Pregnancy can be tough, especially for first-timers. There are many questions and fears you may have over the next nine months that may bother you and cause unnecessary stress, which can be harmful to your baby. One of the best ways to avoid stress during pregnancy is to plan ahead and feel prepared. So be sure to get all your questions—no matter how weird or embarrassing they are—answered by your gynecologist. The more you know about the changes happening in your body, the more likely you are to feel secure, happy, and stress-free throughout your pregnancy.

Prenatal Care: 7 Must-Ask Questions for Your Doctor

Here are 7 questions you should ask your doctor when you are pregnant.

1. How Much Weight Gain Is Normal For Me?

Though weight can be a touchy subject and many pregnant women may shy away from asking about it, discussing your pregnancy weight with your doctor is extremely important for both your baby’s health and your own health.

Kristin Mallon, a Board-certified nurse and midwife from New Jersey says, “Though weight gain is important during pregnancy, excessive weight gain can lead to high blood pressure, long labor, and a C-section.”

2. Which Exercises Are Safe For Me?

Karen Owoc, TV host/producer of The Health Reporter and clinical exercise physiologist, feels that it’s important to discuss your exercise plan with your healthcare provider and a clinical exercise physiologist.

Every stage of pregnancy affects your response to exercise. It causes changes in weight, large increases in blood volume (approximately 50 percent), and fetal/uterine growth, which exerts upward pressure on your abdominal organs and diaphragm. During your pregnancy, it’s important to follow an exercise plan that specifies the frequency, intensity, duration, and type of exercise,” she says.

3. What Do My Lab Tests/ Sonography Results Say?

“There are many tests that are done during pregnancy and women can understand more about their pregnancy and their baby’s health if they understand their lab results and discuss them in detail with their doctor,” says Mallon.

In most cases, the doctors will say that things are ‘fine’ or ‘normal’ unless there is something serious or complicated. If you ask your doctor to decode your report, it will help you learn about your baby’s development and well-being, such as fetal heart rate and your baby’s size.

4. How Can I Ease My Digestion?

During pregnancy, the various hormonal changes you are experiencing decrease the efficiency of the gastrointestinal system, which leads to morning sickness, bloating, acid reflux and indigestion. While all these health issues are completely normal, it is good to get advice from your gynecologist on how you can better manage these symptoms. Healthy digestion is very important during pregnancy.

Your doctor will be able to recommend specific foods and remedies to ease your digestion issues. Meanwhile, here’s how you can use dandelion to ease constipation during pregnancy.

5. How Big Is The Baby?

While babies grow at different rates at the various pregnancy trimesters, it is essential to know the size of the baby as it can have serious implications on its health and labor (the bigger the baby, the higher your chances are of a C-section).

“The size of the baby is crucial as too small can signify a problem and too big may necessitate a change in diet or exercise routine,” says Mallon.

6. When Will My Baby Start Moving & How Many Times A Day Should It Move?

Your baby will start moving long before you can actually feel it. However, how many times a baby moves and what should be its activity in the different pregnancy weeks are important for you to know.

“Fetal movement is an essential way to know that the baby is doing well. After 20 weeks, the amount of fetal movement to be expected changes as the baby gets bigger,” says Mallon.

Your doctor will perhaps tell you how to check your baby’s movements and how many movements you should expect in a day. These are often known as kick count charts. Make sure to notify your doctor case if you see a significant drop in your baby’s movements or a gradual decrease in movement over several days.

7. How Can I Be Better Prepared For Labor?

There are many things you can do to make your birth experience easier—join a prenatal class, study about childbirth and healthcare, keep active, choose a hospital/midwife/doctor, decide what you want your birth to look like and create a birth plan.

“A woman can begin to prepare for labor as soon as she is pregnant and even before. At each stage of pregnancy there are different tips a provider can give about prenatal education classes, exercises, labor prep, nursery planning, and choosing a pediatrician,” says Mallon.

Your doctor can guide you through all the questions you might have about pregnancy, birth, and the newborn stage. Adequate preparation will help you feel confident when you go into labor.

For more interesting stories, visit our Health page. Read more about Pregnancy & Babycare here.

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