Prenatal appointments provide specialized care for expecting mothers and their growing babies. Most women have their first prenatal visit within the first eight weeks of pregnancy, then have regular checkups until their babies are born.
All in all, the average woman has 10-15 prenatal care visits over the course of a single pregnancy. These appointments monitor your health and your baby’s development, and they are a great resource when it comes to getting your pregnancy questions answered.
A. Michael Coppa, MD, and our team provide comprehensive prenatal care for women in Cranston, Providence, and Smithfield, Rhode Island. We know it’s normal to have questions, so we’re here to help.
Here are some questions you should be asking at your next prenatal exam, whether it’s your first or your 10th pregnancy.
Are my pregnancy symptoms normal?
Your body goes through dramatic changes during pregnancy, and it’s normal for those changes to cause symptoms you didn’t experience before you got pregnant.
The types of pregnancy symptoms you have change as your pregnancy progresses, and it’s important to bring up any questions or concerns you have at your prenatal appointments.
For example, some nausea and vomiting is normal in early pregnancy. But it shouldn’t be so severe that it’s impossible for you to keep any foods or liquids in your stomach. If nausea regularly interferes with your daily life, talk to Dr. Coppa about ways to manage it.
Throughout pregnancy, you should watch for a few serious symptoms. Call us right away if you have:
- Severe, sudden abdominal or pelvic pain
- Severe cramps
- Heavy vaginal bleeding
- Sudden swelling
- Blurred vision
- Severe headache
- Signs of labor
These symptoms require immediate medical attention, no matter how far along you are.
Is my weight gain on track?
Weight gain during pregnancy is inevitable and healthy, but make sure you gain the right amount. We weigh you at each prenatal appointment and track your weight as your baby grows.
If you were at a healthy weight pre-pregnancy, Dr. Coppa generally recommends gaining 25-35 pounds during pregnancy. If you were underweight, you might need to gain 28-40 pounds. If you were overweight, you might need to gain 15-25 pounds.
If you’re above or below your target pregnancy weight, we can help you find ways to prioritize your health, whether that’s focusing on eating a balanced diet or finding ways to get active.
What types of exercise are safe for me?
Physical activity is important for everyone. Exercise during pregnancy offers health benefits for mom and baby, but many women wonder if exercising is dangerous or if there are any activities they need to avoid to protect their babies.
If you exercised regularly before getting pregnant, it may be safe to continue the same activities during pregnancy. Talk to Dr. Coppa about your exercise habits and your health. He can help you develop a plan that’s safe for you.
In general, walking, cycling, yoga, swimming, and strength training are safe for most pregnant women. There are a few activities to avoid, including impact sports, jumping, abdominal exercises, and anything that increases your risk of overheating.
No matter your questions about pregnancy, we’re here to help you find answers. Schedule a prenatal appointment with Dr. Coppa online or call our office nearest you today.