What all pregnant women need to ask their doctor

Your family doctor will discuss all of your pregnancy questions and concerns and is there to support you every step of the way.

Navigating your pregnancy journey is exciting – yet for most women it can also be overwhelming at times.

There are many questions that come to mind as soon as you see a positive pregnancy test result – from everyday choices like the best foods to eat (and avoid), to the decision of which hospital to choose and whether public or private healthcare is best for you.

You can feel comforted knowing your family doctor is there to support you every step of the way.

Preparing for your first prenatal check-up

As you prepare for your first prenatal doctor’s appointment, it’s common to experience feelings of excitement and nervousness.

It’s a good idea to book your doctor’s appointment as soon as you get a positive pregnancy test, and you can book an appointment online now with your family doctor, using HealthEngine.

Many pregnant women find it helpful to write a list of the items they want to discuss with their doctor. It’s common to forget to ask certain questions – also, you may find that “baby brain” has set in early!

 

Typical questions you’re probably thinking about include:

  • Which hospital should I book in to?
  • Is public or private healthcare best for me?
  • What birthing options are available for me?
  • Which foods do I need to avoid?
  • Which vitamins or supplements should I be taking?
  • What tests to I need, and when do I need them?
  • Should I exercise?
  • Are there any risk factors I need to be aware of?
  • When should I stop work?
  • What do I do if my energy levels become low?
  • What symptoms can I expect, and how do I know if they are normal or cause for concern?
  • What do I do when labour begins?
  • What activities should I avoid?

During your appointment, your doctor will give you best-practice advice to help you make the most suitable decisions about your prenatal care, hospital and birth.

Your doctor may also wish to discuss the following issues with you:

  • Previous pregnancies and birth experiences
  • Feelings of concern, anxiety or being overwhelmed
  • Prescription medications and/or vitamins

Some other factors that can influence the pregnancy choices you make include:

  • Costs associated with the various care options
  • Your location
  • Any personal preference for a particular type of care

During the first trimester of your pregnancy, your doctor will help you to decide the right type of care for you.

You don’t need to make a decision about your care straight away – and you can still change your mind if you later decide you want a different option.

It’s also important that you know who you can contact if you have a question at any stage of your pregnancy.

Your doctor will discuss when it’s appropriate to contact the medical practice. They will also provide information about pregnancy helplines and other resources to help if you have an urgent question and your doctor is unreachable.

If you do decide that you would like your pregnancy managed by an obstetrician, your doctor can give you a referral letter.

Are there any food choices to watch out for during pregnancy?

Firstly, avoid unpasteurized dairy products and juices. Make sure to fully cook meats, fish and poultry. They should not be consumed raw. The concern for soft cheeses is that if they are made with unpasteurized milk, this could contain the harmful bacteria listeria.

Next steps

Remember, your family doctor is here to help. Book your prenatal appointment online now using HealthEngine.

References

http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Pregnancy_-_care_choices

http://www.pregnancybirthbaby.org.au/planning-for-pregnancy

http://www.pregnancybirthbaby.org.au/antenatal-care-and-classes

This article is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as medical advice. If in doubt, HealthEngine recommends consulting with a registered health practitioner.

 

A: Use HealthEngine to find and book your next GP appointment. Click on the following locations to find a GP clinic in your state or territory.

 

This article is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as medical advice. If in doubt, HealthEngine recommends consulting with a registered health practitioner.