Nine questions to help you find the perfect care for you and your little bump
When you announce that you’re expecting a baby, a few things are certain to come your way: congratulations, excitement and lots of advice. Soaking in all that motherly, neighborly and online community knowledge can be a great way to mentally prepare for parenthood. But dealing with all the incoming information can also be stressful and overwhelming. Keeping a clear perspective is important.
You might already have an Ob-GYN, but if not, it’s time to consider who you’d want to care for you and your bump over the next nine months. Your pregnancy care team could include many different types of providers. Here are nine questions from our doctors and nurses—many who have kids themselves—to think about when choosing a prenatal doctor.
Nine questions for your OB-GYN:
- How much experience do you have?
- Will you honor my wishes when I’m in labor?
- When should I start looking for a pediatrician for my child? Can you help?
- What medicines are safe for me to take?
- What should and shouldn't I eat?
- What should I do if I don’t feel well?
- Do you recommend that I attend a childbirth class?
- When labor begins, when should I go to the hospital?
- How can I contact you when I think of nine more important questions?
This question can feel awkward, but you're trusting them with a very important job. You will spend a lot of time together in the months ahead and knowing you have an experienced doctor can provide peace of mind.
You can try to plan your big day down to the minute, but every birth is unique and unfolds in its own way. There may be some big decisions made by your care team during your labor, and it’s smart to have a conversation about different possibilities early on. Talk about what you want to happen if something unexpected comes up. You also want to know that your doctor is on board with what’s important to you. Having a list of birth wishes is a great tool for mentally preparing yourself for your big day.
It’s never too early to find a great pediatrician for your child. You want to know who your baby’s doctor will be before you give birth. Your own doctor can be a good resource. They can field your questions and refer you to a pediatrician in your network.
Ask your OB about the medicine you’re currently taking, or those you like to take when needed. You may have to make due with alternatives during your pregnancy. Your OB will recommend prenatal vitamins and may also have other recommendations to help make your pregnancy healthy and comfortable.
You'll find a lot of different advice online about what you should eat and what you should avoid while pregnant. Your OB is a good source to know what nutrients and food choices are best during pregnancy. They can also guide you to other credible sources for helpful information.
Being pregnant is sometimes uncomfortable. Morning sickness and certain discomforts are common. Ask what your doctor recommends to safely ease normal pregnancy discomforts. If you experience cramping, spotting, sudden swelling, chills or fever, call your nurseline or clinic. As your pregnancy progresses, always tell your doctor about any symptoms that concern you. If a symptom feels urgent, call right away. Ask your doctor where to call after hours.
Child birth classes, if you are able to take them, are a great way to mentally prepare for your big day, bond with your partner and meet other expectant parents. Lots of good information is readily available if classes don’t work for you. Ask your doctor for a recommendation on any type of education that matches up with your birth wishes.
The answer to this one will differ based on the specifics of your pregnancy. Don't play it by ear. Ask your OB for guidelines. Care teams always have information on what, when and where so make sure that info is easy to access if you think you’re in labor.
More questions are inevitable. A good doctor will answer all of your questions as they arise. Write down questions in between appointments or call if something feels urgent. Each OB will have their own style of communication and you want to make sure that style feels comfortable to you. Take advantage of the other resources your care team has to offer as well.
Haven’t found the right provider yet? Find a great care team near you:
- Your big day. Your way.
- How to choose a doctor after finding out you’re pregnant
- Credentials and compatibility: 20 questions to think about while looking for a pediatrician