Questions to Ask Your Doctor During Your First Trimester of Pregnancy
byKathryn WalshMay 14, 2014
Photograph by Digital Vision/Photodisc/Getty Images
You'll probably see more of your obstetrician during your first trimester than you will some friends. Your doctor will probably want you to schedule a checkup once a month during the first trimester, notes the U.S. Health and Human Services Department's Office of Women's Health. It's normal to have worries and questions about your new pregnancy, but those queries might slip your mind once you're in the paper gown. Keep a running list of questions to pose at each monthly visit.
Am I Progressing Normally?
Tell your doctor about all the pregnancy symptoms you've experienced so far. Ask her how to distinguish between symptoms that are normal in the first trimester and those that aren't. Many pregnancy complications have signs that are similar to normal pregnancy symptoms. For instance, persistent nausea and vomiting may be a sign of a serious condition called hyperemesis gravidarum rather than typical morning sickness, and while light spotting early in your pregnancy may not mean anything is wrong, it can also be an early sign of miscarriage.
What Tests Will I Need?
The coming months will probably include a number of tests designed to check your health and your baby's development. Keeping the timing and purpose of these tests straight can be tricky. Some tests, like ultrasounds, are standard. Others are encouraged for mothers with certain risks or health histories. For instance, pregnant moms who are older than 35 or who have family history of birth defects are typically encouraged to undergo testing that detects genetic disorders in their babies, says the American Academy of Pediatrics.
How Can I Get Help?
Each pregnancy comes with a great deal of uncertainty, and knowing how your relationship with your doctor will progress should help you feel secure. This is especially important if you're seeing a new ob-gyn or one who you don't know well. The American Pregnancy Association recommends asking whether there's a nurse line to call if you have questions and who to contact if you start bleeding or cramping. Now's also the time to find out who will see if your doctor is out of the office when you need an appointment and with what hospital your doctor has an affiliation.
Ask your doctor to tell you how much weight gain is healthy for you during the second trimester, how much movement you should expect to feel from the baby and what you should eat and do during the next few months. She can advise you on how to safely handle any upcoming travel plans and what exercises you can comfortably manage during the second trimester. Talk to your doctor about your changing nutritional needs too. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics says that you'll need an additional 340 calories per day once you enter the second trimester.