10 Important Questions To Ask A Midwife About Pregnancy
Great news! You are pregnant and what is next?
If this is your first pregnancy, it can be intimidating at first because you are stepping into the unknown. But worry not. An appointment with your midwife will help you on getting your questions answered.
But what kind of questions to ask a midwife, you may be wondering. While you may have a tons of questions but it’s best to write the down and prepare a list so that you will be ready when meeting your midwife.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions to make sure that you feel secure in your midwife’s skills, education and judgment. Midwife is the important person that will help to providing guidance and advices throughout your pregnancy. So this person should be highly trusted by you.
How to Get the Best Out of Your Midwife?
As mentioned earlier, there are tons of questions to ask a midwife about pregnancy but asking these 10 questions will immediately alleviate your knowledge about pregnancy especially for the first time pregnant women.
1. When should I start my scan?
You are probably eager to have a scan (especially your first scan) to see your baby for the first time. Scans are a magical experience and you will get several of them throughout your pregnancy.
There are usually set times at which you have your scans but these might vary slightly by a week or 2 depending on where you are from. Your midwife should fully be able to explain when you have each scan and what they are for.
While the regular ultrasound scan is needed to make sure your fetus is growing safely but not all scan are necessary. Like the 'souvenir' baby scans which produces a 3-D image of your fetus, which have no diagnostic benefit. Also, Health Protection Agency (HPA) has issued warning against such scan too.
2. What tests and screening will I be doing throughout my pregnancy?
There are various tests that can be given to you throughout pregnancy to help detect any problems/abnormalities with your baby. These screening tests are put in place to help you prepare for possibly anything that might not be quite right.
Of course, not all tests are compulsory and you do not HAVE to have them done. Asking your midwife more about these screenings and when/why they are offered should help you make the right decision as to whether these are right for you and your baby.
5. What food should I eat and avoid?
You might think you know all about what to eat and avoid during pregnancy through your own research but you should still talk to your midwife about this.
There is always research being done and new foods emerging on the "avoid" list! You want to give your baby the best possible start in life and this means eating right.
Give your baby the best possible start in life by eating right during pregnancy!
For example, certain seafood is a big NO-NO during your pregnancy. To know more, this article - Can pregnancy women eat crab and seafood?, is a good read to understand how seafood will impact your pregnancy.
3. How often will I need to visit a doctor or midwife through my pregnancy?
Again, this changes from place to place so it's important you ask this question to find out who will look after you throughout your pregnancy.
You might only see your midwife regularly or you might also meet regularly with a doctor throughout your 9-month journey. This has made the list of questions to ask your midwife because it's vital that you are happy throughout your pregnancy and that means being in the know.
Keeping track of all your appointments in a diary/on an app is also important, so that you do not miss any. App like BabyBump is a great companion during your 9-month pregnancy. There are other great pregnancy apps to help you too.
Also, keeping track of your future appointments with your midwife/doctor is also important especially for working women so that you can schedule your time-off from work and holidays without clashing with your prenatal check-up.
4. Will I be offered any vaccinations?
There might be some vaccinations that you are offered throughout your pregnancy either due to making sure you are immune from certain conditions or just because it's standard procedure in your area.
It's really important that you understand about what vaccinations are offered because you might want to opt out due to religious or other reasons. Make sure that you listen carefully to your midwife about what these vaccinations do however, as some are very important.
6. What kind of supplements I can take?
There are certain vitamins and minerals that your baby needs, that you are possibly not giving them through your own diet. Therefore it's important to take supplements throughout your pregnancy, to give your body and child that extra bit of nutrition.
There are certain supplements out there designed for pregnant women but talking to your midwife about this will ensure that you get the right supplements and know what you are taking them for.
7. How much weight I am allows putting on?
You obviously shouldn't diet when you are pregnant but you shouldn't put on TOO much weight either. There are a set number of pounds that you should gain when you are pregnant (depending on a few other facts such as your height.) Your midwife will tell you how much this is, meaning you can be more aware of what you are eating and how much of it.
Average Pregnancy Weight Gain Distribution
7 1/2 pounds is about how much the baby will weigh by the end of pregnancy.
1 1/2 pounds is how much the placenta weighs.
4 pounds is attributed to increased fluid volume.
2 pounds is the weight of the uterus.
2 pounds is the weight of breast tissue.
4 pounds is because of increased blood volume.
7 pounds is attributed to maternal stores of fat, protein and other nutrients.
2 pounds for the amniotic fluid.
Total: 30 pounds
Source: American Pregnancy Association
Remember this is just the average; your midwife/doctor will advice you if your weight gain is normal on each visit.
8. Is it safe to take medication?
Whether you are taking about your standard painkillers or you are on more serious medication, this could all change when you are pregnant.
There are certain medications (in fact there are many) that are just not good for your developing child. It's important that you ask your midwife what you can/cannot take during your pregnancy, so you do not unintentionally do some damage.
A trip to your doctor also might be in order if you are on medication and he/she might be able to suggest some alternatives that are perfectly fine for little one.
9. How much C-sections cost? Under what circumstances I need C-sections?
Unplanned C-sections and many mothers’ worst nightmares but they do happen. Understanding the statistics and reasons for C-sections can help you prepare for this possibly happening. Whatever way your baby is born just remembers that it being delivered safely is the main priority.
10. Do you limit the length of labor?
If baby is taking a while to be born, there might be a set time period where your midwife or doctors will have to intervene. This differs depending on where you live, so it's important that you ask this, so that you do not get a shock during the birthing process.
Remember that the healthcare professionals just want the best for you and baby - during pregnancy, birth and onward. Here is a documentary video letting you understand how a midwife help you to deliver safely.
While it doesn’t make sense to ask your midwife all of these questions during a meeting, but these 10 questions is by no means only the questions to ask a midwife too. If there are any other questions that you wish to ask, don’t hesitate to ask it away as your midwife would also want the best for your pregnancy too. If you think I miss out any questions that are important, please let me know and I will add onto the list above.
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