What to ask your doctor when pregnant


Pregnancy is a new and exciting time, yet one that tends to bring up a lot of questions. As a new mom-to-be, you’ll want to do everything you can to protect your budding baby and ensure that they’re healthy and safe. But with each new week comes new advice from friends and family, new symptoms, and new worries.

With so many questions going through your mind, you’re probably wondering if some are more important than others. The answer is, yes. So, here’s a list of six crucial pregnancy questions to ask your doctor in the nine months leading up to the birth of your little one.

While we’ve done our best to answer these questions, using up-to-date and expert-backed information, each pregnancy is different, so ask your doctor the questions listed below even though we’ve provided answers.

1. What food should I avoid now that I’m pregnant?

Besides the obvious caffeine, alcohol, and cigarettes, other foods such as certain types of fish, raw or undercooked meat, and eggs should be avoided. Whereas, fruits and vegetables can be consumed more frequently.

The point of selective eating when pregnant is to avoid bacteria. When you’re pregnant, you become more susceptible to illnesses that can endanger both you and your baby.

So, apart from being careful of what you eat remember to thoroughly wash your hands, chopping boards, knives, and other kitchen items, after handling raw fish or meat.

For a complete guide of food to eat or avoid when pregnant, we’ve put together a thorough list which can be viewed here.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has provided another helpful resource. They have put together an FAQ on Nutrition During Pregnancy which provides an overview of why pregnancy nutrition is important and covers topics such as:

  1. Key minerals and vitamins
  2. Healthy meal planning
  3. Weight gain during pregnancy

2. Is it possible to sleep on my belly or should I always stick to the left side?

While you may have read online that you should sleep on your left side throughout your pregnancy, that’s difficult and unnecessary. 

 It does not matter if you sleep on your left or right side, what’s important is that you don’t sleep on your back in the second and third trimesters.

Back-sleeping can pressure the blood vessels that supply blood to your uterus. If you do end up sleeping on your back later in your pregnancy, don’t worry, adjust your position to the left and right and continue to get some rest.

There’s no problem with sleeping on your belly early in your pregnancy, but it just won’t be possible at some point.

To know more about which position you should sleep in during each trimester of your pregnancy, click here.

3. Is it normal to be out of breath?

Yes! The hormones your body produces during pregnancy can affect your lungs. So, if you climb a flight of stairs with little effort, you might still be short of breath, and that’s perfectly normal.

Shortness of breath typically occurs early in your pregnancy and is nothing to worry about unless it is accompanied by:

  1. Feeling lightheaded or faint
  2. Coughing
  3. Heart palpitations
  4. Chest pains

If you experience any of the symptoms above, contact your ob-gyn immediately.

4. Which over-the-counter medications are safe?

On the bright side, there are very few drugs that are known to be harmful to developing babies, and most can be used safely, with some being recommended.

Typically your ob-gyn will provide a list of non-prescription medications that are safe for you to take during your pregnancy, in case you get a headache, heartburn, or something similar.

Some medications that are commonly used during pregnancy can be found here.

5. Is it safe to consult a midwife for my pregnancy?

If you have no pregnancy complications or chronic conditions and are seeking a low-intervention, natural approach to your pregnancy, then consulting a midwife is a good choice.

Midwives are healthcare professionals who can provide prenatal, labor and delivery, and postpartum assistance. You can discuss using a midwife with your ob-gyn or gynecologist. Some doctors and hospitals even work alongside midwives.

6. What postpartum care do you recommend?

According to The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, 40% of women do not attend any postpartum check-ups. Therefore, your doctor must begin guiding you on postpartum care while you are pregnant.

Anticipatory guidance should include information about:

  1. Infant feeding
  2. Postpartum mental health
  3. The challenges of juggling recovery after birth and parenting
  4. Long-term plans to manage chronic conditions such as diabetes, obesity, and hypertension
  5. If you have a C-section, then a thorough postpartum plan will manage your C-section recovery

Remember, while we’ve provided insights here, every pregnancy is unique. So, don’t hesitate to ask your healthcare provider these questions, ensuring a healthy and informed path to welcoming your little one into the world. Your doctor’s guidance is your most reliable companion on this incredible journey.

More posts you might like:


  1. Top 6 pregnancy questions. 2022. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. The Top 6 Pregnancy Questions I Hear From First-Time Moms.
  2. Which medications are safe during pregnancy? 2023. What to expect. Medications During Pregnancy: What’s Safe and What’s Not?
  3. How to get the best postpartum care. 2018. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Optimizing postpartum care.
  4. What position should you sleep in when pregnant? University of Rochester Medical Center. Sleeping positions during pregnancy.

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