What questions should I ask during my first prenatal visit?

Patricia Geraghty, NP
Women's Health
The first prenatal visit is usually scheduled as a longer appointment in order to do a complete physical assessment and to give you the information you need to maximize the health of your pregnancy. Pregnancy health related questions include the following: What nutrition is best? Do I need prenatal vitamins? Are there any other supplements I should take? How much weight should I gain and what is the best pattern of weight gain? Are there foods considered unsafe during pregnancy? What physical activity level is best? Are there types of physical activity I should avoid? Is sex safe during pregnancy? What should I do if I develop an illness during the pregnancy? What medications are safe during pregnancy? Can I travel during the pregnancy?  Questions related to the health of your developing baby include: What genetic testing or screening should I do? Will I have ultrasounds (sonograms) of the baby? Finally, there are questions related to the management of your pregnancy and delivery. How often will I have an appointment during the pregnancy? Who will I see for routine appointments? Who will deliver my baby? Where will my baby be born? What do I do if I have a question between appointments? What do I do if I have a problem between appointments? Are there classes I should take during the pregnancy?
Paula Greer
Midwifery Nursing

First prenatal visits are a time for learning. You will learn about yourself, your partner, your family history and about the health care provider and the practice you are choosing. During the first visit there will be a thorough health history and family history taken by the person you have scheduled your visit with. This is a time when they will learn if there are any potential medical or inherited problems you need to be screened for. During the visit the provider should orient you to the services they provide and what to expect in the coming months. Based on your individual history they should discuss nutrition/ exercise/ sexual activity and any other questions you might have during your visit. Before you leave from the first visit you should know how to contact them if you have questions and how they want to be contacted in case of emergency. You should ask them what hospital they use. Many couples chose to ask questions like what is their induction of labor policy as well as cesarean section rates. Many couples will ask who will be the one delivering them? Finding a provider that meets your needs for the pregnancy and the birth will require doing a little homework. Asking for referrals from nurses that work labor and delivery and childbirth educators and doulas are a good way to find a match that will work for you and your partner.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.