Taking Responsibility

Your relationship with your provider is a partnership.

You have important responsibilities during your pregnancy to help assure the best possible outcome for you and your baby. By getting early and regular prenatal care and following these recommendations, you are doing everything possible to have a happy and healthy pregnancy and baby.

Take good care of yourself:

  • Eat a well-balanced, nutritious diet and drink plenty of fluids.
  • Try to avoid alcohol, cigarettes and any drugs your provider does not prescribe or recommend.
  • Get plenty of rest and regular exercise.
  • Follow all other general prenatal precautions , e.g., avoiding cat litter boxes, undercooked meat, hot tubs and saunas, and standing directly in front of microwaves.
  • Follow any other recommendations your provider may make to address special circumstances of your pregnancy.

Tell your provider the whole truth about your medical history.
Include all past diseases and obstetric hist ory, and all drugs used (prescription, nonprescription, alcohol, tobacco, and illegal drugs). Such information can be kept separate from the rest of your medical record.

Follow your provider’s instructions, including his/her recommended prenatal visit schedule.
If you are not in agreement with something your provider has asked you to do, discuss your concerns with him/her, or with another provider if necessary. Do not decide on your own to disregard any instructions.

Always speak up if you do not understand something or if you feel your provider is in error.
Don’t assume that your provider never makes mistakes, or that she/he remembers everything about your medical history and pregnancy.

Keep a pad of paper for your questions and provider’s answers to be used during and between prenatal visits.
Write your questions down as they occur to you so you remember to ask them at your appointments. Write down the answers you receive when you speak with your provider. Do reading on your own so that you are better informed.

Always notify your provider of any worrisome problems, i.e., side effects of medications, possible complications of your pregnancy, etc.
If you are afraid that you are calling too often, ask your provider for guidelines on when to call.

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