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Beginnings: Pregnancy, Birth & Beyond

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First trimester: Making decisions

During pregnancy, you will be asked to make health care decisions.

In many cases there isn't a clear "good" or "bad" choice. The best decision is one that feels right for you and your circumstances.

When you face a tough decision, this guide can help you organize your thinking:

Gather information.

Ask your health care provider to explain the options. If you want more information, read books and articles about the topic. Check the Internet.

Because it may be hard to tell if the websites are providing accurate and appropriate information, ask these questions:

  • Who is sponsoring the website?
  • Is the sponsor trying to sell you something?
  • Who is the author or creator of the content?
  • What expertise does the author have?
  • Is the purpose of the site clearly stated?
  • Does the information seem objective and current?
  • When was the site last updated?
  • Can you access information without giving personal information?
  • Does the site have a privacy policy?
  • Is the site accredited by URAC and/or the Health on the Net Foundation? (Look for these seals at the bottom of website pages.)

Talk with your health care provider about any information you find online.

Ask questions.

When talking with your health care provider, ask questions until you feel you have all the facts you need. Here are some questions you can ask:

  • What is the benefit of the proposed treatment to me?
  • What is the benefit of the proposed treatment to my baby?
  • What are the risks?
  • What are the alternatives?
  • How quickly do we need to decide?

Discuss the options.

Talk with your partner, family or trusted friends. Ask other parents how they made their decision.

If you are being pressed for an immediate medical decision, ask if you can have time alone with your partner to talk things through.


 

Source: Allina Health's Patient Education Department, Beginnings: Pregnancy, Birth and Beyond, sixth edition, preg-ahc-90026, ISBN 1-931876-25-8

First published: 01/15/2012
Last updated: 01/15/2013

Reviewed by: Allina Health's Patient Education Department experts