I remember staring down at the positive pregnancy test in my hand feeling full of excitement until uncertainty started kicking in and I thought to myself, “Now what?!” Sound familiar?
We aren’t born with an innate knowledge of pregnancy, and our lack of pregnancy expertise is never more apparent than when we discover we’re pregnant.
Even though you would think that my mind would be racing with questions to ask my doctor at my first prenatal appointment, that wasn’t quite the case. Initially, I felt like there was so much I didn’t know about pregnancy and what to expect, that I wasn’t even sure which questions to ask. In fact, I even resorted to Googling “questions to ask at your first prenatal appointment”.
However, I’ll admit that it wasn’t until my second prenatal appointment that I actually came prepared with my list of 20 questions to ask my doctor. It took a little time for the initial surprise of the positive pregnancy test to wear off and my brain to settle into planning mode. Emotionally, due to my experiences with infertility and miscarriage, I also needed the validation of seeing healthy babies on the ultrasound screen during my first prenatal appointment before getting my hopes up and getting carried away with asking questions.
In this post, I’ll be sharing the 20 questions I asked my doctor at my second prenatal appointment as well as my doctor’s responses. Please keep in mind that I’m not a medical professional and every woman/pregnancy is different. So, my doctor’s answers to my questions might not be the same answers you would receive from your doctor.
20 questions I asked at my second prenatal appointment + my doctor’s responses (don’t miss the free printable questionnaire at the end of this post):
Q: Am I getting enough folic acid?
A: Since I’m having twins, my doctor had recommended that I take an extra 1000 mcg of folic acid daily in addition to my normal prenatal vitamin. I could only find 800 mcg of folic acid in the store, but my doctor said that my daily prenatal vitamin combined with the 800 mcg of folic acid was sufficient.
Q: When will we find out the genders of our babies?
A: I asked this question on May 10th and my doctor said we would find out the genders of our babies during our ultrasound with Maternal Fetal Medicine on July 5th (which will be 18 weeks and 6 days for me).
Q: Will I be having a c-section since I’m having twins?
A: It depends on the positioning of the babies on delivery day, but we’ll try to do a vaginal birth if possible.
Learn more about vaginal vs c-section births for twins here.
Q: How much weight should I gain and at what rate?
A: It’s fairly common for twin moms to gain about ten pounds more than singleton moms, but that doesn’t mean you have to.
Most women who are carrying twins are encouraged to gain 35 to 45 pounds. Check out this pregnancy weight gain calculator to determine how much weight you should gain during each stage of your pregnancy.
Q: I don’t have much of an appetite right now and I’m struggling with food aversions. What should I try to eat and drink a lot of? How much protein do I really need?
A: During the first trimester you’re in survival mode. Just try to eat/drink anything that doesn’t make you nauseous or sick for now.
If you’re not struggling with a lack of appetite or food aversions and you want to up your nutrition game, check out these articles: “Your first trimester diet” and “14 must-eat foods for the first trimester”.
Q: We’re planning a vacation in the near future. Should I be aware of any traveling restrictions? (Note: This was going to be a road trip vacation, no flying involved)
A: No, just make sure that you stay hydrated and take plenty of breaks to get out of the car and stretch during the drive since you’re more susceptible to blood clots during pregnancy.
My doctor also mentioned that I could request a printed copy of my “pregnancy episode” (medical records) from the doctor’s office to take with me in case something happened and I needed to visit a doctor/hospital on vacation.
Q: I’ve been getting headaches. Is there a safe headache medicine for me to take?
A: Yes, you can take Tylenol.
I’ll be making a blog post soon about medications that are safe during pregnancy, stay tuned!
Q: Should we take prenatal classes?
A: That’s a personal choice for you and your husband to make, but in my opinion, it’s good to take them especially during your first pregnancy so you know what to expect during labor.
Q: How much exercise do I need?
A: For now, just do whatever you can handle and don’t start any new exercise endeavors. Stretching and strengthening your back will help you later in pregnancy.
Q: When will I start showing?
A: By your 4th or 5th month.
Q: With my due date of November 30th, do you think it would be best to have my baby shower in August or September?
A: Either month should be fine. If all goes well, you should still feel fine in September.
Q: How often will I get ultrasounds?
A: Since you’re having twins, you’ll have an ultrasound at every appointment so we can track each baby’s growth and scan for heartbeats.
I’m currently at 18 weeks and so far I’ve had an appointment/ultrasound at least every 4 weeks.
Q: Can my mom and mother-in-law attend an ultrasound?
A: It’s perfectly fine for your mom and mother-in-law to attend an ultrasound.
Q: Who will deliver my babies?
A: The on-call doctor at the time of your delivery. We have five different doctors here in the office so it would be good for you to get acquainted with all of them throughout your pregnancy. We always have a backup doctor on-call for deliveries also.
Q: I’ve been having an issue with throwing up while I’m brushing my teeth. Is this normal?
A: This is normal and actually fairly common. Your gag reflex is more sensitive when you’re pregnant and your gag reflex is stimulated when you brush the teeth near the back of your mouth. Try to avoid brushing your back teeth and use floss and alcohol-free mouthwash to clean your back teeth instead.
Q: When is it safe to announce our pregnancy to family and friends?
A: At 12 weeks if everything is going well.
Q: What’s my best course of action when I have questions moving forward?
A: Call our office’s nurse phone line.
Seasonal Q: How can I protect myself from mosquitos and the Zika virus this summer?
A: For starters, don’t go to the Caribbean! Bug spray is safe for you to use and should ward off the mosquitos.
Seasonal Q: Is swimming and sunbathing safe?
A: Yes, just make sure you use lots of sunscreen since you’re more susceptible to sunburns when you’re pregnant. Keep yourself hydrated and avoid getting overheated.
Seasonal Q: Is it safe for me to be around campfires because of the smoke?
Additional information my doctor provided:
- Insurance will likely cover a double electric breast pump which the hospital staff should order for me after my delivery.
- The hospital where we’ll be delivering our babies has a good neo-natal care unit and we can schedule a tour of the hospital’s maternity facilities.
- We should start looking for a pediatrician in our area.
- Intercourse should be avoided until it is deemed safe by the doctor.
Free printable questionnaire:
Click on the image below to download and print a questionnaire that you can take with you to your first prenatal appointment!