Top 10 Questions Expecting Moms Ask
Preparing for the arrival of a new baby involves a lot of work! No matter how ready you are to welcome this new little life into the world, it’s only a matter of time before you’ll be confronted with something you may not know the answer to.
I love helping my patients navigate the exciting and sometimes bewildering world of pregnancy. Each month brings a new milestone, especially once you begin to share the news with extended family, coworkers and friends. Here are some of the questions I receive most often from my expecting moms, with links to helpful resources in certain cases. I’ve also included a few related to miscarriage. Many women are surprised to learn that between 15-20% of all pregnancies end in miscarriage, so this is an important time to know you are not alone and that your doctors are here for you.
Answers to 10 common pregnancy question
Is it okay to paint my baby's nursery while I'm pregnant?
Preparing the nursery is one of the most exciting things about expecting a new baby! If you do plan on painting your own nursery, follow these simple guidelines to decrease the likelihood of paint exposure:
- Protect your skin from paint droppings on the skin by wearing long pants, long-sleeved shirts, gloves, etc.
- Make sure the room is well ventilated. This is easily accomplished by opening windows and turning on fans to increase air circulation. Also, wearing a mask will help to decrease fume inhalation.
- Keep food and drinks away from your painting area so that chemical solvents in the paint will not be accidentally consumed.
What are the most important things to purchase for my new baby?
Every woman will have a different opinion on this, however, remember – babies don’t really need a lot during their first few weeks at home so do your best to avoid the temptation of buying every new gadget in sight!
These are a few of the must-have items:
- Disposable or cloth diapers/disposable wipes
- Baby bathtub
- Baby blankets
- Baby bottles/burp cloths
- Nursing bras/pads/breast pump (if breastfeeding)
- Diaper bag
- Car seat
When will I feel the baby move?
Most women will begin to feel fetal movement around 20 weeks’ gestation. However, if you are one of those moms that don’t feel fetal movement at that time, it’s okay. You may have an anterior placenta that is preventing you from feeling movement this early. In this case, you will likely start feeling fetal movement a few weeks later.
When will I start to show?
First-time mothers usually begin developing a baby bump between 14 and 16 weeks. Moms who have already been pregnant start showing a bit sooner as their uterine and abdominal muscles have already been stretched from a previous pregnancy.
What are some cute ways I can tell my partner the news?
There are lots of memorable ways to communicate this news, and it’s a moment that the two of you should treasure. I encourage couples to make it special in some way because bringing a new life into the world is a big deal! For inspiration, I really like these 50 cute ideas for breaking the news to your partner that you two are having a baby.
Looking for more pregnancy advice? Get tips for navigating your pregnancy every day through Ochsner's Stork Report flash briefing.
How will I know if I'm having a miscarriage?
Most women will experience intense lower abdominal cramping accompanied with heavy vaginal bleeding. Other symptoms include mild to severe back pain, discharge of fluid or tissue from the vagina, or heavy spotting. If you experience some version of these symptoms you should call your doctor right away.
How will I cope after a miscarriage?
Every woman who experiences a miscarriage will have different coping mechanisms. Remember, regardless of how early the miscarriage occurs it is okay to feel sad and even sometimes angry. During this time after a miscarriage it is important to surround yourself with close friends and family members who you feel comfortable telling about what is going on. Try not to distance yourself with your partner, and most importantly, take time to grieve.
How soon after a miscarriage can I try again?
Most practitioners recommend a 2-3 month waiting period after a miscarriage before attempting to conceive again. However, each person’s situation is different, and you should have a consultation with your doctor if you are unsure.
When should I share the news that I'm pregnant?
Keeping your pregnancy under wraps is no easy feat, especially when you are bursting with excitement. However, most women wait to share their news until the late first trimester, usually around week 12-13. This is when the rate of miscarriage greatly decreases. Just remember, regardless of the statistics and what other moms do, it’s up to YOU to decide when the time is right.
When should I tell my employer that I'm pregnant?
Unfortunately, there is no perfect time to inform your employer of your pregnancy. The decision to share the news with your boss may be guided by different factors, such as the type of work you do and how you are feeling during your pregnancy. Are you running to the bathroom what feels like every five minutes to throw up? Are you starting to look pregnant? If so, your timeframe may have to be moved up.
Many women will wait until after the first trimester to let their boss in on the secret. However, some may need to inform them sooner due to potential workplace hazards, such as if they have a strenuous job or are exposed to hazardous chemicals. Regardless of when you decide, make sure your boss is the FIRST person in the office to know.