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Questions to ask your doctor about staying healthy during pregnancy

What to ask your doctor about staying healthy during pregnancy; Pregnancy - what to ask your doctor about staying healthy; Healthy pregnancy - what to ask your doctor

You are pregnant and want to know how to have a healthy pregnancy. Below are some questions you may want to ask your doctor for a healthy pregnancy.

Questions

How often should I go for regular check-ups?

  • What should I expect from routine visits?
  • What types of tests may be done during these visits?
  • When should I see a doctor apart from my regular visits?
  • Do I need any vaccines? Are they safe?
  • Is genetic counseling important?

What foods should I eat for a healthy pregnancy?

  • Are there foods I should avoid?
  • How much weight should I gain?
  • Why do I need prenatal vitamins? How would they help?
  • Will taking iron supplements cause any side effects? What can I do to reduce them?

What habits should I avoid while pregnant?

  • Is smoking unsafe for my child and pregnancy?
  • Can I drink alcohol? Is there a safe limit?
  • Can I have caffeine?

Can I exercise during pregnancy?

  • What types of exercise are safe?
  • What exercises should I avoid?

What over-the-counter medicines are safe to take during pregnancy?

  • What medicines should I avoid?
  • Do I need to consult a health care provider before taking any medicine during pregnancy?
  • Can I continue to take my regular medicines during pregnancy?

How long can I continue to work?

  • Are there certain tasks at work I should avoid?
  • Are there any precautions I should take at work while pregnant?

References

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. During Pregnancy. www.cdc.gov/pregnancy/during.html. Updated January 23, 2018. Accessed April 6, 2018.

Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development website. What can I do to promote a health pregnancy? www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/preconceptioncare/conditioninfo/healthy-pregnancy. Updated January 31, 2017. Accessed April 6, 2018.

West EH, Hark L, Catalano PM. Nutrition during pregnancy. In: Gabbe SG, Niebyl JR, Simpson JL, et al, eds. Obstetrics: Normal and Problem Pregnancies. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2017:chap 7.

  • Pregnancy care

    Animation

  •  

    Pregnancy care - Animation

    It's always important to take good care of your health, but never more so than when you're pregnant. You're not only caring for your own body, you're also nurturing and growing a new human being. Let's talk about pregnancy care. During the nine or so months of your pregnancy, you'll see a lot of your ob/gyn. In fact, you should visit your doctor once a month during the first seven months of your pregnancy. Then you should see your doctor once every 2 or 3 weeks until your ninth month, and finally every week until you deliver. You might also see your regular doctor, a nurse midwife, or, if you have any complications, a perinatologist who specializes in high-risk pregnancies. That might sound like a lot of visits, but the goal is to keep a close eye on both you and your growing baby. Your doctor will check your baby's heart rate, and measure how quickly you're gaining weight. You'll likely have at least one ultrasound, where you can actually get to see your baby and find out the gender, unless you want it to be a surprise. Throughout your pregnancy, your doctor will monitor you for any health problems, such as high blood pressure or diabetes. At your regular prenatal visits, your doctor can give you advice about what to eat and how much to exercise. You can also ask about all those weird symptoms you've been having, like morning sickness, food cravings, and the constant urge to use the bathroom. There are a few things you need to do while you're pregnant to make sure you and your baby are healthy. First, you have to take 400 micrograms of folic acid every day. Folic acid is especially important right before you get pregnant, and during the first trimester of your pregnancy because it helps your baby's brain and spinal cord form. Taking folic acid can help prevent birth defects like spina bifida. One thing you need to avoid is alcohol. When you're craving a glass of wine or beer, have some sparkling water, grape juice, or ginger ale instead. Alcohol can be very dangerous for your baby. Also don't take any medicines without talking to your doctor first. That includes over-the-counter medicines like aspirin and cold relievers. Caffeine is okay, but only in moderation. Limit yourself to one cup of coffee, instead of your regular two or three. Don't smoke and stay away from anyone who is smoking. Cigarette smoke deprives your baby of oxygen. It can stunt your child's growth, and lead to birth defects such as a cleft lip or palate. If you're pregnant and you haven't seen a doctor yet, now is the time to call. The sooner you get prenatal care, the more likely that your baby will be born healthy. Let your doctor know if you have a condition like diabetes, seizures, or high blood pressure, or if you've been exposed to a sexually transmitted infection, chemicals, or radiation. Get medical help right away during your pregnancy if you have a fever, painful urination, vaginal bleeding, or severe stomach pain. Call if your water breaks, or you're not feeling your baby moving and it's near the end of your pregnancy.

  • Pregnancy care

    Animation

  •  

    Pregnancy care - Animation

    It's always important to take good care of your health, but never more so than when you're pregnant. You're not only caring for your own body, you're also nurturing and growing a new human being. Let's talk about pregnancy care. During the nine or so months of your pregnancy, you'll see a lot of your ob/gyn. In fact, you should visit your doctor once a month during the first seven months of your pregnancy. Then you should see your doctor once every 2 or 3 weeks until your ninth month, and finally every week until you deliver. You might also see your regular doctor, a nurse midwife, or, if you have any complications, a perinatologist who specializes in high-risk pregnancies. That might sound like a lot of visits, but the goal is to keep a close eye on both you and your growing baby. Your doctor will check your baby's heart rate, and measure how quickly you're gaining weight. You'll likely have at least one ultrasound, where you can actually get to see your baby and find out the gender, unless you want it to be a surprise. Throughout your pregnancy, your doctor will monitor you for any health problems, such as high blood pressure or diabetes. At your regular prenatal visits, your doctor can give you advice about what to eat and how much to exercise. You can also ask about all those weird symptoms you've been having, like morning sickness, food cravings, and the constant urge to use the bathroom. There are a few things you need to do while you're pregnant to make sure you and your baby are healthy. First, you have to take 400 micrograms of folic acid every day. Folic acid is especially important right before you get pregnant, and during the first trimester of your pregnancy because it helps your baby's brain and spinal cord form. Taking folic acid can help prevent birth defects like spina bifida. One thing you need to avoid is alcohol. When you're craving a glass of wine or beer, have some sparkling water, grape juice, or ginger ale instead. Alcohol can be very dangerous for your baby. Also don't take any medicines without talking to your doctor first. That includes over-the-counter medicines like aspirin and cold relievers. Caffeine is okay, but only in moderation. Limit yourself to one cup of coffee, instead of your regular two or three. Don't smoke and stay away from anyone who is smoking. Cigarette smoke deprives your baby of oxygen. It can stunt your child's growth, and lead to birth defects such as a cleft lip or palate. If you're pregnant and you haven't seen a doctor yet, now is the time to call. The sooner you get prenatal care, the more likely that your baby will be born healthy. Let your doctor know if you have a condition like diabetes, seizures, or high blood pressure, or if you've been exposed to a sexually transmitted infection, chemicals, or radiation. Get medical help right away during your pregnancy if you have a fever, painful urination, vaginal bleeding, or severe stomach pain. Call if your water breaks, or you're not feeling your baby moving and it's near the end of your pregnancy.

    A Closer Look

     

    Talking to your MD

     

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    Review Date: 4/12/2018

    Reviewed By: Peter J. Chen, MD, FACOG, Associate Professor of OBGYN at Cooper Medical School at Rowan University, Camden, NJ. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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