Once you’ve determined that you’re pregnant, you might not have to wait long before your first prenatal checkup. Pregnancy can take a severe toll on your health as your body creates a whole new human being. Thus, it is important to have prenatal appointments so that your doctor can make sure everything is alright. Your first prenatal appointment might be the longest one you’ll have as it’s when the doctor will be taking a lot of baseline data. To make sure you’re comfortable during this time, it’s best to wear the right clothes.
The important factors to consider when choosing what to wear to first prenatal appointment is that you wear something comfortable and accessible to the doctor. This means choosing a two-piece outfit where you can easily lift your top to give the doctor access to your tummy and breasts for examinations. With this in mind, you should avoid one-piece outfits such as dresses, rompers, jumpsuits, and jumpers. For comfort, you should primarily consider fit and the weight of the fabric.
This article will talk all about these check-ups and what to wear to the first prenatal appointment.
First Prenatal Appointment
It is highly recommended to schedule your first prenatal appointment as soon as you’ve confirmed your pregnancy. This typically takes place around 8 weeks into your pregnancy.
Prenatal appointments are important as the doctor will have to make sure you and the baby are staying healthy and safe. After your first appointment, you are recommended to visit your doctor every four weeks until the 26th week of your pregnancy. After the 26th week, the frequency of your visits should increase to every three weeks until the 32nd week and every two weeks beyond the 32nd week.
Understandably, the first prenatal appointment will take the longest as the doctor will do a lot of different tests while all the succeeding appointments will just be for monitoring.
According to the American Pregnancy Association, you should expect your doctor to ask for your medical history including medical problems, blood pressure, height, weight, breast and cervical exam, date of your last menstrual period, birth control methods, history of abortions, history of miscarriages, hospitalizations, current medications, allergies, and your family’s medical history.
You might also expect the doctor to suggest an ultrasound, depending on how far your pregnancy is, to make sure your baby is developing correctly.
Blood will also be drawn and subjected to different laboratory tests such as hematocrit, Rh factor, blood type, rubella screen, vaccines, cystic fibrosis screen, hepatitis B surface antigen, Tay Sach’s screen, sickle cell prep screen, HIV test, and such.
After the different tests, your doctor might want to have a lengthy discussion with you regarding recommendations for a safe pregnancy such as medications, environmental hazards, diet restrictions, travel limitations, miscarriage precautions, exercise, nutrition, vitamins, supplements, and more.
What to Wear
Fortunately, there aren’t too many considerations to make when it comes to dressing for your first prenatal appointment. However, there are some kinds of clothes that can make the experience easier while there are some kinds of clothes that can make your first prenatal appointment a little more difficult.
Shirt and Jeans
There’s nothing about your first prenatal appointment that requires you to get all dressed up. If you decide to go to your appointment in a shirt and jeans, you’re practically good to go.
There are two things that make a shirt and jeans an excellent choice for your first prenatal appointment: comfort and access.
Firstly, you should always consider your comfort when you decide what to wear. This is especially important now that you’re pregnant since pregnancy can be quite a stressful time. Thus, you shouldn’t risk adding discomfort by wearing uncomfortable clothes.
The second reason why a shirt and jeans are appropriate for your first prenatal appointment is that a shirt and jeans are easy to take off. There is a chance that your doctor will ask you to take off your clothes for certain exams which means you have to consider how easy it would be for you to get in and out of the clothes you’re wearing.
It’s also best to wear a two-piece outfit such as a shirt and jeans because it also allows you to easily give the doctor access to do certain examinations without you having to take off everything. By simply raising your shirt, you could get an ultrasound or even a breast exam.
If you want, you could also switch the jeans out with a pair of leggings. Many women find leggings to be much more comfortable than jeans. If you’re one of these women, then you should feel free to wear whatever you’re more comfortable in.
Shirt and Skirt
Just like the shirt and jeans, a shirt and skirt will also be a good idea to wear for your first prenatal appointment. Wearing a shirt and skirt offers the exact same benefits as wearing a shirt and jeans: a shirt and skirt provide comfort and access.
Comparing the skirt and jeans, the skirt provides much more access as you’re able to give the doctor the ability to do certain examinations below the belt without having to take off your skirt. This is a stark contrast compared to jeans that you definitely have to take off for a cervical exam.
You could also wear leggings under your skirt if you feel a skirt wouldn’t offer enough privacy.
Slip-Off Shoes, Sandals
Following the logic of wearing articles of clothing that are easy to wear and take off, you should also consider wearing footwear that is comfortable as it is easy to get in and out of. One good example would be to wear slip-off shoes.
If slip-off shoes are not your thing, you can also wear sandals. Fortunately, there are different kinds of footwear for women that are relatively easy to wear and take off. However, you will have to make sure that your hospital doesn’t have some sort of dress code that doesn’t allow open-toed footwear.
What Not to Wear
Since your prenatal appointments have a good chance that your doctor will require you to take off some, if not all, of your clothing, it is best you avoid wearing articles of clothing that don’t provide as much access and that are difficult to get in and out of.
It is highly advised to avoid wearing a dress to your first prenatal appointment. You might get the impression that a dress is a good choice as you can easily pull it up to give your doctor access below the belt. However, there are times that your doctor will need access to your tummy as well as your breasts. The doctor might need to listen to the baby’s heartbeat, or they might need to give you a breast exam. Either way, a dress seems to be an inconvenient choice for your first prenatal appointment.
Jumpsuit, Jumpers, Rompers
Although they can be trendy nowadays, a jumpsuit, jumper, or romper is another option that you might want to avoid wearing for your first prenatal appointment.
While there are slight differences between a jumpsuit, jumper, and romper, they have the same common denominator that makes them a bad choice for your first prenatal appointment. They’re all one-piece outfits that are more difficult to get in and out of. Because they’re one-piece, it’s also impossible to give the doctor access to your tummy and chest without having to take the whole outfit off.
As you’re considering your footwear, you have to make sure to choose footwear that is comfortable to wear and easy to take off and wear. With this in mind, it might not be the best idea to wear boots, especially high boots.
While boots can be comfortable for many people, boots are generally more difficult to wear and take off compared to other forms of footwear, especially if your boots have a lot of laces. Unless your outfit can be taken off without having to take off your footwear, it’s best to avoid boots altogether.
While high heels can be easy to wear, you might want to avoid high heels for a couple of reasons. The first reason to avoid wearing high heels for your first prenatal appointment, as well as throughout your pregnancy, is that high heels can contribute to an aching back.
High heels affect a person’s morphology as they can put stress on a person’s back. Specifically, wearing high heels for a length of time can increase the forward curve of the back and therefore cause the pelvis to tip forward. This inevitably results in lower back pain, a common issue reported by women who constantly wear high heels.
Furthermore, high heels can potentially cause an accident. Since high heels are not the most stable or firm footwear, you might get into an accident. While falling on the floor might have been harmless before, you have to be more careful now that you’re pregnant.
Other Factors to Consider
Since comfort is the goal when it comes to what to wear to your first prenatal appointment, consider wearing clothes that are more loose-fitting. Loose-fitting clothing is more comfortable as it does not hug the skin and it allows you more movement compared to tight-fitting clothes.
Aside from your clothes, you should also consider the fit when it comes to your underwear. Tight underwear such as bras, socks, garters, and belts could constrict movement as well as circulation.
A lot of women complain about feeling warm or too hot when they’re pregnant. One way to help mitigate this feeling is by wearing clothes with a lighter fabric. Wearing clothes with a lighter fabric can make you feel cooler during warm moments. Furthermore, it is easier to add layers when it becomes cold than the other way around.