Getting pregnant, especially for the first time, can leave women with lots of questions that need answers. Because of this, when questions arise, they should be written down so that those expecting feel as prepared as possible as they embark on their journey of pregnancy. And one of the best times to ask questions about all things pregnancy is at the first prenatal appointment.
Regardless of how many pregnancy books are read to gear up for the role of becoming a mother, there are still going to be questions left unanswered. This is because everyone’s pregnancy experience is different based on their health, age, and any previous pregnancy complications that may have existed. As such, there may be questions that arise at any time during pregnancy. But, because most of the questions that need answers immediately crop up at the beginning of mothers-to-be forays into motherhood, the earlier medical appointments will likely be the best time to get answers to put minds at ease.
Here are some questions to ask at your first prenatal visit.
10 How Much Weight Should I Gain During Pregnancy?
For most women, the amount of weight that should be gained during pregnancy is between 25 and 35 pounds, according to WebMD. But just because most women should gain that amount of weight does not mean that all should. And this is why the question should be raised.
Per the publication, if women are underweight, they may need to gain anywhere from 28 to 40 pounds. And for those who are overweight, 15 to 25 pounds may be all that is necessary for a healthy pregnancy.
Therefore, before landing on an optimal weight gain during pregnancy, ensure that information is correct by consulting with a doctor during the first prenatal visit.
9 Are There Foods That Should Be Avoided During Pregnancy?
For those who enjoy rare meat, deli meat, raw sushi, and the like, finding out if those foods are safe to eat during pregnancy is necessary to keep both babies and mothers safe.
According to the Mayo Clinic, not only should these foods be avoided during pregnancy, but so should caffeine, alcohol, and unpasteurized foods. This is to ensure that pregnant women do not become sick from bacteria growing on the food which then could have detrimental effects on the pregnancy.
8 How Much Exercise Should I Get While Expecting?
For those who exercise regularly during pregnancy, it is important to consult with a doctor to ensure that the exercises being performed are safe and will not cause complications.
According to the March of Dimes, women who are healthy should be getting about two and a half hours of exercise per week. This can be in the form of walking, swimming, or even running if that was an activity that was done before becoming pregnant.
Important as well, according to the publication, are strength training exercises. This is because it will help women remain strong as their bodies prepare for delivery. And the stronger women are, the easier the birth of babies becomes.
7 Can I Travel During Pregnancy?
If there are travel plans that were made before becoming pregnant, it is best to know if those plans need to be changed or not. As such, asking how long it is safe to travel is a great question to ask at the first prenatal visit.
According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, women should not travel via airplane domestically after 36 weeks. For those who have plans to go overseas, that is between 28 and 35 weeks pregnant, per the publication.
It is best to discuss any travel plans that are outside the area, be it by plane or automobile, with a doctor or midwife to come up with a plan if labor unexpected begins.
6 Are There Lifestyle Changes That Need To Be Made?
There are some lifestyle changes that should be made when women find out they are pregnant. And to make sure that all bases are covered, asking doctors what those changes are necessary for a healthy pregnancy.
According to Capital Women’s Carechanges to lifestyle that women should make when they become pregnant include:
Work to be at a healthy weight
Take prenatal vitamins
Eat healthy food
Drink plenty of water
See the dentist twice per year
Get necessary vaccinations
While it is great for women to make these changes when they find out they are pregnant if the changes can be made when trying to conceive, all the better still.
5 What Are Genetic Testing Options?
Not all women want or need genetic testing. But for those who do, knowing what the options are that best suit their needs makes choosing a test a bit easier.
According to the University of Rochester Medical Center, there are four different types of genetic tests. They include:
Biochemical genetic studies
Protein truncation studies
Discussing the pros and cons of each test with doctors will help mothers-to-be make the most informed decision when it comes to their genetic testing.
4 How often are Appointments?
If women are pregnant for the first tie, they may be curious as to how many prenatal appointments they are going to have. And while having them monthly may have been expected, what may come as a surprise to women is that as the pregnancy progresses, the appointments become more frequent. So much so that during the last eight weeks of the pregnancy, the appointments are twice per month and for the last four weeks the appointments are once per week.
It may seem like a lot of appointments, but they are done to ensure that mothers and babies are as healthy as they can be when delivery time comes.
3 What Are Normal Pregnancy Symptoms & When To Be Concerned?
With the consistent body changes that happen during pregnancy, it is no wonder that women may feel like they are in the dark about knowing which pregnancy symptoms are normal and what may be a cause for concern.
According to Stanford Children’s Health, Everything from stomach upset, mild aches, skin changes, breathing problems, and the like are completely normal parts of becoming pregnant. The problems arise, per the publication, when pain, excessive swelling, large amounts of bleeding, fever, and more develop.
Regardless of what is being experienced, if women are unsure about their pregnancy symptoms, they should ask. That is what healthcare professionals are there for.
2 Who Will Deliver The Baby?
In some instances, the doctor or midwife who has been at the prenatal appointments is the one who will deliver the baby when the time comes. However, the doctor or midwife who delivers the baby may be whoever is on call.
If having one specific healthcare professional from the start of the pregnancy through delivery is important, it is a good thing to ask at the first prenatal visit so that if the answer is not what is desired, changes to care can be made early on in the pregnancy.
1 Are The Medications I’m Taking Safe For The Baby?
Some women who become pregnant have preexisting conditions that require them to take medication. That medication may or may not be safe to be taking while expecting. Therefore, having an open and honest discussion about the safety of the medication and what alternatives there are available should be discussed at the first prenatal appointment.
Source: WebMD, Mayo Clinic, March of Dimes, Johns Hopkins Medicine, Capital Women’s Care, University of Rochester Medical Center, Stanford Children’s Health
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