Pregnancy is one of the best feelings for an individual or a couple. With the emotional rush, come huge responsibilities. At this stage, intense care and consciousness are required to keep both the mother and the baby healthy. It is required to consult OB/GYN doctors during the next 280 days to ensure the good health of the fetus.
During these nine months, the mother should follow the instructions of her doctor and adopt specific food, sleep cycle, activities, and other things that are required for a healthy pregnancy. There are several questions that arise in the pregnant mom’s mind that need to be discussed with the doctor. Here is a list of 12 questions that one needs to ask during the prenatal visits to ensure the safety and health of self and the baby. It is very important to consult a doctor before doing anything that may risk life or may cause a shock to the baby.
1. How frequently should one visit the Doctor?
This entirely depends on the health of the mother. If the mother is in good condition and the baby grows normally then the number of visits will be limited. But if there is any case of risk, unhealthy growth, or weak mother then the visits will be more frequent. To some extent, this depends on the trimester, for example in the first and second trimester the visits are for a routine check-up and some tests. But in the third trimester, there can be false pain, labor pain, and certain emergencies so it is more important to keep visiting the OB/GYN.
2. Which Foods are Important and which ones to avoid?
The appetite changes during the 9 months of pregnancy. There can be cravings at any point in time, so it is important to know your food. The pregnancy diet should include healthy and nutritious food. An adequate amount of water, protein, vitamins, minerals, and carbohydrates should be there in the diet.
Ask your doctor if you need to eat any specific type of veggies or fruits that are required by your body. Now the things that you should avoid are smoking alcohol, raw meat or fish, unpasteurized milk or juice, and also the things you are allergic to. Food is unique for all so it is very important to ask for a proper diet from your doctor.
3. Which good-to-go Medicines can you have?
Generally, we take certain medicines without a doctor’s consultation for some common problems like headache, fever, diarrhoea, nausea, heartburn, common cold, and body ache. But during the pregnancy, it is important to ask your doctors about these generic medicines to make sure if you can consume them or not.
Medicines that are good for you may not be safe for the baby so before taking any medicine, tonic, spray, or injections it is necessary to consult with your doctor. Make sure to collect a list of recommended medicines from your OB/GYN.
4. How much weight Gain is required?
The weight that is to be gained during the pregnancy is determined by the pre-pregnancy body mass index calculated by the weight and height. For each trimester there should be a specific weight gain for a healthy baby.
The doctors usually give the range of weight that is to be achieved during each trimester. It varies for single, twin, triplets and the number of babies that the mother is going to give birth to. Gaining weight during pregnancy may be a reason of concern for many women but it is okay to discuss it with the doctor.
5. Which Exercises can be done during Pregnancy?
Staying fit and active during the pregnancy is good for the mother and the baby. It helps to prevent anxiety, water retention, mood swings and helps to develop proper pelvic muscles and blood circulation. Yoga, walking, swimming, and other activities are safe but again the doctor should be consulted first.
Exercise that may lead to dehydration is strictly avoided. Extra care should be taken while doing any exercise. If the mother was previously involved in regular physical activity, then the doctor is to be consulted to continue the same. Without any expert supervision or guidance, physical activities should be avoided.
6. How long can you continue with your job?
If the mother is a part of any job then the doctor should be informed about it. Depending on the type of work it can be determined for how long the mother can keep going for office. For suppose if the work involves a lot of travelling or stress then it is recommended to take a maternal leave from the mid of the second trimester. It will reduce any type of risk factors for the baby and the mother.
In case of ‘Work from Home’, the mother should take leave from the third trimester and get involved in light activities that will keep the mother happy and stress-free. This is important for the better development of the baby. Also, it helps to avoid labor stress and emotional rush.
7. Is it ok to follow specific Beauty Regimes? Should you do something for the Stretch Marks?
It is perfectly fine if you do any particular skin or beauty care regime but if you are on a prescribed routine that includes a lot of synthetic products or tablets or maybe extra vitamins then should consult your doctor when you are expecting. There are some cosmetics with a disclaimer that says no to pregnant women so make sure to check the products before using them.
Now coming to stretch marks, many women find it difficult to get rid of the marks even after months from delivery. You can always discuss these things with your doctor so that you can take up a routine that can help you to prevent or reduce stretch marks. There are also Stretch Marks Creams and Oils available which can help reduce Stretch Marks.
8. Which Vaccines are to be taken which one to avoid?
Not every vaccine is safe for the mother and the fetus so it is important to consult with your doctor about your vaccinations. Adult Tdap is one of the vaccinations that are suggested for every pregnant mother. This vaccine helps to provide immunity to the baby inside, other vaccines such as influenza are safe during pregnancy. The COVID-19 vaccinations are also safe for pregnant women for breastfeeding mothers.
9. What is the Expected Date of Delivery and what may happen during the Labor?
By the help of various tests and reports, including the growth of the baby is useful for determining the date of delivery. So discuss with your doctor when you are expecting a delivery. This will keep the mother conscious of any sort of emergency.
While for some mothers labor is not painful, but many women suffer from intense labor pain. You can ask for a pain management plan for every stage of your pregnancy to keep yourself safe and healthy.
10. Which are the normal and emergency conditions during the Prenatal Phase?
For every trimester the symptoms are different and so you should keep a track of all the symptoms and visit the doctor if you find something wrong. Make sure to know about all the emergencies that may arise during all three trimesters.
Visit the doctor immediately in case of any urgent condition to avoid any delay and damage. The third trimester involves a lot of pelvic contractions, false labor and other normal conditions. But you must remember to consult your doctor at every change of phase.
11. Is there a need for a C-section?
It is observed that one out of three women goes for cesarean delivery instead of normal delivery. If you are looking for a natural delivery then you will have to do all the check-ups to know if it is good for you and your baby. There are many cases where normal deliveries are avoided for example when – the due date expires, premature baby, the baby is above-average growth, previous cesarean history, complications, and life risk, etc.
12. What to do regarding breastfeeding?
Breast milk is important for the baby, but it is not very easy to feed. Mothers who don’t produce the milk should look for other support and ask the doctor what will be the right thing to do to feed the baby. Those who are going to breastfeed should talk to the doctors about the feeding routine, breast pumps, and the other supports that are to be considered in the hospitals and back at home.
It is a good practice to take every consultation from the OB/GYN especially during the first pregnancy when the experience is all new. This helps to reduce any kind of complications and risks and also keeps both the mother and the baby healthy. So one may discuss anything and everything with the doctor. There are plenty of other questions that can be asked to the doctor depending on the situation and the health of the mother and baby.
This article has been written by Gitumani Talukdar and the opinions expressed herein are the author’s own and do not reflect the view of 9HappyMonths. You can contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org