Questions to Ask Your Doctor at Each Pregnancy Appointment

There is an evident and awkward power dynamic between practitioners and patients. Unless your doctor has a degree in medicine and empathy, you may find it hard to advocate for yourself or focus on questions that matter to you when the conversation veers in a direction you’re not comfortable with (i.e., weight or weight gain). Check out these questions to ask at each of your doctor’s visits. Take them, leave them, let them inspire you to help you find autonomy in your pregnancy.

8-WEEK APPOINTMENT

  • What pregnancy symptoms should I expect?
  • What foods should I avoid? 
  • How can I ease morning sickness?
  • What prenatal vitamins or supplements do you recommend?
  • Which over-the-counter or prescription medications are pregnancy safe?
  • Are there substitutions for OTC medicines that aren’t pregnancy safe?
  • How should I be modifying my lifestyle to prioritize a healthy pregnancy? 
  • Is cramping and spotting common? At what point should I call you or go to the ER?
  • Is there anything else a first-time mom should know? (Or second, third, fourth-time mom, etc.).
  • What genetic tests should I anticipate or consider given my family history?

12-WEEK APPOINTMENT

  • I’m still having morning sickness, is that expected? Is there anything you recommend to help?
  • How should I deal with heartburn?
  • Is vaginal discharge common, and what is expected vs. a cause for concern? 
  • Is my blood pressure healthy?
  • Is the baby’s heartbeat healthy?
  • Is my vaginal discharge normal?

16-WEEK APPOINTMENT

  • Can you recommend a pediatrician or pediatric practice? 
  • What’s the best way to deal with constipation I’m experiencing?
  • Is my blood pressure healthy?
  • Is the baby’s heartbeat healthy?
  • Is my bump measuring on track for this point in pregnancy?

Not a question necessarily for your doctor, but you should also see a dentist while pregnant. The increase in hormones can cause gum sensitivity/bleeding and other dental side effects. 

20-WEEK APPOINTMENT

  • If applicable, as questions to address:
    • Leg cramping
    • Ankle or foot swelling
    • Back pains
  • Is my anatomy scan as expected, are there any needs for additional testing?
  • If you want to know the sex, this is the appointment where you’ll most likely find out!
  • Is my blood pressure healthy?
  • Is the baby’s heartbeat healthy?
  • Is my bump measuring on track for this point in pregnancy?
  • How can I help my insomnia?

24-WEEK APPOINTMENT

  • If you’re experiencing Braxton Hicks, ask about them.
  • Is my blood pressure healthy?
  • Is the baby’s heartbeat healthy?
  • Is my bump measuring on track for this point in pregnancy?
  • Does the hospital offer any birthing, breastfeeding, or pregnancy classes?

28-WEEK APPOINTMENT

  • Do I need to register at the facility where I’m planning to give birth?
  • Is my blood pressure healthy?
  • Is the baby’s heartbeat healthy?
  • Is my bump measuring on track for this point in pregnancy?

32+ WEEK APPOINTMENTS

  • Does the hospital offer formula, or should I bring my own to feed my baby after I deliver?
  • Does the hospital have a lactation support team?
  • What is cord blood, and should we consider banking it?
  • What kind of pain plan will be best for my delivery?
  • What are the signs of early labor?
  • When should I come to the hospital after contractions start?
  • What is back labor?
  • What is your point of view on induction?

Am I missing anything? Was there anything that you made sure to ask your doctor about that isn’t on this list? Please share in the comments to help strengthen our solidarity and community. Remember, asking questions is SMART, so don’t feel shy, bashful, or embarrassed that you don’t know what you don’t know. Your doctor may guide your pregnancy to term, but make no mistake, you are behind the wheel.

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