Although you may be in the care of a good or reputed gynaecologist, it is never a good idea to leave everything in her hands. You need to be alert and aware with regard to what is going on in your body.
There was a time when women lived in joint families, surrounded by mothers, mothers-in-law, 'bhabhis', friends and many other women who had tons of advice to give her regarding the life in her belly. Grandmothers had a number of children ranging anywhere from four to a dozen. Often a woman and her mother would be pregnant at the same time! There was no lack of experienced advice.
Today when a woman gets pregnant and turns to her mother for advice, chances are her mother would have long forgotten all the aches, pains and home remedies associated with her pregnancy.
The importance of understanding your pregnancy well and being informed about what you are going through can never be stressed enough. It is simply not enough to route all your questions to your doctor, you must have enough knowledge yourself. Get your hands on a good pregnancy book recommended by friends and your doctor, and visit pregnancy sites regularly.
Monitor your body
"My doctor never even mentioned that I should be monitoring kicks," says Latha. "She just asked me if I have started feeling kicks, and I said yes, and that was the entire conversation we had on the topic! The only reason I monitored kicks was because a friend of mine who was also pregnant, told me to, and I read up about it in a book and on various websites. One day, when I felt the kicks were less than normal, I called up my doctor who told me to wait and watch. I insisted that I was very concerned and she sent me in for a scan. The scan showed that the umbilical cord was around the baby's neck. We then went in for a c-section. If I wasn't consciously monitoring the kicks, I wouldn't have even realized!"
Make a list of routine questions
It is not a good idea to call up your gynaecologist too often on her cell. If the question is routine, e.g. a dietary concern, make a note and ask her about it when you meet her. If you are concerned about something, first call on her office number, and then try her cell.
If you call her for any and every tiny reason, she may not take your calls immediately, and may call you back when she is a little free. And if there is an emergency, it may be too late.
Keep calling if concerned
Although there are some doctors who are readily approachable for the slightest concern, many gynaecologists are too busy to attend to every phone call. They may be in the midst of a surgery, or explaining certain complications to a patient, and may ask you to call back a number of times before they can actually speak to you. Keep calling, don't give up thinking it's no big deal, and you will speak tomorrow. Send an SMS, and call the receptionist.
Know an emergency
If you are not aware of what is going on, you may not be able to distinguish an emergency from a routine concern. It is alright for you to treat a minor concern as an emergency, but never be so unaware that you treat an emergency as a minor concern.