9 Questions To Ask At First Prenatal Visit To Have A Healthy Pregnancy

Questions To Ask At First Prenatal Visit

After taking an at-home pregnancy test, many women anticipate their first prenatal appointment with excitement, anxiety, and confusion. 

Prenatal appointments are a great time to ask your doctor any questions you may have about your pregnancy symptoms, health, and your baby. 

But knowing where to start with your questions and what to ask your doctor can be overwhelming.

In this article, we’ll talk about that first prenatal appointment. We’ll discuss what your doctor may bring up and questions to ask at first prenatal visit.

If you’re a first-time mom or pregnant but haven’t had a baby in several years, you may feel like you don’t know what to expect or ask.

Even if you’ve had a baby recently, you still may need some help with question suggestions for your first visit to your doctor for this pregnancy. You may find helpful information in this article.

When to schedule first prenatal visit

The rule of thumb is to call your doctor, specifically your obstetrician/gynecologist, as soon as possible after taking a pregnancy test and the result is positive. 

They will ask you questions when you make that call to determine when to schedule your first prenatal appointment.

1. When was your last menstrual period?

The last time you had your period and when you took the at-home test is the information you’ll be asked for over the phone when you call your doctor. 

The doctor’s office will ask for these details to determine when your estimated due date might be.

Doctors can ascertain when you may have conceived based on this date and then set you an appointment for anywhere from six to ten weeks of gestation.

2. Were you on birth control?

This question is sometimes asked when you call to schedule your first appointment. 

It’s an important question because if you have an IUD or any implantation device acting as birth control, your doctor needs to know about it as soon as possible. If you do, you may end up with an earlier appointment.

If you have been using birth control pills, you will be told to stop taking them for obvious reasons.

3. Have you started taking prenatal vitamins daily?

Sometimes you’ll be told over the phone before your first prenatal visit that you must take prenatal vitamins with folic acid and iron daily. These can be purchased over-the-counter in most pharmacies.

Questions To Ask At First Prenatal Visit

Prepare for your first prenatal visit

Every pregnancy is different, whether this is your first or your tenth baby. 

Ask any woman who has had multiple babies. Every time you get pregnant, the experience will be a bit different.

So before you go to the doctor, prepare yourself so that your concerns will be addressed.

1. Make a list

Many women find that they have formed questions in their heads, and when they get into that exam room and the appointment takes place, every question they had memorized flies right out the window, and they can’t think of a single thing to ask.

This is typical. You’ll be excited and nervous, and your mind is on a healthy pregnancy and keeping your baby healthy.

As such, some women make a list, which is a great way to ensure that they don’t forget anything. 

It is a great idea to jot down a list of questions you may have on a piece of paper or your phone. 

This way, you can look at your list for reference if you experience a bit of brain fog and can’t remember what you wanted to ask about.

2. Bring someone with you

You are usually allowed to have someone in the exam room with you. Most people choose to have their spouse or partner in the room, but that isn’t always possible. 

Your partner may have to work and can’t get the time off, or maybe you’ll be a single parent.

The person you invite with you into the exam room does not have to be the other parent. It can be a friend, a relative, or even a trusted coworker. 

It’s always a good idea to have someone with you. This way, they can help to remember the answers to your questions. 

An extra set of ears is never a bad thing.

Questions to ask at first prenatal visit

So you’ve called the doctor, made the appointment, and answered their phone questions. Now it’s your turn to ask some questions. 

This is your chance to ask anything that you may be curious about or raise your concerns. 

There is no such thing as a stupid question, and if you feel silly about something you want to ask, know that these professionals have heard it all.  There’s no need to feel a bit silly. They only want what is best for you and your baby.

Feel free to ask the following questions at your first prenatal visit.

1. How much weight should I gain, and how quickly?

Some women take that “eating for two” saying to heart and end up eating double portions and trying to gain a lot of weight fast. 

While you are supposed to gain weight, a lot of weight gain too quickly can result in complications like high blood pressure, elevated blood sugar levels, and heart problems. 

Make sure you ask how fast you are supposed to gain weight and how much weight gain is expected.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecology suggests that a woman whose weight is considered normal before pregnancy gain 25 pounds or so throughout pregnancy. However, your health may call for some adjustment to this number.

2. How often are prenatal appointments?

The frequency of your appointments will increase as you progress in the pregnancy. Make sure you ask how often they’ll want to see you.

Usually, for a pregnancy that is not high-risk, you’ll be seen every four weeks for the first trimester until part of the second trimester.

Around the end of the second trimester, you need to see your doctor every two weeks until the middle of the third trimester.

By the time you’re in the middle of the third trimester, you’ll be checked weekly until you give birth.

Be sure to find out how often your particular doctor wants to see you throughout the pregnancy.

3. Can I take prescription medications?

Some prescription meds can cause health complications and congenital disabilities. 

Make sure that you not only share your medication history but your personal medical history, your family medical history, and any other risk factors that may come with you into the pregnancy.

4. When do you test for gestational diabetes?

Your medical history, blood sugar, prenatal testing, and other factors will determine whether or not gestational diabetes may be a real risk to you. Nearly all obstetricians will order tests for this, but be sure to ask how the test is administered, where and when it is administered, and what they do about it if you fail it.

5. Do you respect and utilize the patient’s birth plan?

A birth plan is a document filled out by moms-to-be that lets the medical staff know how you’d like to deliver your baby. 

You can ask about them early in the pregnancy, and if your plan is important to you, ask your doctor how respectful they are of it.

All doctors will do whatever is necessary for a medical emergency or if the baby’s heartbeat is in distress during labor. 

Still, in most typical cases, you should be heard. For example, if you want a natural birth, make sure you have chosen a doctor who will respect that.

6. What prenatal screenings do you advise?

Some doctors are more laid back and choose to let nature take its course unless there is a suspected issue. Other doctors may push for screenings for your baby. 

Find out which one yours is. Be sure to ask your doctor why any tests are needed, what they mean, and if it’s necessary.

7. What is postpartum depression?

Pregnant women can experience many symptoms of what is known after delivery as postpartum depression. Understanding what it is, how it is treated, and how to recognize it will give you the information you need to look for it after delivery.

8. Does your facility offer any prenatal classes?

Prenatal classes benefit new moms and moms who’ve had babies multiple times. Processes and norms constantly change regarding what’s safe and recommended for little ones. 

It’s best to be on the same page as everyone else.

9. Do you only attend to uncomplicated pregnancies, or do you also do high risk?

Things can happen, and appointments can run late in any pregnancy.

However, a doctor who oversees high-risk women may sometimes be late for appointments, unavailable for regular check-ups, or quick to get you through your appointment if you have no issues.

Questions To Ask At First Prenatal Visit

Other questions to ask

You may want to bring up many questions about your pregnancy at your first appointment. 

The following are some more questions you may want to ask when you see your doctor for your first appointment.

  • Do you do any genetic testing for fetal abnormalities? If so, when?
  • What sort of prenatal care should I expect to receive?
  • Are there any special prenatal care instructions I should follow in my home or work environment?
  • What if I don’t know my family history?
  • What lifestyle changes do I need to make to ensure a healthy pregnancy?
  • When should I tell my work safety manager I’m pregnant?
  • What can I do about morning sickness?
  • When did you deliver your first child?
  • Do most doctors deliver their patients’ babies, or is it whoever is the attending physician at the hospital?
  • How long have you been an ob/GYN?
  • When is my next appointment?
  • When will I meet the delivery care team at the hospital?
  • What other foods aside from my usual diet should I start to eat?
  • Is it a big deal if I drank some wine the weekend before I found out I was pregnant?
  • Are there any unsafe beauty products I should avoid?
  • How much exercise should I get?
  • Is staying active that important? How low impact does exercise during pregnancy need to be?
  • Is there such a thing as too much exercise?
  • Can I elect to have a c-section?

Your first appointment

There are nearly 4 million babies born each year in the US alone. 

Just like all of those women, your well-being throughout your pregnancy matters. Asking your questions means that you are in charge and control of your health and your pregnancy, and it may help to quell any insecurities or anxiety you may have.

Having a written list is a great help, as is having someone with you as a support person. 

Ask what you deem to be the most important questions first so that you are sure to get answers for what you most want to know. 

Uncertainty is expected in a pregnancy, but it takes some fear away when you ask questions.

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