Oh mama – congratulations! You’ve got the double lines on the test and the news you’ve been waiting for – you’re pregnant! It’s such a surreal feeling and I’m so thrilled for you. You’re probably wondering so many things, and have so many pregnancy questions you want to ask the doctor – but you probably have a million thoughts racing around your head. Or, you’re like me, and you are you think of questions you’d like to ask after your first appointment is over, and you’re driving back home. So, to help you out, here are some critical pregnancy questions to ask your doctor on your first prenatal appointment:
How far along am, and what is my due date?
Your doctor will be able to determine your due date based on a few factors: your last period, HCG levels, and by doing a dating ultrasound scan. Fall or winter baby? June or July? How exciting!
How often will I be having appointments, and who will I be seeing? Who will deliver baby is you aren’t there?
Pregnancy is such an important part of your life, and good prenatal care is essential to good pregnancy outcomes. Over the next few months, you’re going to develop a relationship with your doctor while you get prenatal care – trusting your medical team is critical. Knowing what to expect and who to expect will help make planning easier.
What scans and tests can I expect?
Ultrasounds, screening tests, and swabs… oh my! One of the best parts of pregnancy is seeing your beautiful baby kicking away inside of you on the ultrasound screen – and it’s also important to check that baby is growing and developing properly. It’s handy to know how many scans to expect, and what else you’ll need to do. There are also lots of tests – such as the gestational diabetes screen for example – that you may not know about. Never fear – ask your doctor and they’ll give you the full run down.
What is safe to eat?
If you’re a first time mom, you may be surprised at the things that you should avoid having (like soft serve ice cream, or Brie cheese, for example!) and the reasons behind it. When I first got pregnant, I didn’t even know there were things I couldn’t eat. This is an essential pregnancy question to ask your doctor: things like deli meat and soft cheeses – No go! Ask your doctor for a up to date list of things to avoid so you can make informed choices.
What can I do about morning sickness?
Ugh, morning sickness, while super common, is awful. While there are lots of natural remedies (read about them here), there are also pregnancy safe medications that you can discuss with your doctor if you’re struggling to keep it under control.
What exercise is okay, and what isn’t?
Exercise in pregnancy is great – and recommend in most cases. However, you’re an individual, and your doctor is able to assess your situation and tell you what is safe and what isn’t. If you’re having standard low risk pregnancy, many activities will be fine. Others – think wrestling, boxing, or horse riding – are no goes.
How much weight should I gain?
Weight gain in pregnancy? Totally 100% normal. But the amount you should be gaining depends on your BMI now. Knowing helps you keep on track. Fun fact: most moms only need an extra 300 calories a day when pregnant (which isn’t much!) This is a super personal pregnancy question – ask your doctor for personal advice for your situation.
If I get sick or have pain, what medicine is safe to take, and what isn’t?
This is a must ask pregnancy question for your doctor. It’s so hard to know what is safe and what isn’t! You’re pregnant – but things like colds, headaches, etc. still pop up so it’s handy to know what can help. The FDA strongly recommends anyone who is pregnant check with the doc before taking anything while pregnant – so hit up the good doctor for some advice.
What should I do if I feel pain or bleeding?
Outside of light bleeding and cramping in the first trimester, if you’re experience bleeding or significant associated pain, it’s good to check in the doc. Make sure you find out what the clinics after hours’ number is.
What prescription medications are okay, and what aren’t?
Some medications are fine for baby, some aren’t. It’s up to your doctor to assess the risks of the medication. You’d be surprised at what is safe and what isn’t, and what alternates there are to continue managing conditions. Certain types of anti-depressants, for example – are safe.
When do I need emergency care?
Knowing what alarm bells symptoms and signs are is important. Ask your doctor to run you through key things to watch out for while pregnant, such as feeling heavy, painful contractions before you are full term, you’re in unbearable pain, are leaking fluid before you due date, or experiencing blurry vision and swelling. The quicker you can identify if things are going wrong, the sooner you can receive the care you need.
Make sure you right down any pregnancy questions you have when you have them and discuss with your doctor. No pregnancy question is silly, and the doctors really have heard it all before.