Updated: Jul 23, 2021
One of the first things every expectant mother should do is schedule an appointment with an OB-GYN. Every woman is different, and depending on your body, age, and medical history, you may be considered a “high risk” pregnancy. This is not as bad as it sounds. Jessica was considered “high risk” during her first pregnancy because of her unusually shaped uterus. She was considered “high risk” when she had her second child, years later, simply because she was approaching forty years old. “High risk” just means you will be watched more closely and have more checkups than a low-risk pregnancy.
Take your doctor’s advice seriously. Five or ten decades ago, there was a decent chance either you or your baby would die in childbirth. Since then, one thing we humans have become pretty good at is having babies. The doctor knows what’s best for you and your pregnancy. If they recommend a test or a pill, you should take it. If they tell you to avoid a particular food or activity, then avoid it. Don’t listen to every old wives’ tale or new fad you see on the internet. Choose a good doctor with solid experience and credentials and then respect their advice.
One issue that always worried me as a father before marriage is whether I should attend the doctor visits with my co-parent. Jessica also remembers having mixed feelings about her partner attending her appointments. This can be a problematic issue that you will need to discuss with your partner.
On the one hand, the mother may be anxious and want the father there for support during the first doctor visit or two. On the other hand, she may not feel close enough with the father to invite him into her examination room. Our advice is that the father should ask (don’t tell) the mother if she would like him to be at the OB-GYN appointment, and if she says “yes,” then he should drop everything and make it happen.
There won’t be any ultrasound images at the first doctor visit, but when it comes time to see your child in the womb for the first time, it is a magical experience for both parents. We recommend that mothers invite the father to at least one of these ultrasound appointments. Even if you are not getting along very well, you should both try to make this happen. Sometimes the experience can help both of you put aside your differences and see that the little life you created is what matters most.
If the relationship is so sour that the mother doesn’t want the father at any doctor's appointments, then fathers need to respect that wish. Father’s have no legal right to attend, and like most other issues, “insisting” will get you nowhere.
See our Useful Links page for a few great pregnancy resources.
- Jessica & Jim
Jim and Jessica Braz are not lawyers. While they have real-life experience in the issues discussed here, they do not give legal advice on this website. Furthermore, child custody laws, child support calculations, and family law, in general, vary from state to state. Be sure to consult an attorney in the appropriate state for your custody litigation.
Jim and Jessica Braz are not doctors. While they have real-life experience in the issues discussed here, they do not give medical advice on this website. Be sure to consult your doctor on your specific medical situation.
Jim and Jessica Braz are not licensed therapists, mediators, or counselors. While they have real-life experience in the issues discussed here, you should consult licensed professionals as needed.
The advice given on this website does not hold Jim and Jessica Braz legally liable for any adverse outcomes you may have from following their advice.
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