5 Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Prenatal Appointments

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Image via Flickr/ Daniel Lobo

Throughout your pregnancy, you’ll probably be scheduled for around 15 prenatal appointments. Most doctors see their patients around once per month through 28 weeks, twice per month from 28-36 weeks, and once per week from 36-40 weeks. If you have any pre-existing conditions or experience any complications, you may end up seeing your doctor even more frequently. Doctor’s appointments during pregnancy can bring on a range of feelings. From joy and excitement about your little one's development to fear or anxiety about the very same thing, you may sometimes have a hard time remembering everything your doctor has told you or getting answers to your questions. Check out the tips below to be sure you make the most of your time with your doctor. 

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1. Try to relax

Your prenatal appointments, particularly those that take place early in your pregnancy, can bring on some serious anxiety. Fears about your baby’s development, as well as anxieties about having a baby in general, can make it tough to relax. Being worked up during your appointments can make it hard to pay attention though so do your best to relax beforehand. Arrive on time so you don’t feel rushed, bring along a book or magazine to take your mind off your worries, and plan for something to look forward to, like a nice meal or outing, after your appointment.

2. Write down any questions

No doubt you probably have 1000 questions about your body and your baby running through mind. Instead of continuing to wonder, or consulting a website that may or may not have accurate information, keep a running list of questions on your phone or in a notebook that you can consult when you head into your appointments.

3. Bring along your support person

Whether it’s your partner, your mom, or a trusted friend, bringing along someone for support can help you enjoy your appointments. Your support person can also serve as a second set of ears for any instructions your doctor gives or help you remember the big questions that have been running through your mind.

4. Take notes

At each appointment, your doctor will probably share important information about your and your baby’s health, as well as instructions for future appointments. Just like in class, taking notes can help you remember everything you need to know.

5. Ask questions

Pregnancy is new and comes with all kinds of terminology. It’s not unlikely that there will be at least a few times during the course of your pregnancy that you’ll be confused by a discussion with your doctor. Instead of leaving without getting the information you need, take a minute and ask your doctor to clarify. It’s your doctor's job to make sure you understand what’s going on, so don’t feel awkward about speaking up. 

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How else do you prepare for your doctor’s appointments?

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5 Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Prenatal Appointments

Julia Pelly has a master's degree in public health and works full time in the field of positive youth development. Julia loves hiking after work, swimming during the summer and taking long, cuddly afternoon naps with her two sons on the weekends. She is writing a memoir on pregnancy, motherhood, and sisterhood and lives in North Carolina, with her husband and two young boys. ... More

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