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Healthier Mothers + Healthier Babies
Depending on your unique situation, you may have many different questions for your doctor. Here are our top 10 questions all women should ask at their first prenatal visit:
- Are there changes I should make to my diet? Throughout your pregnancy, try to consume a wide variety of foods, including lean meats, whole grains, fruits, vegetables and unsaturated fats. Many women also take prenatal vitamins. Talk to your doctor about specific dietary recommendations.
- What foods should I avoid during pregnancy? Pregnant women should avoid raw or undercooked seafood such as sushi. Avoid unwashed fruits or vegetables to reduce your risk of congenital toxoplasmosis. Your doctor will look at your diet and help you avoid other foods that may harm your baby.
- How much weight should I expect to gain during my pregnancy? Healthy weight gain ranges depend on your pre-pregnancy BMI. Your doctor will help you establish healthy weight gain goals.
- How much should I be exercising? Regular exercise can reduce or prevent back pain, prevent excessive weight gain, and reduce the risk of gestational diabetes and high blood pressure. However, pregnant women should avoid activities with a high risk of falling or abdominal trauma, exercise at high altitudes, and scuba diving. Ask your doctor if you have questions about specific activities.
- Can I travel during my pregnancy? Many pregnant women drive throughout their pregnancies. Many women also fly until late in their pregnancies, and most airlines allow travel up to 37 weeks gestation. Talk to your doctor about safety measures to take when traveling.
- Will I be able to work throughout my pregnancy? Although you may need certain adjustments to your work style, in general, women can plan to work throughout a pregnancy. Talk to your doctor about strategies to stay comfortable at work, and what to do if you need special accommodations.
- Can I continue taking my current medications? Few medications have been approved to be used during pregnancy. However, certain medications have not been shown to increase the risk of birth defects or adverse pregnancy outcomes when taken as directed. Before you take any medication during pregnancy, it’s important to weigh the severity of your symptoms against the possible risks to your baby. Ask your doctor for more information about specific medications.
- When will my next appointment be? For an uncomplicated pregnancy, women should plan to see their provider every 4 weeks through 28 weeks, every 2 weeks between 28 and 36 weeks, and weekly from 36 weeks to delivery. Your doctor may wish to see you more frequently if you have a high-risk pregnancy. Talk to your doctor about a plan for your prenatal care during this first appointment.
- Do you recommend any type of prenatal screening or testing? Depending on factors like your family medical history and your ethnic background, your doctor may recommend prenatal screening or testing. The decision to pursue prenatal screening or testing is personal, and there is no one right path. Your doctor will help you make an informed decision that is right for you.
- Do you recommend any prenatal classes? To prepare for delivery, you may also want to take a prenatal class. There are many different options for delivery, so you’ll want to choose a class that fits your needs. Ask your doctor about finding the right class for you.
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