What to expect the first time you go to the obstretician when you are pregnant in Spain.
I was a bit nervous before my first appointment with the obstetrician or ‘tocologo’ as they’re called in Spanish. I asked some English friends who have had children here what to expect. Their answers were a bit vague so I was none the clearer.
I woke up with a splitting headache that morning so decided to take just one paracetamol as my GP had told me this was ok when you’re pregnant.
I met my partner at the health centre and it wasn’t too long before we were called in. First of all I was asked the date of my last period. Then the doctor went through my medical history and that of my partner and made notes. She asked me how I was feeling and if I had any morning sickness, I mentioned that I had a headache and had taken a paracetamol. She said that I shouldn’t have taken anything (contradicting the advice given by my GP).
The doctor also gave me a consent form for the amniocentesis test which is automatically offered to all women over the age over 35 here.
I wasn’t informed about any possible screening tests I could have as an alternative. I asked about whether I would be given the nuchal scan (this is when they look at the foetus’s neck – it give’s an indication of the possibility of Down’s syndrome). She told me that this would be done during my first scan. Had I not asked about this I don’t think I would’ve been informed. I asked whether this meant that the amniocentesis test wouldn’t be necessary if the result came back as satisfactory, given that the amniocentesis test carries certain risks. Her reply wasn’t very reassuring, she just said that it gave an indication that things were ok and that even if that was the case I would still be offered the test automatically due to my age (37).
The nurse took my blood pressure and then weighed me. Following that I had to have the physical examinations (something I wasn’t looking forward to). Everything was fine up to now which was reassuring.
The doctor told me to make an appointment for my first scan and told me to make another appointment in a month’s time and explained that I would be seeing her every month throughout my pregnancy.
I also had to make an appointment for a blood test. The appointment was made for 9.30am the following Tuesday. I was told that I could’t drink or eat anything beforehand. When the day arrived I woke up starving. I had a small cup of tea and one small piece of toast with marmite. On arriving for the blood test I told the nurse what I had eaten and she told me that I couldn’t have the blood test and was told to make another appointment! This time I made sure it was much earlier (it was made for 8.
30am) and didn’t eat a thing beforehand. I was told that I would find out the results at my next appointment with the obstetrician, unless there were any problems in which case they’d ring me.
My appointment for the first scan was in three weeks time.