Pregnancy is a time of constant change and the endless stream of new information can feel overwhelming. That’s why it's important to speak up and make sure your questions and concerns are heard and understood, especially during critical moments like doctor’s appointments.
Here is a list of questions you may want to ask your doctor when talking with them about your pregnancy and some general advice offered by MSV Doula and Birthing Expert, Laronda Castine.*
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Questions to ask:
Should I be taking prenatal vitamins? Why?
With the countless different brands of prenatal vitamins and wide range of ingredients, it’s hard to know what to choose. It’s best to talk with your doctor about what vitamins are right for you. Your doctor may recommend prenatal vitamins that provide key nutrients like folic acid and iron, which you may be lacking even if you eat a healthy diet.
What activities or food should I avoid?
The pregnancy diet is a topic often debated online and it's easy to get lost with all the information out there. That's why it's important to talk through what you normally eat with your doctor and get their firsthand medical advice on what to leave out of your daily routine. Your doctor may recommend avoiding raw meat, shellfish and eggs and keeping away from smoking or secondhand smoke.
How much weight should I expect to gain?
The most important thing during your pregnancy is to eat a healthy, well-rounded diet. That will ensure that you gain the weight needed to support your child. Learn more about weight guidelines from the American Pregnancy Association.
Is it safe to have sex during pregnancy?
“You may not be able to get pregnant during your pregnancy, but you still need protection from STIs if your relationship is not monogamous,” says Laronda Castine. Talk to your doctor about your specific situation.
Are my symptoms normal? When should I call a doctor or go to the hospital?
In your regular doctor visits, feel free to bring up any symptoms that worry you. Ask if these are normal parts of pregnancy or if you should act. Know who to call or where to go when you experience something that worries you.
Does my current work or school environment pose any risks?
Tell your doctor about your current work or school situation and describe the regular tasks you perform. This is also something to go over with your boss or the HR department.
What over the counter or prescription medication is safe for me to use while pregnant?
Whether you get allergies or currently treat depression with medication, taking care of yourself is especially important when pregnant. Tell your doctor about any prescription medication you are on and ask what over-the-counter painkillers and common pills are safe during pregnancy. Consult your doctor before starting any new prescriptions.
Am I at high-risk for any complications during pregnancy, because of my current state of health or health history? Should I be screened for anything?
Go through your medical history with your doctor and ask about anything that worries you, is there something you think will affect the pregnancy or the child? Address those concerns.
What do I do when my water breaks?
Contact your physician immediately.
Who will be delivering my baby?
“Your doctor will mostly likely delivery your baby. If your doctor is not available, the on-call midwife or OB GYN will be available for your delivery,” said Laronda Castine.
Where will I have my baby?
“You have an option of where you would like to deliver. Your doctor will go over these options with you,” said Laronda.
How much will the delivery cost?
“It depends on the hospital of delivery, the services rendered and your insurance company,” said Laronda. Consult your doctor about your healthcare plan and hospital location.
Will I have to have a C-section? How does a C-section work?
“A C-section will be performed if certain complications occur during the delivery,” said Laronda Castine. A C-section, or cesarean birth, is a surgery that may be needed to protect the health of your baby if any complications arise. Ask your doctor about the specifics of the surgery.
Marillac St. Vincent offers a comprehensive program for pregnant and parenting teens and young women ages 21-25, called Project Hope.
Project Hope works to empower teens and young women to work towards self-sufficiency, care for their child, and build a positive future for their family. The program includes prenatal and parent groups, home visits, doula birthing services, and more.
*Disclaimer: This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.