You're one of those women who've been tracking their menstrual cycle for life. You know exactly when your cycle is supposed to start and exactly how long it is supposed to last, but this time around nothing happened. A missed menstrual cycle is the first and most common indicator of pregnancy for most women, but even if you test positive for pregnancy this early on does it mean you need to start prenatal care?
Is there a Too Early for Prenatal Care?
You probably know someone who didn't find out they were pregnant until three months into the pregnancy. They started prenatal care then and their baby turned out just fine – but knowing someone with this history does not ensure your pregnancy will go the same way.
My third pregnancy was like my first two – or so I thought. I found out very early that I was pregnant and as I did the previous two times I chose to start prenatal care early. There was some thought put into that first visit though. I was a seasoned pro at pregnancy by now so why did I need to go to the doctor at just four or five weeks of pregnancy? I finally just decided to go and take the blood test required by my obstetrician to confirm pregnancy and gather baseline hormone levels and such. When I received an urgent call less than 24 hours later I was a bit shocked. I rushed into the doctor's office where I was told one of the tests (hCG) was much higher than it should be this far out. I found out shortly that I was having twins, which changed my entire prenatal care schedule. There is never a too early.
Is There a Too Late for Prenatal Care?
There is never a too late. If you are just deciding you want to seek professional prenatal care then make an appointment, no matter how many weeks into the pregnancy you currently are. Prenatal care is there to support your health and the health of the your unborn child. Just a few tests can bring your care up to speed and even if you've missed some tests along the way you are still making the best choice when you choose prenatal care.