Whether planned or accidental, every pregnant woman (and not just the first-time moms) want those who have been there, or those who have spent years in medical school, to give them direction on what to do and not to do when it comes to pregnancy.
Having an accessible OBGYN is every woman's dream and it is even better when the one the woman gets is easy to talk to and is available 24/7. Getting the right OBGYN is an uphill task, but even when we have one, we are not able to utilize that resource adequately and this can be frustrating, not only to us but also to him. Doctor visits can be nerve-wracking and for some of us those monthly visits fill us with dread with the question of ‘is the baby okay and am I okay?’ It is no wonder that when we get to the OBGYN office we do not ask questions, rather we wait for him to give us information and dash out.
Going through pregnancy operating on guesswork can prove to be detrimental, not only to the health of the mother but also to the unborn child. By not asking that a question on her mind, a woman could be risking her life and that of her unborn child. Here are the twenty questions that every OBGYN wants their pregnant patients to ask.
20 When Would You Recommend A C-Section? What Is Your Personal C-Section Rate?
There are doctors who view labor as a situation that a woman needs to be hurriedly saved from and these are the doctors who are well known for invasive procedures to get it over with. Asking this question gives a patient a glimpse into the doctor’s beliefs on childbirth.
According to KeeperOfTheHome, if a hospital has a high C-section rate then this is an indication that their hospital policy has a C-section birth intervention. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 10-15 percent is the recommended C-section intervention personal rate for any medical practitioner. If your OBGYN has a higher rate, you are better off switching.
19 How Many Pounds Should I Be?
During pregnancy, a woman is expected to gain a little weight, we understand that you do not want to gain weight and that you are hoping to have a Kardashian type of bounce back, but unfortunately, you need to gain a little weight. This will be determined by your body mass index. Your doctor will give you a range within which you should gain weight every trimester.
If you are underweight with a BMI of under 18.5 it is recommended that you gain between 28 and 40 pounds. If your BMI is between 18.5 and 24.9, then you should gain between 25 to 35 pounds. For those who are overweight, BNI between 25 and 29.9 you should gain 15 to 25 pounds and for the obese, ensure you gain at least 11 to 20 pounds.
18 Is Cramping Or Leaking Normal?
Pregnancy comes with some discomfort and while some are expected and pretty normal, it is important that you ask your OBGYN what could be going on. Some form of cramping and spotting is quite normal during the first trimester. This is because the fertilized egg is implanting into the uterus and this is commonly known as implantation bleeding.
According to Dr. Christina Mixer, "If you are experiencing persistent cramping and/or bleeding you should contact your doctor.” This is because sometimes this persistence could be an indication that you have a uterine or vaginal infection and in rare cases, it could be an indication of something a lot serious, like an ectopic pregnancy.
17 What Are The Best Types Of Exercise?
Some women love to exercise and it is recommended that a woman remains active throughout her pregnancy. This makes pregnancy a lot smoother and reduces water retention, as well as anxiety. There are numerous fitness activities that are recommended for pregnancy, like swimming, walking, strength training, and yoga.
Whatever exercises you were into before pregnancy you can continue with as long as you are a bit careful. Women are advised not to get involved in any rough exercise because, at this time, your balance tends to be a bit off. Exercises that could lead to dehydration should also be avoided. According to AllWomenOBGYN, 30 minutes of exercise a day is more than enough.
16 Which Vaccinations Do You Recommend?
There are two vaccines that are mandatory during pregnancy. The vaccine Adult Tdap should be administered to a pregnant woman in her third trimester. This vaccine is meant to protect babies who are vulnerable to whooping cough, which is a contagious respiratory disease that can lead to pneumonia and even death in extreme cases.
Getting the vaccine during pregnancy passes immunity to the newborn baby as he can only get vaccinated at two months. It is also important to get the influenza vaccine to alleviate the effects of seasonal viruses as well as H1N1. This is because a pregnant woman's immune system takes a beating and she, therefore, needs additional help.
15 How Long Can I Work When I'm Pregnant?
When a woman is pregnant, she is sometimes filled with fatigue and this sometimes makes her wonder whether she should stop going in to work. How long a woman works depends on the work a woman does. Strenuous jobs though may lead to your doctor imposing some restrictions when handling work.
It is important for the pregnant woman to discuss any stressors emotionally that come from work. This will help the doctor determine whether or not you need to rest in order to avoid this stressor. Ensure you discuss with your employer your maternity leave so that you are prepared and so is he.
14 Can I Review My Birth Plan With You?
Every woman should have a birth plan. Even though people insist that it is unnecessary because the minute the baby decides he is ready, what you have written down winds up going out the window. However, the birth plan is good as it helps a woman to familiarize herself with the delivery and labor process and to ensure that nothing is done to her during labor that does not fall under her preferences.
It is important to review the birth plan with the doctor before labor hits, as this gives you the chance to discuss what you expect and also to review any concern your doctor and you may have regarding the birth.
13 Is Indigestion Normal?
Did we tell you that pregnancy is full of very weird side effects? Having indigestion and gas is one of them. Most of us feel like an inflated balloon on a daily basis and this can be quite uncomfortable, according to Parenting, "The hormonal changes in pregnancy decrease the efficiency of your gastrointestinal system." These changes bring a lot of discomforts starting with nausea, commonly known as morning sickness, followed by bloating.
More than 85 percent of pregnant women go through these early symptoms of pregnancy. Unfortunately, after the bloating and nausea, the symptoms graduate to indigestion and acid reflux and all these are all normal.
12 How Do I Relieve My Indigestion?
The worst mistake a pregnant woman can do is to self-medicate or get help from the know it all in her social circles and even worse, rely on Dr. Google. The rule of thumb is if in doubt, ask your OBGYN as this could save a life.
According to Mary Rosser, OB-GYN at Montefiore Medical Center,"For constipation, make sure to eat plenty of fiber, veggies, fruits and drink lots of water. If needed, you can take Milk of Magnesia or a stool softener. For heartburn, eating smaller and more frequent meals will help, as will sleeping upright on two pillows. Avoid acidic and spicy foods. If the trouble continues, speak with your physician, who may suggest taking a medication with calcium carbonate."
11 Which Medications Are Safe To Use?
Self-medication is never a good idea whether pregnant or not. Sometimes though, that headache could be driving you up the wall and you require medical intervention. This is where it is time to ask this question. Your OBGYN will be able to give you a recommended list of OTC medicines that are okay to take during your pregnancy.
According to What to Expect, acetaminophen, better known as Tylenol, is typically recommended for fever, headache, and pain, while vitamin B6 is good for nausea. Use a fiber supplement to relieve constipation and saline sprays in case of allergies. Tripelennamine and Chlorpheniramine are ideal for allergies, as well as colds. The most important thing to remember is to get your doctor’s green light before you self-medicate.
10 What Should I Expect During Labor And Delivery?
Labor and delivery will greatly depend on your birthing location, whether it is at home, a birthing center or in the hospital. Cervical exams done intermittently by a nurse determine the dilation of the cervix, as well as the effacement.
It is this nurse who recommends interventions depending on her observation and this may include an electronic fetal monitor or an IV. The need for any intervention should be explained to the pregnant mother as it is her body and her child. Any discussion ahead of labor is important as one can even discuss the use of an epidural as a form of pain management.
9 Who Will Deliver My Baby?
Childbirth is an intimate affair and it requires one to be at ease and comfortable. Getting stressed or overly anxious can lead to complications. It is therefore important that one has a trusted physician to take care of her. In most cases, hospitals have OBGYNs on call and any one of them can help deliver the baby.
Other times one can use their personal doctor and this doctor is with them every step of the way. Knowing who will help deliver the baby puts the woman at ease and it is therefore important to discuss it so one is not caught by surprise.
8 What Are The Chances I'll Have A C-Section?
There is an increased number of women choosing to undergo a C-section over previous years. There are those who opt for it for cosmetic reasons while others have some mitigating factors that lead to it. This question is very important, especially for those women who want to have a vaginal birth.
The woman should review the risks that are there to her personally with her OBGYN since this discussion is what guides the woman's expectations. A woman who is oversized or has gestational diabetes is at risk of a c-section. This procedure is also carried out on women who are carrying large babies, babies who are post-term as well as a previous scar.
7 Will I Get Breastfeeding Support?
Research shows that breastfed babies get a lot of benefits, one of which includes a higher IQ. Breastfeeding, however, does not come naturally and not many people can say that they were able to breastfeed straight from labor. Dr. Christina Mixer says "A number of practices encourage and support breastfeeding moms and babies: Skin-to-skin contact immediately after delivery, rooming in with baby 24 hours a day and avoiding any pacifiers or artificial nipples has been shown to improve breastfeeding success," says Dr. Mixer.
It is important to discuss breast pumps, as well as the availability of lactation consultants, which the Affordable Care Act gives to a woman.
6 Can I Eat During Labor? If Not, Will I Get An IV?
Most hospitals are opposed to snacking during active labor. While most women at this time are busy either throwing up or in the throes of pain, there are those women who feel the need to eat something. Some hospital policies only allow ice cubes and an IV, but the new age doctors now allow a woman to eat during labor.
Most women prefer to skip the IV because it limits their movement and it has been known to create a fluid overload, as well as excessive weight loss in the infant, which is as a result of a reduction in breastfeeding.
5 What Is Your Induction Rate? When Should An Induction Be Considered?
Women should ensure they always ask this question. A doctor’s induction rate is an indication of his belief that pregnancies have an expiry date and that it should be over as soon as the estimated date of delivery has arrived.
A doctor who guides his patients well on healthy living, as well as nutrition, will help alleviate the common conditions that lead to an induction, notably preeclampsia, and high blood pressure. Find out the induction method in case of any eventuality. Decide whether you want to laugh through labor by use of laughing gas or numb by use of an epidural.
4 How Do You Monitor Babies During Labor?
Most hospitals have a policy for electronic fetal monitoring and in some cases, this is non-negotiable as the hospitals feel that this will reduce the risks that come with labor. Unfortunately, fetal monitoring is never accurate and in most cases, it increases the chances of interventions that could have been avoided.
Fetal monitors also tend to tie the mother to the bed, which is an issue as it means the mother has no option but to lie on her back. Finding out what the doctor's policy and the hospital's policy is helping the woman make an informed decision and even make a switch if she feels uncomfortable.
3 Do You Practice Pain Management?
Many women cannot handle pain and it is these women who need to ensure that they discuss with their doctors what options are available for pain management and if he does offer any. The options for pain management should not be relegated to just biting the blankets or even an epidural.
There are other holistic methods like a water bath, birth balls or even changing positions periodically that can help alleviate pain and this should be explored. Find out if your OBGYN encourages the use of a doula during birth as she can be quite helpful in giving massages and encouragement as a woman labors.
2 What Is Your Policy On Cord Clamping?
There is a new trend where women are encouraged to delay clamping of the cord. It is important that a woman discusses with her OBGYN his thoughts on this as this could be beneficial to the infant. Most health care providers feel that if the cord is left in place it drains blood from the baby.
This is a misperception and one would be advised to find out if that is how the doctor feels. Some doctors give the mother the option to choose between cord clamping and skin to skin contact. Finding out if the doctor gives a woman the option to try both could ensure that one's wishes are met.>
1 How Do You Manage The Second Stage Of Labor?
Women do not remember to have this conversation with their OBGYN until it is too late. It is important to find out whether your doctor is familiar with non-supine positions and whether or not they are familiar and comfortable with self-directed pushing.
The body usually knows when it is time to give birth and pushing on the queue can be tiring and counterproductive for the woman. The second stage of labor can be difficult, but there really is no need to tell the woman to hold her breath and count to ten as her body is already ready to release the baby.