Five Questions You Must Ask In Your First Pre-Natal Visit
Pregnancy brings a sweeping range of emotions in you. There are many questions in your mind for which you always seek answers. The best time to get your all doubts cleared is your first prenatal visit. This is your first appointment with doctor after you get news of pregnancy. It is recommended to plan your first prenatal visit between 8th to 12th weeks because the sooner you start getting prenatal care, the better it will be.
Often, this is the longest meeting with your obstetrician in which your doctor discusses personal and family’s health history, your lifestyle and checks you. This is the perfect time when you can carry a list of your questions and get all answers from your doctor. However, some of you may miss some important questions which need to be answered. So, here is a list of five very important questions that you must not miss during your first prenatal visit.
Are these pregnancy symptoms normal?
As soon as you get pregnant, you will experience lots of physical and emotional changes in your body such as tender and swollen breasts, fatigue, cramping, morning sickness, headaches, constipation, dizziness, mood swings or food cravings. The occurrence and intensity of these symptoms vary from person to person. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you must definitely ask the reason with your doctor. Though, most of the time, all these symptoms are normal but sometimes, they can be an indication of something wrong going inside. Try to prepare a list so that you do not miss any of them.
What prenatal tests should you go for?
The first visit will inform you about all the tests you must undertake to know the health of your fetus. Generally, the common tests include blood tests (for rubella, HIV, Hepatitis B, hemoglobin levels, Rh factor and so on), ultrasound and screening test for chromosomal abnormalities such as Down’s syndrome, Patau’s syndrome or Edward’s syndrome. If you are doubtful about the safety of screening tests, you must go for NACE (Non-Invasive Analysis for Chromosomal examination). This is prenatal genetic screening test which identifies the possibility of chromosomal abnormalities in developing fetus. You can be relaxed with this test as it is completely safe and risk-free. The best part is that results are out within 7-10 days. This test can be performed as early as 10th week of gestation. If the test shows positive results, you have to go for diagnostic tests such as Amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling.
What should you do if something goes wrong?
As your pregnancy progresses, you may feel aches, pains, bleeding, false contractions and so on. You may not know about all these now but ask your doctor for what symptoms you should report him/her. According to National Institutes of Health, 10% of women experience bleeding in their first trimester which is normal. However, excess bleeding with severe abdominal cramps can be an indication of miscarriage. So, ask your doctor what all are the trouble symptoms. Do not just rely on friends’ and family’s suggestions and support.
What should be your diet?
Besides the basic supplements of iron, calcium and folic acid, you must take a very good care of yourself as you have to eat for two now. Generally, a balanced diet containing green leafy vegetables, legumes, citrus fruits, beans and so on are recommended. However, if you are having food allergies, tell your doctor. If you are experiencing any food aversions or food likings, discuss it. Your doctor will suggest you the best diet plan so that your problems do not let you compromise with your health.
Are current medications and prenatal vitamins safe for you and your baby?
Your first antenatal visit will involve discussion of your complete personal medical history which includes all the medications that you have taken or are taking now. Some of the medications are safe to continue while some other may cause harm to you or your baby. Depending upon your conditions, your doctor may stop those medications or suggest some alternative drugs which are safe for growing fetus. So, make sure that you carry list of all the medications with you. Besides this, your doctor may suggest certain prenatal vitamins and other supplements. If you are skeptical about them, do not hesitate in questioning about the risks and benefits associated with them.
Your first antenatal visit is very crucial for your pregnancy. So, better be prepared before meeting your doctor.