doctors love to cut corners and keep appointments down to less than 10 minutes if they can. DO NOT let this happen. Assert yourself and ask as many questions as you possibly can. You have to be on top of your health and the health of your growing baby.
Speaking of "cutting corners", it's possible that a doctor won't ask you all the necessary questions during a prenatal appointment. let's face reality, not all doctors are good at their jobs. If a doctor doesn't ask you a lengthy list of questions or doesn't know how to answer yours, this is a huge red flag. Either switch doctors or pressure your doctor to make some changes. Just do it with kindness, you'll get nowhere if you go Mike Tyson on them.
One of the tests that doctors put women through during a typical prenatal appointment is one that tests if they have gestational diabetes. Seems pretty standard, right? Well, sometimes they do this by making you drink a really, truly, unappetizing drink. It's almost like when James Corden forces his talk-show guests to eat strange foods -- it's edible, but it's icky. If you can't handle a super concentrated Gatorade like liquid, chances are you're not going to be happy.
One of the strangest things about prenatal appointments is that they can be more like therapy than seeing a doctor. Sure, the first and final few are all about testing and maneuvering through medical chatter, but the majority are about mood. Pregnancy is extremely intense and can be really hard on the psyche. This is why doctors make sure to attempt to understand your mood as it can impact a baby
Doctors tend to be wary of telling women their due dates at first. This is because they don't want to be wrong and factor in the possibility of them coming early, late, or via a C-section. While this is understandable, it can feel strange. Most women want to plan out their lives, especially if they're working still. This is why you should always get a doctor to give you a tentative date. Just know that it's subject to change.
We've already mentioned that it's a possibility that doctors will give you some strange tests during your prenatal appointments, but there's one that deserves extra attention; the nuchal translucency screening...
This is usually an ultrasound that monitors the fluid collecting around the back and neck. It's down to see if the baby will be born with Down's syndrome or not. However, this is far from accurate and could just even up being a huge waste of time and, possibly, money. Additionally, external ultrasound should be avoided during the first trimester as it warms the tissue, potentially causing issues for the baby.
Some doctors and nurses tell women that a continuous fetal monitoring test is no big deal as it will help them have a smooth delivery. But in reality, it restricts a woman's movement during labor as they are hooked up to a big device. This is a strange topic that could come up throughout your prenatal appointments as they want you to get on-board with the idea. Some doctors believe that it will help the baby come out safely. However, there's little evidence that suggests that it actually helps. The big "but" is if a woman is likely to have a high-risk delivery.
Taking prenatal vitamins is pretty common nowadays. It's one of the reasons why doctors are happy to push them on their patients. However, it's proven that eating all the right foods is just as good as taking even the best prenatal vitamins. Additionally, not every prenatal vitamin brand is as good as the next. In some cases, ultra synthetic vitamins can cause some major issues down the road. Therefore, it's strange that doctors are so willing to push them during prenatal appointments.
Here's the truth about C-sections... they make an OB-GYN's life so much easier. Labor can be a lengthy process. Meanwhile, a Cesarean takes about an hour. This is one of the reasons why doctors start pushing the idea of women having a C-section as early as the second or third prenatal appointment. At the end of the day, it's up to a woman to decide... unless there's a major health issue that requires a C-section, that is. A doctor shouldn't be pushing this on a woman just because it benefits their busy schedule.
Sources: College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Parents, Healthline, Baby Center, AP News, The Bump, WebMD.com, MamaNatural.com, WhatToExpect.com, FDA.gov, BellyBelly.com, LiveScience.com, KitchenStewardship.com, WellnessMana.com, Babble.com, AAFP.org, Parents.com, WSJ.com