Discovering you are pregnant is one of the most exciting moments of a womans life. The time between conception and giving birth is an opportunity to learn about what is best for your baby, both in utero and after he or she is born. Despite all the excitement and optimism, pregnancy can also be a scary time. Your body is changing and you become responsible for the life of another being. Everything you do affects the baby inside of you. This is why women have so many questions when they get pregnant.

Attentive medical care is an important part of pregnancy. When you get pregnant, take time to ask your doctor the following questions and discuss any issues that concern you specifically. Pregnancy is much easier when you have the information needed to put you at ease and help you and your baby achieve optimal health.

What prenatal vitamins do you recommend?

Some doctors consider prenatal vitamins essential for a healthy pregnancy. Others recommend structuring your diet to meet all of your needs, as well as the needs of your developing baby. One of the most common prenatal vitamins recommended is a folic acid supplement.

However, at least one study, conducted in part with the Shoals Women Clinic, showed that dietary changes were more effective than taking supplemental vitamins. Speak with your doctor about his or her recommendations before taking any kind of vitamin or supplement while pregnant.

What should I consider an emergency?

Some pregnant women have a tendency to second-guess every sensation in their bodies when pregnant. This is understandable, but worrying about issues that are normal can elevate anxiety levels, increasing your risk for real problems. Your doctor can put your mind at ease concerning the changes your body experiences during pregnancy.

How much weight should I gain?

This varies from woman to woman, but the average recommendation is between 25 to 40 pounds. Your doctor will determine a healthy range for you based on your pre-pregnancy weight.

What is the best way to deal with morning sickness?

Morning sickness is a natural symptom of pregnancy, but it can be unpleasant. Your doctor can recommend tips for coping and if necessary, prescribe medication to ease your nausea and vomiting.

Can I continue to exercise?

This varies from woman to woman. Many women who follow a routine prior to pregnancy can continue to do so once pregnant, but they might need to reduce the intensity. Your doctor will recommend an appropriate fitness plan for you.

Should I refrain from taking any medications?

Anything you consume is consumed by the baby developing it inside of you. Before taking any medication, be sure they do not pose a risk to the health of your baby.

Do you recommend any tests?

Doctors usually recommend standard tests for all pregnant women and there might be additional testing required if you have a high-risk pregnancy.

What is my miscarriage risk and what can I do to reduce it?

It is important to speak with your doctor about the risks associated with your pregnancy and to learn what you can do to reduce this risk. In severe cases, your doctor could order bed rest during pregnancy to prevent miscarriage.

What labor and delivery emergencies should I prepare for?

All pregnant women create a birth plan with their doctors, but sometimes things do not go as planned. Ask your doctor about potential emergencies, but do your best not to worry about something that might not occur.

Are there any additional tips specific to my health?

Every woman is different. It is important you and your doctor discuss your specific needs. If you have any concerns, no matter how small they seem, do not hesitate to address them with your doctor.