Your relationship with your partner

Becoming a mother takes time away from other roles and relationships. You might struggle to retain your psychological identity as a partner and lover — but good communication can help you keep intimacy alive.

Be honest with your partner about your needs and try to identify stress points in your relationship before they become problematic. Encourage your partner to share any doubts or worries. Do the same yourself. Discussing your feelings will strengthen your relationship and help you begin preparing a home for your baby.

Appointments with your health care provider

Whether you choose a family physician, obstetrician, nurse-midwife or other pregnancy specialist, your health care provider will treat, educate and reassure you throughout your pregnancy. He or she is there to help you celebrate the miracle of birth.

Your first visit will focus mainly on assessing your overall health, identifying any risk factors and determining your baby's gestational age. Your health care provider will ask detailed questions about your health history. Be honest. The answers you provide will help you and your baby receive the best care. If you're uncomfortable discussing your health history in front of your partner, schedule a private consultation.

Also expect to learn about first trimester screening for chromosomal abnormalities.

After the first visit, you'll probably be asked to schedule checkups every four to six weeks. During these appointments, raise any concerns or fears you might have about pregnancy, childbirth or life with a newborn. Remember, no question is silly or unimportant — and the answers can help you take the best care of yourself and your baby.

Apr. 22, 2014 See more In-depth