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Questions I Should Ask the Doctor

by
author image Wendy Rose Gould
Wendy Rose Gould is a professional journalist who has contributed to "Glamour" magazine and the Huffington Post, among other publications. After internships at the "Indianapolis Business Journal," "Kiwanis International" and "NUVO Newsweekly," she earned BA degrees in journalism and philosophy from Franklin College in 2008. Gould specializes in lifestyle topics.

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Questions I Should Ask the Doctor
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If you're like many pregnant woman -- or women who plan to get pregnant -- you probably have a cacophony of questions swarming inside your head about the whole process. From dietary concerns to expected physical changes once you've conceived, you certainly won't experience a shortage of questions to ask your physician. Take advantage of any doctor's visit by creating a list of questions and asking all of them. Use this list as a guide, and add or substitute your own.

What Vitamins Should I Be Taking?
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WHAT VITAMINS SHOULD I BE TAKING?

Your OB/GYN will recommend vitamins depending on your own health and bloodwork, making this question a good one to ask. Still, some vitamins are prescribed across the board. Dr. Mary Jane Minkin, an OB/GYN at the Yale School of Medicine, says, "I encourage women to be on vitamin D. All women need to take care of their bones." She also recommends taking 400 mcg of folic acid daily for those trying to get pregnant.

Related: Dr. Mary Jane Minkin; OB/GYN at Yale School of Medicine; New Haven, Conn.

How Do I Know When I'm Most Fertile?
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HOW DO I KNOW WHEN I'M MOST FERTILE?

If you're trying to conceive, knowing when you're most fertile is imperative. "I encourage my patients to take advantage of at-home technologies," says Mary Jane Minkin, M.D., who recommends products such as fertility and digital ovulation tests to help determine the most fertile days of your cycle. There are also apps on your phone that can help give you a better idea of when you're most fertile based on inputted information.

Related: Dr. Mary Jane Minkin; OB/GYN at Yale School of Medicine; New Haven, Conn.

When Should I be Concerned About My Fertility?
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WHEN SHOULD I BE CONCERNED ABOUT MY FERTILITY?

These days, many women postpone pregnancy until their late 20s or 30s. As a result, the question of fertility comes into play more often. "Women in their 30s should begin more actively considering their fertility," notes Mary Jane Minkin, M.D. She says that women under 35 who've been trying to conceive for a year, and women over 35 who've been trying for six months, should consult a physician if they've been unsuccessful.

Related: Dr. Mary Jane Minkin; OB/GYN at Yale School of Medicine; New Haven, Conn.

When Should I Quit Smoking?
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WHEN SHOULD I QUIT SMOKING?

This question is common among women who aren't pregnant now, but plan to get pregnant in the future. According to Mary Jane Minkin, M.D., many women ask if they should wait to quit smoking until they are closer to getting pregnant. She says that because smoking may hasten the onset of menopause by a year or two, it can affect your fertility in the long run.

Related: Dr. Mary Jane Minkin; OBGYN at Yale School of Medicine; New Haven, Conn.

Will Past Abortions Affect My Ability to Get Pregnant?
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WILL PAST ABORTIONS AFFECT MY ABILITY TO GET PREGNANT?

This very personal question is a difficult one to ask your physician. According to Mary Jane Minkin, M.D., past abortions will not affect your future fertility. Still, it is important to discuss your personal health with your OB/GYN. It's important for her to be aware of your entire medical history.

Related: Dr. Mary Jane Minkin; OB/GYN at Yale School of Medicine; New Haven, Conn.

Should I Continue Taking My Medications?
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SHOULD I CONTINUE TAKING MY MEDICATIONS?

This question is a good one to ask as soon as you discover you're pregnant. Your first visit to the doctor should include sharing a detailed account of your current and past medical history, including any medications you're taking. At this time, your physician can let you know whether any medications interfere with the healthy development of your child.

What Should My Diet Look Like?
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WHAT SHOULD MY DIET LOOK LIKE?

Recommended pregnancy and prepregnancy diets vary from person to person. As a rule, though, strive for a well-balanced and diverse diet. "Shy away from junk or fast food as best as you can," advises Glade B. Curtis, OB/GYN and co-author of "Your Pregnancy Week by Week." "Healthful snacks five or six times a day with a mixture of fruits, vegetables, cereals and dairy will help you feel better, give baby the support for healthy development, and give you the confidence of knowing you are doing all you can."

Related: Glade B. Curtis, OB/GYN; Co-author of "Your Pregnancy Week by Week;" Salt Lake City, Utah

How Much Weight Gain is Normal?
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HOW MUCH WEIGHT GAIN IS NORMAL?

In addition to discussing your diet and exercise routine with your physician, it's important to ask about what kind of weight gain is normal during your pregnancy. Contrary to popular belief, excessive weight gain isn't healthy for the baby. Your physician can counsel you on reasonable weight gain and help you stay on track to ensure a healthy pregnancy.

Why Do I Feel So Nauseous During My Pregnancy?
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WHY DO I FEEL SO NAUSEOUS DURING MY PREGNANCY?

If you experience nausea during your pregnancy, know that you aren't alone. "Sometimes called morning sickness, [nausea] can happen any time of the day," says Glade B. Curtis, OB/GYN. "For most, it disappears toward the end of the first trimester, while for an unfortunate few it lasts longer into the pregnancy." Curtis says that many experts attribute morning sickness to increasing levels of hormones, which support the growth of the developing fetus. If you're concerned about your level on nausea, talk with your physician.

Related: Glade B. Curtis, OB/GYN; Co-author of "Your Pregnancy Week by Week;" Salt Lake City, Utah

Are My Symptoms Normal?
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ARE MY SYMPTOMS NORMAL?

As you move forward in your pregnancy, you may experience plenty of expected symptoms as well as symptoms you hadn't anticipated. Always relay your symptoms to your physician, who will help you determine whether your experiences are typical.

What is the Likelihood of a C-Section?
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WHAT IS THE LIKELIHOOD OF A C-SECTION?

While your doctor cannot provide a simple yes or no answer as to whether you'll need a C-section, you can ask about the percentage of performed C-sections at your caregiver's facility. The answer to this question is a good indicator of what may happen during your labor. If you prefer to deliver your baby vaginally, it may be wise to seek out a physician with a low percentage of surgical births.

Who Will Deliver My Baby?
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WHO WILL DELIVER MY BABY?

As you approach your due date, this is an excellent question to ask your physician. Ideally, the doctor or midwife you've worked with is the person who will deliver your child, but that's not always the case due to the unpredictability of work schedules and pregnancies. Your physician likely has a back-up team of people to step in should she be unavailable. Once you know who that team consists of, you can get to know them.

What Do You Think?
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WHAT DO YOU THINK?

Are there any questions you wish you'd asked your doctor before you got pregnant? What were some of the most important questions you asked and would recommend other women ask, as well? On the flip side, did your doctor ask you any questions you were surprised about? Let us know.

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