Top pregnancy questions to ask your provider - Ruth Health

Top pregnancy questions to ask your provider

Fast facts:

  • An OB/GYN or midwife can be a valuable resource throughout your pregnancy journey.
  • Bring a list of questions to your prenatal visits to stay informed about expected physical, emotional, and mental changes.
  • For most low-risk pregnancies, prenatal visits are scheduled every four weeks until week 28; every two weeks until week 36; and then every week.
  • Always feel free to discuss any questions or concerns about pregnancy or childbirth. There’s no such thing as TMI.

An OB/GYN or midwife is your partner throughout your pregnancy journey. Asking the right questions during appointments can bring peace of mind and help you prepare for childbirth.We suggest bringing a list of questions in a notebook or on your phone to each prenatal visit, so that you can get all the answers you need. Here are some suggestions to help you get started, broken down by trimester.

First trimester

Your first prenatal appointment will focus on your overall health and identifying your baby’s gestational age. It’s important to be as honest as possible with your provider about your health history. 

The information you share can help them identify any potential pregnancy risks. This appointment may also cover genetic testing for chromosomal abnormalities or birth defects.

For many low-risk pregnancies, appointments are scheduled:

  • Weeks 1-28: every four weeks
  • Weeks 28-36: every two weeks
  • Weeks 36 through delivery: every week

Some women require more or fewer prenatal appointments. The frequency depends on your health history, the risk for pregnancy complications, and the progression of your pregnancy. 

Your healthcare provider will let you know how often to schedule pregnancy check-ups.

Emotional and physical changes happen quickly during the first trimester. You should feel free to discuss any concerns or anxieties you may have about pregnancy or childbirth. No such thing as TMI!

Questions to ask your provider about pregnancy during first trimester:

  • Which over-the-counter or prescription medications are safe to take?
  • Which vaccines are safe to get?
  • What prenatal vitamins or supplements do you recommend?
  • What pregnancy symptoms are normal?
  • How long does morning sickness typically last?
  • What activities are safe?
  • Is it safe to have sex during pregnancy?
  • What’s considered “normal” cramping, spotting, or vaginal discharge?
  • What are the signs of perinatal mood and anxiety disorders (PMADs)? How are they treated? 
  • How can a doula help me?
  • Can my partner attend my prenatal appointments?

Second trimester

Your provider will likely recommend additional prenatal testing or screenings during the second trimester. Most women have their 20-week anatomy scan between weeks 18-22. 

During this screening, your healthcare provider will use an ultrasound to take images of your baby inside of your womb. In addition to monitoring your baby’s development and checking for birth defects, you may also learn their sex.

Screening for gestational diabetes typically happens at 24 weeks, as hormone changes can increase insulin resistance.

Questions to ask provider about pregnancy during second trimester:

  • How do I find a pediatrician?
  • How much weight gain is recommended? *
  • What are safe exercises to do?
  • How can I safely treat pregnancy discomforts such as back pain or swollen feet or ankles?
  • When will I start to feel my baby move?
  • When should I start sleeping on my side?
  • How can I safely manage pregnancy-related insomnia?
  • Am I at risk for preeclampsia?
  • Am I at risk for gestational diabetes?
  • How long should I keep working?
  • What contractions are considered “normal”?

*Keep in mind that every body is unique. You and your baby's health is the most important aspect to consider when it comes to weight gain.

Third trimester

Prenatal visits will become more frequent as you near the home stretch of your pregnancy. For many women, they are scheduled once a week in the last month. The specific scheduling will depend on your health, your baby’s growth and development, and your provider’s preferences.

This is a great time to create a birth plan if you haven’t already. A birth plan keeps you, your loved ones, and your care team on the same page about your birthing preferences.

If you’re planning to breastfeed, a lactation consultant can help you prepare.

Questions to ask provider about pregnancy during third trimester:

  • When should I stop traveling?
  • What’s considered “normal” swelling of my hands and feet? How can I treat it?
  • What are the benefits of breastfeeding versus bottle feeding? How do I know which is right for me?
  • What do pain management options look like for my delivery?
  • What are signs of early labor?
  • What’s a perineal massage?
  • Do you anticipate a c section or episiotomy? If so, what are my options?
  • What should I consider if I want a VBAC?
  • What are the signs of postpartum depression (PPD)? How is it different from the baby blues?

We’re here for you

At Ruth Health, we understand that nobody knows what you need better than you. We’re here to help you prioritize self-care while navigating pregnancy, and to ensure that you’re never alone in this journey.

We provide expert, evidence-based maternal advice so that you can make the best decisions for yourself. Learn more about pregnancy, postpartum, and everything in between at ruthhealth.com.

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