What to Expect When You Graduate from FCD

pregnant couple graduating from FCD

What to Expect When You Graduate from FCD

Patients frequently form strong bonds with their fertility specialists. You’ve been on quite the journey together, but once you are confirmed pregnant (hooray!), it’s time to think about “graduation.” The Fertility Center of Dallas loves maintaining long-term relationships with our patient families, evidenced by the patient-generated cards, photos, and letters gracing our office walls.

However, our desire to keep in touch doesn’t change the fact that it’s time for you to pursue top-notch prenatal care wherever you call home. We’ll maintain appointments and monitor the first weeks of your pregnancy. By weeks 8 – 10, you’ll say ‘goodbye’ and begin preparing for your first prenatal appointment with your new care provider.

What To Focus on From Trimester to Trimester

We’ve put together this easy-to-follow checklist to support your transition from a fertility specialist to your OB. Here are the things you can do – and expect – as you make your way through the three trimesters of your pregnancy. And – again – we are over the moon that you’re ready for this next step!

The First Trimester: Months 1 to 3

The first trimester is exciting for everyone, and those happy emotions often sit alongside a bit of trepidation. That’s especially true for those who are pregnant via ART since you may have experienced miscarriages in the past.

Keep practicing lots of self-care. You may want to continue seeing your fertility counselor or a therapist during this time to support intense, fluctuating emotions. While you won’t get to experience any major visible changes – like a growing belly – for quite some time, odds are you’re experiencing some degree of morning sickness. Read Morning Sickness Relief Naturally for tips and tricks.

Now’s the time to:

  • Maintain your healthy pre-pregnancy lifestyle and diet.
  • Review your insurance policy and look for the best OBs and/or midwives in your area.
  • Give us your new physician/midwife’s name, and we can start the records transfer so they learn more about your experience.
  • Review your new payment fees for physicians, testing, diagnostics, etc. Odds are the majority of these prenatal care costs are now covered by your insurance.
  • Schedule your first prenatal appointment. Most clinicians wait until you’re at least six weeks along before scheduling your first appointment.
  • Look for early pregnancy classes in your area. It’s a wonderful way to connect with other women and couples in your area while gleaning critical information and education about early pregnancy needs and comfort tips.

The Second Trimester: Months 3 to 5

By now, the most uncomfortable aspects of morning sickness are fading, and you can finally see your long-awaited bump beginning to emerge. This is a great time to focus on a prenatal exercise routine. In addition, we recommend seeking out specific prenatal courses to connect and bond with other soon-to-be parents.

During the second trimester of your pregnancy, you should:

  • Receive prenatal genetic screening tests between weeks 15 and 20. These tests identify some of the most common genetic or chromosomal disorders, such as cystic fibrosis, Down’s syndrome, trisomy disorders, spina bifida, and others.
  • Participate in glucose screening for early detection of gestational diabetes.
  • Get your first RhoGAM shot if you’re an Rh-negative mama (determined by first-trimester blood work).
  • Register in a parenting class for parents with multiples (if you are pregnant with twins or triplets). Like traditional early- and pre-labor pregnancy classes, parenting for multiples courses help to prepare you for the different ways multiples affect pregnancy, labor/delivery, and early parenting.
  • Begin creating your personalized birthing plan and discuss it with your prenatal healthcare provider. You can get started by visiting Creating Your Birth Plan from the American Pregnancy Association.
  • Revisit your insurance plan or speak to a health insurance representative to review charges for hospitalization or birth center fees, labor/delivery costs, anesthesia (if you need a C-section), circumcision (if that’s of interest to you), and other related charges.

The Third Trimester: Months 6 to 9

By now, the joy of pregnancy is tinged with the rapidly changing body and potential discomforts. The bigger your belly grows, the more quickly changes take place. Sleep often suffers during this phase so do all you can to support healthy sleep habits.

Take naps or get your feet up whenever you can. If you haven’t done so already, now’s your last chance to enroll in labor/delivery courses through your hospital, birthing center, or a private provider (look for certified instructors through Lamaze, Bradley, or HypnoBirthing websites).

Things to focus on:

  • Discuss third-trimester blood tests and GBS screening (identifies certain bacteria in the vagina or rectal area that can pass to the baby. If you’re positive, you’ll be treated with safe antibiotics to eliminate the risk of transference during delivery).
  • Research online, speak to other mothers and consult your healthcare provider about options like cord blood banking and what you want to do with the placenta.
  • Make any final reviews/edits of your birthing plan, and make sure there are extra copies for relevant parties. Be prepared to post one (large print) in your delivery room so new staff can review it after shift changes.
  • Make sure you know how to install your car seat correctly. Have it in the car and ready to go.
  • Tour the birthing facility if you haven’t already.
  • If you plan to breastfeed, consider attending meetings at your local La Leche League or other similar breastfeeding support groups. The more prepared you are, the better – and you’ll forge connections before you show up again with your baby in tow.


The Fourth Trimester: Baby is Home

The first three months of your baby’s life are considered the “Fourth Trimester.” Your body begins its postpartum transition physically, emotionally, and hormonally. Don’t be surprised if you experience baby blues, which are very common. Keep in close contact with your OB as well as your pediatrician. Never hesitate to contact them with any questions or concerns – no matter what. They’re here to support you.

  • Once you have your baby, you may or may not feel comfortable attending your fertility support group in the same way (depending on the group’s mix). We highly recommend joining a new mom’s club through your healthcare provider or community. The DFW Chid’s page on Where to Find Mom’s Groups is a good place to start.
  • Continue going to La Leche League or breastfeeding support meetings. Contact a certified lactation consultant if breastfeeding is a struggle in any way.
  • If it wasn’t done already, enlist a family member or friend to set up meal or chore sign-ups that family and friends can use to help you out. They want to support you, and you and your household will appreciate extra baby bonding time.

Have Questions About Your Transition into Parenthood?

The Fertility Center of Dallas sends you so many good wishes as you transition from our fertility center into the world of parenting. Have questions or concerns about the transition? We’re here for you. Contact the office and speak with one of our nursing staff.

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