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Pregnancy: Questions for Your Doctor

Your doctor is an important ally in a healthy pregnancy. As soon as you know you're pregnant, make an appointment with your healthcare provider to begin your prenatal care. Regular visits with your doctor will help you have a trouble-free pregnancy and a healthy baby.

Take a list of questions with you to get the most out of your doctor's appointment. If possible, take a partner or friend along, too, to help you take notes. That way you'll be sure to get answers to all your questions.

Here are some you might want to include on your list:

1. What can I do to help my baby be healthy?

2. Do I need to take vitamins?

3. Are there specific vitamins that are necessary while I'm pregnant?

4. How much weight should I gain during pregnancy?

5. Is it safe to exercise while I'm pregnant? Are there any exercises I should avoid?

6. What about diet? Are there any foods that I should be sure to include or avoid?

7. Do I have to drink a lot of milk or otherwise consume a lot of calcium?

8. Do I need to be careful when I have sex?

9. Which over-the-counter medications are okay to take? Which prescriptions medications?

10. How often will I need to schedule doctor visits?

11. Should I cut out all alcohol?

12. Are there any precautions I should take around household pets?

13. How should I expect to feel during the first few months?

14. What are signs that I should call the doctor?

15. Are there any particular risks associated with my age?

16. Should I stop smoking?

17. Is secondhand smoke bad for my baby?

Questions Your Doctor May Ask You

1. Have you been pregnant before? If so, what was that like for you?

2. When was the first day of your last menstrual cycle?

3. How is your general health?

4. What medications, both prescription and over-the counter, do you take?

5. What vitamins or supplements do you currently take?

6. Do you smoke?

7. Do you use any recreational drugs?

8. How much alcohol do you normally drink per week?

9. Do you exercise regularly?

10. Do you have any dietary restrictions?

11. Do you have a family history of twins or premature birth?

12. Are there any diseases that tend to run in your family, like sickle cell anemia, cystic fibrosis, Down syndrome, or hemophilia?

13. Have you or your partner ever had any sexually transmitted diseases?

References

The Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide. Pregnancy: 1st Trimester Questions to Discuss With Your Doctor. http://www.health.harvard.edu/fhg/doctor/preg1.shtml

Medicines in Pregnancy. Virtual Hospital. Department of Nursing: Children's and Women's Services: OB/GYN Patient Education Committee. http://vh.org/adult/patient/obgyn/medicinespregnancy

Expectant Mother's Guide. Pregnancy Questions and Answers. http://www.expectantmothersguide.com/library/philadelphia/EPHquestions.htm

Your Top 10 Pregnancy Questions. Parenting.com http://www.parenting.com/parenting/article/article_general/0,8266,857,00.html

Common Concerns and Exposures. Center for the Evaluation of Risks to Human Reproduction. http:/cerhr.niehs.nih.gov/genpub/topics/caffeine-ccae.html

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