When a woman is expecting a child, her first doctor's appointment can be filled with worry and with wonder. Her big, life-changing news gets confirmed, and she gets handed a stack of papers on how to be healthy for the next nine months to bring her baby into the world. All the while, the nurse and doctor will ask a long list of questions, and the moment can be so overwhelming that she might forget something very important that the doctor needs to know.
Information is really vital in planning how to treat a woman during pregnancy and prepare herself and the baby for a healthy delivery. For example, a woman might not realize that a condition her second cousin has can be a part of her own genetics that might be passed on to the baby. But with special testing and possible treatments, the doctor and the mom can provide or a better life for the baby. But that only happens if the mom speaks up.
There is a range of issues and complications that mom has to be honest about so that she and the baby can get the best care possible. But it starts with her communicating with her healthcare professionals. Here are 20 things newly pregnant moms keep forgetting to tell their doctor.
20 All About The Daddy Issues
While at the OB's office, most of the conversation is going to be about the mom and her health. But there are two parents in the equation, and any medical issues or history from the father is important to discuss.
Some women might get embarrassed, but there are times when it's not really clear who the father is. It might seem okay to just lie and pick one, but the doctor should be aware of the situation, especially if there are possible genetic concerns — or if that means that there could be infections to worry about since that could be a concern for the baby.
19 Circumstances At Work
When moms are preparing to welcome a baby, they focus most of their thoughts on setting up the home life. But she should consider the work environment as well, especially if there are any considerations that could impact the baby's development.
Things such as chemicals could be an issue, and some jobs require a lot of lifting that could be problematic. Most of the time, employers have to accommodate moms-to-be who are restricted from anything because of doctor's orders. So it's best to bring it up at the next appointment and make sure that the work environment is safe for the baby.
18 I Use Essential Oils All The Time
Essential oils are one of the latest big fads for people who support using natural remedies to try to be healthy. And there are research studies that show that there are benefits to the oils, which can be used through various diffusers. But other studies show that there could be hazards to pregnant women.
Some oils are linked to uterine contractions, which can be unsafe for the little one before it's time to be born. Doctors might be able to let women know of other dangers as well. The doctor might be OK with some oils, but he needs to know about the use so he can help ensure the mom's and baby's health.
17 I'm Vegan
The foods that a pregnant woman cannot eat is a big part of the first doctor's appointment, as most OB's have their moms-to-be meet with a nurse to get some lists of information about how to be healthy during pregnancy. But moms shouldn't just think of what not to eat — it's important to bring up any strict diets.
Moms should let the doctor know if they are vegan, especially since there might be a number of nutrition factors that come into play. While it is possible to maintain veganism, the mom needs to adjust her meal plan to make sure the baby gets all he needs. The doctor can help, so speak up.
16 Extracurricular Activities
Hobbies are great for a woman's well-being and mental and physical health. But it's definitely a good idea to mention certain activities to the doctor, so a pregnant woman can be sure that her baby's health isn't a concern.
For example, falls can be really dangerous for the baby, so things like skiing and horseback riding might be concerning. The doctor might have some suggestions for making the activities safer or urge moms-to-be to put them on hold for part of the pregnancy.
It might not be something the mom wants to hear, but those activities aren't always worth the risk.
15 I'm A Coffee Lover
Of all of the lists of dos and don'ts that moms-to-be get from the doctor's office, the one that can be the hardest to tackle is caffeine. That's partially because of the Starbucks generation, which has a large number of women totally addicted to their lattes.
It's also an issue because it's one of the few things on the list that is allowed in some amounts, which means that the guidelines can be confusing. In excess, caffeine has been linked to behaviour issues in children and it could also cause dehydration issues. So moms shouldn't forget to ask the doctor any questions they have.
14 I Keep Up With My Vitamins
Vitamins are a great thing for pregnant women. In fact, one of the first things that doctors tell newly pregnant moms is that they should be taking a prenatal vitamin every day and possibly add on additional supplements such as folic acid. But moms who are all about vitamins still need to mention it to the doctor.
That's because there can be concerns about anything that goes into the body, and nutrition supplements aren't always as safe as they would sound. There are some products that contain chemicals and other harmful substances, so moms need to make sure they are choosing wisely, and the doctor can help.
13 I'm Not Sure My Cravings Are Normal
Most moms-to-be know that pregnancy cravings can be fun and interesting, but they aren't always something that is healthy to incorporate into the diet. For example, no matter how much a woman might crave a cupcake, if she has gestational diabetes then it's not a good idea to indulge.
But there are unhealthy cravings that can happen to pregnant women that can be a much bigger issue. With a condition called pica, moms-to-be might have a strong desire to eat dirt, rocks, charcoal or some other item that isn't food.
Moms don't just need to say no — they need to tell the doctor and get help before things take a turn for the worst.
12 My Shape Recently Changed
One of the best ways for some women to boost their chances of having a healthy pregnancy is to get into shape before trying to get pregnant. Their bodies can become more likely to get pregnant and better able to handle the work if they become more fit and health-conscious.
But moms who recently went through a drastic change in shape should definitely make sure that the doctor knows about it. Things like certain pills and procedures could impact the mom's health in ways that she wasn't aware of and that could be passed on to the baby.
11 I'm A Recent World Traveler
In general, travelling is safe for most moms during the first and second trimester of pregnancy. But even if it happens before the mom gets pregnant, she should let the doctor know in case of any diseases that could have been contracted could impact the baby's health.
Research has revealed that the Zika virus, which can be harmful for a developing fetus, can survive in a man's fertility system weeks after he leaves an area where an outbreak is happening. That alone makes it critical to talk to the doctor about any recent travelling in the months before and after conception.
10 I Want Special Testing
Moms have a lot of opportunities these days to get a look into the health and development of the baby from very early on in the pregnancy.
But some of these tests need to happen during a certain period of time, so moms don't have the ability to wait to speak up if they want to have special tests.
For example, there are some tests that can happen in the first trimester that could determine specific genetic issues. Some of them can be fatal, so if moms are concerned they might want to test when they have more options to end their pregnancy. Coordination is key, so don't forget to tell the doctor.
9 Speak Up About Grown-Up Time
Some women get concerned about their grownup time when they are pregnant, and dads-to-be can get freaked out about the idea that maybe the baby could see or feel what is going on. But it is safe — at least for the most part.
There are some habits that are more comfortable than others during the third trimester. And doctors have concerns about a recent rise in transmitted infections in moms that have led to complications for the baby.
Moms-to-be need to be careful in the bedroom, and they should talk to the doctor about any concerns.
8 I'm Having Bathroom Troubles
During pregnancy, women can have all kinds of digestion issues that can cause some angst. The hormones can cause the process to slow down, which can mean that women experience embarrassing bouts of gas and burping. But it can get even worse.
One of the worst problems can be constipation. That can be painful and it can exacerbate hemorrhoids, which can also be common during pregnancy. While doctors likely won't recommend any meds, they can make suggestions for foods and natural remedies that can provide some relief, but only if moms remember to bring their bathroom issues up at their appointments.
7 Exercise Issues
Doctors encourage moms-to-be to do all that they can to be healthy, including engaging in light to moderate exercise. But there are times when exercise can be a problem, and moms need to alert their doctors if they encounter any issues.
It's normal for a pregnant woman to lose her breath a little quicker when going up stairs or something similar, and lightheadedness can happen. But moms should definitely slow down if they aren't feeling well during exercise, especially since a fall can be dangerous to the baby.
Doctors usually allow women who were exercising before pregnancy to continue their routine, but it's better to be safe than sorry and mention any concerns to the doctor.
6 Discuss Mom's Mental Health
A lot of women understand the problems with meds during pregnancy, so some try to get off of all of their meds before they conceive. That might sound OK, but the doctor needs to know about any mental health issues since it can be just as bad to skip the meds when mom needs them.
While moms might expect depression or anxiety after the birth, some women suffer from those issues during their pregnancy because of the hormonal changes during those nine months and beyond.
The doctor can help the mom — which in turn helps the baby — so she shouldn't forget to bring up her mental concerns during the appointment.
5 I Get Frequent Migraines
There are all kinds of ailments that can be a problem for a mom-to-be, and headaches can be pretty common.
There are times when it can get extreme. Some women who have never had a migraine before can experience their first when they are pregnant — and those that have them before might get them more often.
Pregnant women have a higher concentration of blood in the body, which means that their blood flow could impact things like headaches. The doctor can help women learn about natural remedies, such as turning out the lights and avoiding triggers. Moms with migraine can do many things to find relief, so talking to the doctor is the best idea out there.
4 I Can't Keep Anything Down
Lots of women suffer from morning sickness during pregnancy. It's practically a cliche, so many women just try to power their way through that first trimester. While medications aren't always safe, there are some things that a doctor can recommend that might make the situation a lot better.
It's OK for a mom to lose a few pounds in her first trimester, but some women end up dehydrated because of morning sickness. That can put the health of the mom and the fetus at risk, so it's important to mention any huge issues with the doctor right away. There's no need to deal with severe morning sickness, so speak up.
3 My Cousin Has A Genetic Condition
Family history can be really helpful for a doctor who is providing care for an expectant mom. A lot of conditions can run in families, so doctors will ask about parents and grandparents and many moms answer as truthfully as they can.
But there are times when a woman can think back and remember an issue of a distant cousin or a baby that didn't make it long ago. Sometimes a family reunion or event serves as a reminder after that initial doctor's visit. The mom needs to remember to call up her OB's office to let them know of anything in the family history so they can be aware.
2 Bad Habits Die Hard
There are some bad habits that can be problematic for a developing embryo in the first trimester. Many women know all the things that are bad for their own health as well as the baby, and so there might be some embarrassment in talking about it to the doctor.
But bad habits can be hard to quit, and the doctor can help in those situations. Even if a mom quits her habits as soon as she learns she is pregnant, there might have been an impact on the baby. It's important for doctors to know about what happened so that they can monitor the baby more closely and provide the best treatment possible.
1 My Medical History Is Complicated
When most moms-to-be go to the doctor to check up on their pregnancy, they mostly think about their current status of health. But anything from their past medical history could be relevant, so they need to remember to tell the doctor any big issues that have ever been a part of their life.
Any past pregnancies should be discussed. Even medical problems that haven't been prominent for a while, such as kidney stones, might be relevant.
Information can help doctors provide the best treatment, so it's always best to remember to tell them as much about your medical history as possible.