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Questions You Should Ask Your Ob-Gyn at Every Visit

by Katlyn Joy | October 29, 2012 10:14 AM
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Many women have difficulty getting the answers they want at their prenatal visits. For some it's simply a matter of memory; they forgot what they wanted to ask about once inside the exam room. For others, it's a problem speaking out and being bold with an authority figure. Some women may feel rushed and get tongue-tied while at an appointment.

While many questions for your ob-gyn will arise naturally from your visit, such as, "Is it a boy?" at a sonogram or "Did the test come out negative?" after a glucose tolerance test for gestational diabetes, some questions are good routine ones to ask each time you see your doctor.

1. What's my weight? While probably never your favorite question to get answered, this is a measurable factor that you can have direct control over. You need to know if you are gaining the amount of weight recommended for your frame, and if you are gaining at an appropriate rate. Gaining too rapidly can indicate a problem in the pregnancy that may need watched, or it could be that you need to cut back on empty calories or pick up the pace with your fitness schedule.

2. How is my uterus measuring? Not a typical question any other time, it's a key one while pregnant because it gives a snapshot on how the pregnancy is growing quite literally. Too big too soon, your ob-gyn may want to take a look with an ultrasound to rule out twins or more, or to see if you have something else going on like excessive amniotic fluid for instance. Too small and you may need to double check dates, or explore whether you have a family history of smallish babies.

3. How's my blood pressure? You may have low blood pressure your whole life and for some reason, perhaps permanently unknown, you can develop pre-eclampsia. This potentially life-threatening condition may come on rapidly, or can slowly creep up so knowing your numbers and keeping track of any trends of increase is an important tool to prevent any serious complications.

4. What should I be on the look out for between now and my next appointment? Get a heads up on likely symptoms for this stage of pregnancy, find out what red flags to be watching for, and know the policy on when to call for what situations.

5. Are there any activities or foods I should be avoiding now that I'm ______weeks or months pregnant? At some points in pregnancy certain over the counter medications may be taken but later must be avoided. You might be allowed certain physical activities in middle pregnancy that will be off limits early and late in pregnancy.

6. Do you have any concerns about how the pregnancy is progressing? While it is unlikely you'll get a dire and direct answer, you can find out any possible complications that you are being watched for.

7. Do you have any suggestions for things I should be doing, thinking about or planning for? Your doctor may want you to stop your herbal tea and try some relaxation stretches instead or maybe your ob-gyn thinks you ought to be finalizing your birth plan before your next visit. Get the doc's input each visit for ideas of what your "homework" can be.

8. What tests will I be given next and are they optional or required? What are the tests for and how reliable and helpful are they? How are the tests adminstered?

9. Do you still think my due date is correct? Sometimes in a pregnancy the dates will fluctuate a bit, and you'll want to be on top of the d-day date.

10. What are the emergencies that could arise now, and when do I call, and when do I head straight to the ER? Some doctors will have numbers they want their expectant moms to call during office hours, to speak with a special labor and delivery nurse, and others may have an after hours number for pregnant patients. You want to be clear on when to call and what number to call and for what situations.


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