Preparing for your appointmentBy Mayo Clinic staff
It's a good idea to be well prepared for your appointment with your obstetrician or pregnancy care provider. Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment, and what to expect from your pregnancy care provider.
What you can do
To prepare for your appointment:
- Write down any symptoms you're experiencing. Include all of your symptoms, even if you don't think they're related.
- Make a list of any medications, vitamins and other supplements you take. Write down doses and how often you take them.
- Have a family member or close friend accompany you, if possible. You may be given a lot of information at your visit, and it can be difficult to remember everything.
- Take a notebook or notepad with you. Use it to write down important information during your visit.
- Think about what questions you'll ask. Write them down; list the most important questions first, in case time runs out.
For cholestasis of pregnancy, some basic questions to ask your doctor or pregnancy care provider include:
- What is likely causing my symptoms?
- Is my condition mild or severe?
- Is it safe to continue the pregnancy?
- How does my condition affect the baby?
- What is the best course of action?
- What kinds of tests do I need?
- What are the alternatives to the primary approach that you're suggesting?
- Are there any restrictions that I need to follow?
- Will it be necessary to induce early labor?
- Do you have any brochures or other printed material that I can take home with me? What websites do you recommend visiting?
In addition to the questions that you've prepared, don't hesitate to ask questions during your appointment at any time that you don't understand something.
What to expect from your doctor
To better understand your condition, your doctor or pregnancy care provider might ask several questions, such as:
- What symptoms are you experiencing?
- How long have you been experiencing symptoms?
- How severe are your symptoms?
- Has your baby been active?
- What, if anything, seems to improve your symptoms?
- What, if anything, appears to worsen your symptoms?
- Have you been diagnosed with cholestasis during any previous pregnancies?
- Bacq Y, et al. Cholestasis of pregnancy. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Aug. 31, 2011.
- Geenes V, et al. Intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy. World Journal of Gastroenterology. 2009;15:2049.
- Liver disorders in pregnancy. March of Dimes. http://www.marchofdimes.com/professionals/14332_14543.asp. Accessed Sept. 1, 2011.
- Riely CA, et al. Intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy. Clinics in Liver Disease. 2004;8:167.
- Skin conditions during pregnancy. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. http://www.acog.org/publications/patient_education/bp169.cfm. Accessed Sept. 6, 2011.
- Cappell MS. Hepatic and gastrointestinal diseases. In: Gabbe SG, et al. Obstetrics: Normal and Problem Pregnancies. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier; 2007. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/linkTo?type=bookPage&isbn=978-0-443-06930-7&eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-443-06930-7..50045-1. Accessed Sept. 6, 2011.
- Burrows R, et al. Interventions for treating cholestasis in pregnancy. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2009:CD000493. http://www2.cochrane.org/reviews. Accessed Sept. 6, 2011.
- SAMe. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. http://www.naturaldatabase.com. Accessed Sept. 6, 2011.
- Pathak B, et al. Cholestasis of pregnancy. Obstetrics and Gynecology Clinics of North America. 2010;37:269.
- Harms RW (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Sept. 21, 2011.