Now that you are pregnant! What to do…

Nov 18, 2014 posted by Meenu Gopal
Congratulations as you embark on this wonderful and special journey of your life.
Hoping you are keeping well and not hitting the sink every morning and keeping up with your daily routine of either work, school or home, start learning about your rights:

1: Choose your caregiver wisely, Don’t  close your eyes and pick one randomly out of a phone book. Verify their credentials, look for board certification, search for malpractice claims against them, and most importantly ask friends and family. You will have a list of providers from your insurance provider and your primary care provider can also be a resource for recommendations. Review websites like and However make sure to see how many reviews are there—if there is just one or two it may not be reliable enough to know the real truth.

Feel how they treat you for the first few visits. If you are just a number in the office and the provider is not giving you a lot of time, you may want to look at alternative providers in the same group or another group. A lot of times in a group of obstetrics you may see multiple doctors and can request one person you feel has treated you the best. It may not always be an option in bigger groups, as most physicians are now not able to practice in smaller groups.

High risk pregnancy – if you are one and they will tell you in your visit – there may be some obstetricians who only do high risk pregnancy and would be a better choice for you.

Pediatrician– it may be a good idea to start looking for a good pediatrician sooner than later.

2: Most importantly take responsibility of yourself and your baby’s health and well being. Whether it is eating better –, exercising- or acquiring adequate sleep, maternal well being both mental and physical especially in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy has an immense impact on the mental and physical health of your upcoming bundle of joy.

3: Choosing a birthing center: Hospital vs Birthing center.
 When I had my kids in the last century the only option of child birth in the US was going to a hospital and delivering a baby. This still exists as the most common practice in most set ups. However there is a rising awareness and growth of Birthing Centers and if that suits your thinking and lifestyle.

The idea behind this goes back to the olden times family centered care of healthy woman during pregnancy, labor and birth.

4: Go over your employer’s procedures and regulations for pregnancy, labor and maternity time.

5: What medications should I take and what not:
Most organ formations occurs in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, Rule of thumb is to not take any meds whatsoever in the first 12 weeks, however if there are certain medications you are on ask your doctor about safety in continuing them.

In case you need to see a doctor for any reason whatsoever always inform them of your pregnant status and they will ensure safety of prescribed drugs.

6: What classes should I take: While there are a plethora of options available I personally feel for a first time parent birthing lessons for the couple are immensely useful. Yoga, breathing lessons, pelvic support exercises and the impact of these exercises on strengthening your core and pelvic muscles are invaluable.

These exercises not only strengthen you to endure the ordeal of labor but ensure you are strong physically to keep up with the exhausting schedule of postpartum recovery when a part of your soul needs you more than they will ever need you in their life.

I am also a big fan of lactation consultant and classes in nursing. Believe me the patience and support of a lactation advisor when a hungry newborn is wailing and the exhausted mother is trying her best to latch the baby on the breast is priceless. No book can teach you that better than the support of that person.

Let us share more thoughts as we chat again in the coming few weeks and of course remember to get the flu shot no matter what time of your pregnancy you are in.

Meenu Gopal, MD

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Nov 18, 2014 posted by Bob Singh
Nov 18, 2014 posted by Meenu Gopal
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