Nothing about becoming a mother has a handbook. There is no manual when it comes to trying to have a baby, and it is different for each individual woman. Some women seem to become pregnant pretty quickly, while it can take a while for others. Once a woman does see those two pink lines, it is a whole new ball game.
There is also no handbook or manual when it comes to being pregnant. Some may argue that the world has become so advanced that there is nothing that can't be found out on the internet. While that may be true, the problem is there is always conflicting information. It can be more than enough to confuse anyone who has just found out they are expecting.
With all of these problems, there is only one clear solution. The doctor should be an expectant woman’s best friend, and the person they call if they have any questions or concerns. Prenatal care is so important for a woman when she is pregnant, and her OBGYN is there to answer all the questions she has. The problem is, there are so many things to ask. How does a woman know where to start?
Well, we have come up with the top 20 most essential questions moms should be asking your OBGYN.
20 What Medications Can I Take?
One of the biggest problems when a woman falls pregnant is that life doesn’t stop. The days keep going and mom is still vulnerable to a lot of the common colds and flus. Possible even more so, as a pregnant woman’s immune system is a lot slower when she is expecting. It is always a good idea to ask your OBGYN what medications you can or can not take when pregnant.
Don’t wait until you need them to ask, ask right away. A lot of doctor’s have printed out forms that women can take with them that lists all the medications they can take. There are even pregnancy-related issues that mom may need. Heartburn, headaches and nausea are all a normal part of pregnancy, so it is important to know how to treat these concerns.
19 Is This Cramping Normal?
Sometimes it is important to ask questions before you need too. It can save a lot of worry and anxiety if that moment should come. At one of her first appointments, a woman should ask her doctor if it is normal to expect some cramping and spotting. A lot of OBGYN’s won’t willingly give a lot of information, they wait until they are asked, so if you don’t ask you may not be prepared.
Chances are, mild cramping and light bleeding can be quite normal in early pregnancy. The good thing about asking the OBGYN about this, is because they can guide you on what is considered normal, and what needs to be checked out.
18 How Much Of A Change Is Normal?
There are a lot of women who struggle with body image when they find out they are pregnant. They are ecstatic and excited about this coming baby, but they worry about the changes that come with pregnancy. It is almost impossible to go through pregnancy without gaining any weight, you need too in order to grow a healthy baby. However, there is normally a limit that doctors like you to stay within.
It is always a good idea to ask your OBGYN about how much weight you should ideally gain throughout your pregnancy. Chances are the answer will depend on your pre-pregnancy weight and lifestyle. It is always a good idea to have this conversation with your doctor and discuss how you can maintain the ‘ideal’ weight.
17 Can I Stay Fit?
If we can piggy-back off the entry of weight gain during pregnancy, another good question to ask your OBGYN is what kind of exercises you should (or can) do while you are expecting. Keeping fit and active during a pregnancy is great for both mom and baby. If you are normally an active person, there are normally no restrictions when it comes to pregnancy fitness.
If you are not an active person but want to do something to try and curb the weight gain, this is when you want to have the discussion with your OBGYN. They will let you know what is safe for you and the baby and their advice will probably be to take it slow.
16 Do I Need Vaccines?
Vaccinations are always a hot topic, it seems like you can’t be on your social media for 10 minutes without seeing a heated conversation about vaccinations. It isn’t always aimed at babies either, a lot of pregnant women worry about vaccines when they are pregnant. We all know that what goes into our bodies effects our growing baby and it is easy to get scared.
It is best to relay all vaccine concerns and questions to your OBGYN and not the internet. The influenza and TDAP vaccine are the two that are recommended for women who are expecting. Go over the vaccine and the pros and cons with your doctor for the best advice.
15 Can I Bring In The Money?
This is a question that a lot of women don’t think to ask their doctor, and that is how long they can work for. This sounds like it would be a simple question, but it can actually be quite loaded. A lot of it will depend on what kind of work a woman does. If it is office work, that doesn’t require a lot of standing, walking and lifting, there should be no reason why a woman can’t work up until her due date.
If a woman does work an active job that requires a lot of lifting, or a job that requires mom to be around a lot of chemicals, the answer may be a bit different. It is important to bring it up to the OBGYN and have a conversation about what is safe and when she will need to place some limits on herself.
14 Birth Plan Plans
When a woman first finds out they are pregnant, one of the last things on their minds is childbirth. They know it’s coming, but they choose to push it to the back of their mind for just a little bit longer. Even if mom is not thinking of it yet, there is no reason to start thinking about your birth plan. Birth plans can change, and even when they are final they can change as childbirth almost never goes the way you think it will.
It is a good idea to talk to your OBGYN and ask them about some things you should have on your birth plan. Or, at the very list, what should be on your research list. Your doctor can help give you an idea of what goes on during childbirth, and this is incredibly helpful if this is your first pregnancy.
13 What To Expect?
As a pregnancy progresses, there is one thought that will always enter mom’s mind, and that is how will childbirth be like? Every woman realizes that the baby needs to come out eventually, and they are not getting any smaller. This can cause a lot of fear and apprehension; even more experienced mom’s have this fear about giving birth again.
The best way to calm any fear is to ask questions and educate yourself about what you are getting into. That is what your OBGYN is for, they are there for you to ask questions too and they may be able to calm your fears a little. So, ask them what to expect during childbirth!
12 Who Will Deliver My Baby?
Another really good labour and delivery question to ask your OBGYN is who is going to be delivering your baby. It is not always a given that your OBGYN will be the one there to help deliver your baby, and this will depend on the individual practice. It is better to ask now and prevent any surprises on the day. It all comes down to being prepared and knowing what to expect.
A lot of OBGYN’s work as part of a team, and they all rotate on-call shifts at the hospital. This means that dependant on when you go into labour, your delivering OBGYN may not be the doctor you have been seeing your whole pregnancy. If this is important to you, it is important to ask this when you are searching for an OBGYN.
11 Will I Need A C-Section?
There are only two possible ways your baby can come into this world, either through vaginal birth or C-section. At the end of the day, it really doesn’t matter how the baby comes out you are still a mother. The safety of the mom and baby is what is really important. Still, a lot of women fear the thought of a C-section, they know it is major surgery and they are wary of the recovery time.
It is always a good idea to ask your OBGYN what the likelihood is that you will need a C-section to deliver your baby. Their answer will depend on a lot of things, and they may not be able to give you a set and definite answer. They can however lead you through what makes the risk higher and how to keep it low.
10 Breastfeeding Supports?
OBGYN’s know a lot more than just about pregnancy and childbirth, and it is important to really take advantage of the resources they have to offer. When it comes to getting through a pregnancy and getting ready to welcome a baby, mom will want to think about a lot of things. Mom may want to start researching and thinking about how she wants to feed her baby.
If mom is planning on breastfeeding, she should bring this up to her OBGYN. Ask your doctor what kind of supports there are out there for you when you deliver. Lactation specialists can make a big difference and can be the one person who can help mom have a successful breastfeeding journey.
9 What Is Off-Limits In The Bedroom?
Now is not the time to be shy with your doctor, no question is off-limits, and they should make you feel very comfortable with asking them anything. A lot of couples have some worries about being intimate when a baby is on the way, and the best person to ask is your OBGYN. Chances are if mom has no complications there is nothing that is not OK to continue to do.
As the pregnancy progresses and mom’s abdomen grows, it may become quite uncomfortable to remain intimate with your spouse. Ask these questions too. Ask your OBGYN what you can do to make it more comfortable and easier, and you shouldn’t feel embarrassed, you will not be the first woman to ask them these questions and you won’t be the last.
8 Is Genetic Testing Necessary?
There are a lot of procedures and tests that a woman has to go through when she becomes pregnant, so it is understandable that she would want to avoid any and all tests that are not mandatory. It is a good idea to ask your OBGYN about genetic testing. There are first trimester tests that can be done that will let mom know if there is a higher chance of her little one having a genetic disorder.
It is important to talk to your doctor about all the pros and cons of these tests and if he thinks they are necessary for you. Some women are more at risk and the tests are encouraged, such as women of older age who get pregnant.
7 How Much Stress Is Too Much?
Like I mentioned earlier, life doesn’t stop for a woman once she finds out she is expecting. She is still vulnerable to all the hardships of life, and a big part of her life may include some stress. Whether it be stress due to workplace environment or personal family and home concerns, she may start to worry about all this stress effecting the baby.
It is a good idea to have this conversation with your OBGYN and ask them if there is such a thing as too much stress for mom. Most likely, their answer will be that mild to moderated everyday stress is unlikely to have any impact on the growing baby. Mom may want to watch out for large triggers and ask her OBGYN ways she can cope and battle the stressful times.
The lovely coffee, it is something that keeps a lot of women going. If a woman has other children at home, and she finds out she is pregnant, then she may be heartbroken at the thought of giving up her coffee. It is important to ask your OBGYN about the amount of coffee you can have and if it is safe.
The general rule of thumb is 200 milligrams a day is completely fine and safe when pregnant. This is about 2 cups of coffee. However, your OBGYN will probably warn you to keep an eye out for other foods that have caffeine in them as well. Tea, Soda and chocolate all have caffeine in them, so they must also be taken into consideration.
5 What Can I Eat?
It goes without saying that all women know that what they put in their body is going to have an affect on their growing baby. Women are encouraged to eat healthy and drink lots of water, but every pregnant woman also knows that we get some pretty intense cravings. This may make us wonder if we can indulge in our cravings or if we have to wait.
Ask your OBGYN! Have a conversation with them when you find out you are pregnant to get an idea of what you can or can not eat. They will probably have some brochures of print outs that you can take home with you to reference when you are questioning whether to indulge in a craving or not.
4 When Should I Call You?
While we understand that our OBGYN’s are there for us, and they are the person we should be asking all of our questions too, we don’t want to bother them. There are a lot of reasons for a woman to get nervous or scared when they are pregnant. They feel a weird ache or pain and they immediately want to call their doctor to make sure it is normal.
However, we don’t want to call them too much or be one of those “annoying” patients. Have this conversation with your OBGYN and ask them when something would deem a phone call. Chances are, they will tell you to call if you have any concerns and that they really don’t mind. If they do, you may want to find a new doctor.
3 Can I Go On A Babymoon?
A new trend we are seeing pop up more and more is women who are choosing to go on a babymoon. A babymoon, much like its partner a honeymoon, is a last-chance vacation for mom and dad before the baby comes. Baby’s take up a lot of energy and time, and there is not usually much travelling or relaxation once they arrive, so it is nice to get away for just a little bit.
It is important to ask your OBGYN about any babymoon plans. There is no real issue with women going on these trips, but your doctor will likely advise you on when the best time to go is. Ask your doctor when you can fly and when you need to stay grounded.
2 Can I Go To The Spa?
Mom-to-be needs to get all the special treatment she can handle before the baby comes. During the end of pregnancy, chances are mom is tired, achy and in desperate need of a spa day. It is important to ask your OBGYN if going to a spa is OK and what mom should avoid.
If mom wants a massage, she is going to be sent for a prenatal massage, which is safe for the baby. When it comes down to any treatments, your doctor is going to want to have a discussion with you about any possible chemicals or oils that are used during. Some of these things that are often used at a spa day can seep into the skin and may be an issue. It is always better to be safe than sorry!
1 How Do I Sleep?
It seems like such a cruel joke. In the third trimester, when mom needs all the sleep she can get, is when it is the hardest. Mom is always getting up to go to the bathroom, and she can not find a comfortable position to lay in. It seems like she is tossing and turning all night long.
Ask your OBGYN about sleep during pregnancy. They want you to get as much rest as possible, because it is good for a growing baby, so they will likely have some tips and tricks for mom on how she can get the best night sleep. Of course, they may also say that this is just nature’s way of getting mom used to the weird sleep patterns with a newborn.