first prenatal visit questions

You're pregnant!

You confirmed it with a ridiculous number of home pregnancy tests, started dreaming of baby names... and are wondering what to do next.

This time can be one of the most exciting and overwhelming of your life, filled with a seemingly infinite number of questions. Take a deep breath, grab a pencil and write down some of those questions, because you'll want to have them with you at your first prenatal visit with your obstetrician or midwife.

The first prenatal visit usually happens between weeks 8 and 10, but it's a good idea to let your provider know as soon as you find out you're pregnant.

Here are 9 essential questions you should ask during your first prenatal appointment:

1. Who will deliver me?

At your first visit, it's a good idea to meet the doctors and midwives in the practice and to get a feel for their birth philosophy. The hospital they deliver at, the number of providers in the group and the options you have for your birth are important details you'll want to know to help you decide whether the group is a good fit for you.

2. How much weight should I gain?

This depends on your pre-pregnancy weight. Your provider will calculate your BMI to help guide the discussion about healthy weight gain during pregnancy. As a general rule, women at a healthy weight should gain between 25 and 30 pounds, women who are underweight should gain nearly 40 pounds and women who are overweight or obese should gain 11 to 20 pounds during their pregnancy.

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When you're just about to become a mama, you need all the nurturing you can get.

3. Can I continue exercising?

If you have a pre-pregnancy regimen you enjoy, your doctor will likely advise you to continue. If you do not yet have an exercise regimen, they will probably encourage you to start one! Exercise helps maintain appropriate weight gain during pregnancy, and some studies have shown that it may decrease your risk for gestational diabetes, preeclampsia and cesarean delivery.

4. What do I do about my history with certain health conditions?

One of the most important things to talk with your provider about during your first prenatal visit is your health history. Pregnancy is generally a state of wellness, but can put great stress on your body, exacerbating certain health conditions. Some common conditions that affect pregnancy include diabetes, high blood pressure, seizures, hypo- and hyperthyroidism and depression, but be sure to tell your OB about any health issues you've had, as special medical adjustments may be necessary. Also let them know about any surgeries you've had or any problems with antibiotics or anesthesia.

5. Are all my medications safe for pregnancy?

Take a list of all the medications, herbs and supplements you are currently taking to your appointment. Some medications can cause birth defects or could hurt your pregnancy, so your provider may have you stop or change what you're taking.

6. Should I be taking a prenatal vitamin?

While it's best to start taking prenatal vitamins prior to conception, it's never too late to start. Ask your doctor whether there is a prenatal vitamin they recommend or whether they know of one that's covered by your insurance.

7. What type of genetic screening should I get?

There are many different options for genetic screening that your doctor can offer you. These are based on how far along you are in your pregnancy and what risk factors you have.

8. Do I need to be tested for coronavirus?

Coronavirus screening guidelines are constantly changing as more is learned about the virus and where it has spread. Your doctor will guide you based on the current CDC recommendations.

9. Who should I call if I have questions or concerns?

Most practices have a phone number where a nurse or provider can be reached 24 hours a day if you have questions or concerns, or if you think you're in labor. This is important, because babies don't tend to respect business hours, so make sure you have the after-hours emergency number before you leave.

If your first prenatal visit flies by and you happen to forget a question or two, don't worry. You'll see your provider many more times before your due date and should have lots of opportunities to ask more questions.


14 outdoor toys your kids will want to play with beyond summer

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With Labor day weekend in the rearview and back-to-school in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.


Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!


Detective set

Plan Toys detective setDetective Set

This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.


Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden doll strollerWooden Doll Stroller

Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.


Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.


Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.


Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.


Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.


Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.


Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.


Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.


Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.


Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.


Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.


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Every week, we stock the Motherly Shop with innovative and fresh products from brands we feel good about. We want to be certain you don't miss anything, so to keep you in the loop, we're providing a cheat sheet.

So, what's new this week?

Meri Meri: Decor and gifts that bring the wonder of childhood to life

We could not be more excited to bring the magic of Meri Meri to the Motherly Shop. For over 30 years, their playful line of party products, decorations, children's toys and stationery have brought magic to celebrations and spaces all over the world. Staring as a kitchen table endeavor with some scissors, pens and glitter in Los Angeles in 1985, Meri Meri (founder Meredithe Stuart-Smith's childhood nickname) has evolved from a little network of mamas working from home to a team of 200 dreaming up beautiful, well-crafted products that make any day feel special.

We've stocked The Motherly Shop with everything from Halloween must-haves to instant-heirloom gifts kiddos will adore. Whether you're throwing a party or just trying to make the everyday feel a little more special, we've got you covered.

Not sure where to start? Here's what we're adding to our cart:

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It's science: Why your baby stops crying when you stand up

A fascinating study explains why.

When your baby is crying, it feels nearly instinctual to stand up to rock, sway and soothe them. That's because standing up to calm babies is instinctual—driven by centuries of positive feedback from calmed babies, researchers have found.

"Infants under 6 months of age carried by a walking mother immediately stopped voluntary movement and crying and exhibited a rapid heart rate decrease, compared with holding by a sitting mother," say authors of a 2013 study published in Current Biology.

Even more striking: This coordinated set of actions—the mother standing and the baby calming—is observed in other mammal species, too. Using pharmacologic and genetic interventions with mice, the authors say, "We identified strikingly similar responses in mouse pups as defined by immobility and diminished ultrasonic vocalizations and heart rate."

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