Frequently Asked Questions
How will my appointment be scheduled?
Your appointments will be scheduled every 4-6 weeks until the 28th week, then every 2 weeks until 36 weeks then weekly until delivery. At each visit we will check your urine record your weight and blood pressure, listen to the baby's heart rate and assess baby's growth. There are also several tests that will be ordered. Initially, a prenatal profile will be ordered which includes several tests such as; blood type and RH. Orin count, rubella status, Hepatitis B screen. VDRL screen, HIV screen and, cystic fibrosis carrier screen. At 15 weeks you will have a blood test to screen for your risk of having a child with Downs Syndrome or Spinal Bifida. At 16-20 weeks and ultrasound for a complete survey of the baby will be ordered. Around 24 weeks a blood test to screen for your risk of having gestational diabetes will be ordered. At 32 weeks we will again check your iron count. At 34 weeks we will do a vaginal swab to test for GBS, harmless bacteria that many people carry without symptom, but can rarely lead to a serious neonatal infection. If you are a carrier we will give you antibiotics when you are in labor to prevent neonatal infection. Your cervix will be checked weekly during the last few weeks of your pregnancy for dilation and effacement and to ensure the baby's head is down.
What and how much should I eat during pregnancy?
You need an average of only 300 calories extra a day during pregnancy. Weight gain of 20-30 pounds is ideal; 0-5 pounds in the first 12 weeks and up to 1 pound a week after that. Eat small frequent meals to avoid heartburn and to prevent hypoglycemia. Make healthy choices and watch your intake of sugar and starches. Some fish can accumulate high levels of mercury and should be avoided. The FDA recommends avoiding shark, tilefish, swordfish and king mackerel. Other fish are lower in mercury and up to 12 oz a weeks is recommended. Unpasteurized cheeses and deli meats can carry Listeria, a bacteria that can cause miscarriage and fetal infection. Raw fish and meat can carry parasites and microbes that can cause potential harm to the mother and the baby. Caffeine is safe in small quantities. (1-2 caffeinated beverages daily)
Can I exercise?
Staying active is good for both you and the baby. If you are not on a regular exercise program, walking is a good choice in pregnancy. If you do exercise regularly, monitor your heart rate and keep it under 140 beats per minute. If you work out with weights, modify exercises that require you to be flat on your back or flat on your stomach. After 12 weeks stop abdominal exercise. If you have any cramping or bleeding when exercising, stop until you have been cleared by your physician to continue with any exercise.
Is it all right to have sex?
Sex is safe in pregnancy unless you are experiencing complications such as bleeding, preterm contraction or low-lying placenta. You may have mild contractions immediately after sex, but it will not make an otherwise healthy pregnant woman go into premature labor. Unless your doctor recommends otherwise, you may continue your normal sexual practices if you want.
Can I travel?
If you have an uncomplicated pregnancy it is safe to travel until 36 weeks. We recommend you stay close to home after 36 weeks because you can go into labor at any time. Flying is safe in pregnancy, but may increase your risk for blood clots, so walk around the cabin every hour and support hose on long flights. With long road trips make frequent stops to stretch your legs and empty your bladder.
Can I color my hair?
Hair color is safe during pregnancy. The hair outside of your scalp is dead tissue and does not absorb anything into your blood stream.
Can I paint while pregnant?
Inhaling paint fumes in not well for anyone. While casual exposure to paint does not cause birth defects, use good judgment if you are painting make sure the room is well ventilated. Have someone else do the painting for you that require the use of a ladder.
Do I have to lie on my left side?
When you lay on your back the large blood vessels that run close to your spine can become compressed by the pregnant uterus. In the third trimester this can decrease blood flow to the baby. It can also decrease blood flow to your head causing you to feel dizzy and lightheaded. Blood flow to the baby will be maximized if you tilt your abdomen even slightly to the left or right. Before the thirds trimester most women can lie comfortably on their back, as blood flow is not significantly affected.
When will I deliver?
Most people deliver close to their due date. About 10% of women will deliver before 37 weeks. It is more likely that you will go beyond your due date in the first pregnancy than in subsequent pregnancies. We generally recommend induction at 41 weeks. If you are having a C-section, we will schedule it at 39 weeks.
* As with all of your health concerns, if there are questions or comments that you have please bring them for discussion at your next Dr's visit. If you are worried that something is not right, please feel free to call us. We are here to make this pregnancy an enjoyable experience. *
Who Gets the Test?
3D4D Ultrasounds are optional. They're not a standard prenatal test. Doctors offer them as a courtesy to women who want them. The cost of the Ultrasound is $80.00 payable at the time of scheduling. Contact our office for scheduling arrangement.
What the Test Does
Like regular Ultrasounds, 3D4D ultrasounds use sound waves to create an image of your baby in the womb. What's different about 3D ultrasounds is that they create a three-dimensional image of your baby. 4D ultrasound create a live video effect, it's like a movie. You can watch your baby smile and yawn.
They let you see your baby's face for the first time.
The medical benefit of 3D4D ultrasounds are not clear but studies suggest that 3D4D ultrasounds are safe.