This post will review important questions to ask your OBGYN when pregnant, from pregnancy lifestyle changes and screening, to labor/delivery and postpartum. Whether you are a new mom or you have been pregnant before, you are bound to have questions that need answering!
It’s not uncommon for pregnant women to feel nervous or self-conscious about asking their doctor questions, especially at their first prenatal visit. Whether they are worried that they are asking something ‘stupid’ (it’s not), something that has an obvious answer (probably not so obvious), or something a little embarrassing (been there!), you are not alone.
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Any and every question is on the table, no matter how *yikes* you feel about asking it. It doesn’t even need to be a common question or something directly related to learning about pregnancy, labor and delivery.
Can my hemorrhoid pop during labor? It’s already really bad.
I have a new rash under my boobs, is that normal?
I’m feeling a little dry down there during sex, should I be concerned?
(Yes, all questions I have asked. Insert upside smiley emoji here.)
The truth is, no question is stupid. And trust me, your healthcare provider has heard them all (and will have a solution or explanation for you, so you might as well ask). This is your body and your baby we’re talking about! You should never hesitate to ask your doctor questions when you’re pregnant. Here’s why:
Your Health and Well-being: Your health and the health of your baby are the top priorities during pregnancy. Asking questions helps you understand your unique situation, any potential risks, and how to stay healthy until you deliver and in the days and months beyond. Knowledge empowers you to make informed decisions about your care.
Clarification and Understanding: Pregnancy can be overwhelming, especially for first-time mothers. Asking questions provides clarity and helps you understand the various aspects of pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum care. When you have a clear understanding, you can better follow your doctor’s recommendations.
Individualized Care: Every pregnancy is unique, and what works for one person may not be suitable for another. By asking questions, you allow your doctor to tailor their advice and treatment to your specific needs, taking into account any pre-existing health conditions or concerns.
Peace of Mind and Managing Anxiety: Pregnancy and childbirth can bring about worries, anxiety and uncertainty. Discussing your concerns and asking questions can help alleviate anxiety by providing you with accurate information and addressing any misconceptions or fears you may have. Addressing these concerns through questions can provide peace of mind, reducing stress and promoting a more relaxed and positive experience.
Safety: Asking questions ensures that you’re aware of any potential risks and can take appropriate precautions – such as monitoring your blood pressure if you are at risk of developing preeclampsia. Als, if you’re unsure about the safety of a medication, activity, or food (Deli meat? Medium-rare steak? Sushi?), your doctor can provide guidance to protect you and your baby.
Advocating for Yourself: Your doctor is your partner in healthcare, but ultimately, you are your own best advocate. By asking questions and expressing your concerns, you actively participate in your prenatal care which can be empowering, leading to better outcomes for both you and your baby. This empowerment can lead to greater confidence and satisfaction with your healthcare decisions.
Education and Preparedness: Pregnancy is a transformative experience, and knowledge is a valuable tool for preparing for parenthood. By asking questions, you are better prepared for labor, delivery, and the postpartum period, making the transition into motherhood smoother.
In summary, there’s no need to feel self-conscious about asking your doctor questions when you’re pregnant. Your OB/GYN is there to support you, provide guidance, and ensure a safe and healthy pregnancy. Embrace the opportunity to learn and understand the intricacies of pregnancy and childbirth, as it will empower you to make informed decisions and enhance your overall pregnancy experience.
Now, onto the list of questions!
Questions to Ask Your OBGYN When Pregnant
When you are pregnant, it’s important to have open and informative discussions with your obstetrician/gynecologist (OB/GYN) to ensure a healthy pregnancy and safe delivery. And, these conversations will change a little from your first trimester, into your second trimester, and finally your third trimester.
Following are some questions you may want to consider asking your OB/GYN. You may choose to ask them at your first prenatal appointment, or you may spread them out throughout the many appointments you will have as you near your due date and they become more relevant and timely. Remember, every pregnancy is different, so not all questions will apply! Choose the right questions for you and your pregnancy journey.
Pregnancy – Lifestyle Changes
- How much weight gain is healthy for me during pregnancy?
- Can I continue to take my current medications while pregnant?
- Are there any activities I should avoid during pregnancy?
- Can I continue with regular exercise? If so, when should I stop, if at all?
- What dietary guidelines should I follow during pregnancy?
- Can you provide recommendations for prenatal vitamins or supplements I should be taking? And, how much folic acid do I need?
- What should I expect during each trimester of my pregnancy?
- How do I manage symptoms such as morning sickness?
- Are there any personal care or beauty products I should avoid?
Pregnancy – Screening
- How is my due date calculated?
- How do my medical history or ethnic background play a role in your expectations for my pregnancy and delivery, if it all?
- What are the potential complications or risk factors associated with my pregnancy, and how can they be managed or prevented? (For example, gestational diabetes, preeclampsia/high blood pressure, etc.)
- When will I start to hear my baby’s heartbeat?
- When can I expect to feel fetal movement?
- How often should I schedule prenatal check-ups, and when should they start?
- How many ultrasounds will I have?
- When can I have genetic testing?
- Can you explain the various prenatal screening tests and their purposes? For example, what is the X blood test for?
- What is your approach to monitoring fetal development and well-being during pregnancy?
- Can you explain the different childbirth methods and their implications?
- How do you proceed if birth defects or medical conditions are detected?
Labor and Delivery
- What is the birth plan, and when should we start discussing it?
- What are my pain management options during labor, and what are their pros and cons?
- What is your policy on inducing labor, and under what circumstances might it be necessary?
- What can I do to encourage labor at home (such as curb walking)?
- How do I know if I’m in labor, and when should I contact you or go to the hospital?
- Are there any specific exercises or stretches I can do to prepare for labor and delivery?
- Will you be delivering my baby or will it be a member of the team? (Some practices have several providers, so you may have whomever is on call that day.)
- What should I expect immediately after childbirth in terms of recovery and care for my newborn?
- What are the postpartum check-ups, and when should I schedule them?
- Do you have any recommendations for postpartum support, such as mental health resources or support groups?
- Can you provide information on breastfeeding and/or formula feeding?
- How soon after delivery should I get back on birth control?
- When will I have my first pap smear postpartum?
That’s a lot of questions! Remember that every pregnancy is unique, so feel free to omit what isn’t relevant to yours, or ask any additional questions as they arise. Also, be sure to voice any concerns you may have for your health or your growing baby during your prenatal appointments. Your OB/GYN is there to support you and provide you with the information you need to have a healthy pregnancy and a successful childbirth experience.
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