Answers to some of the common questions we receive.

1) Everyone tells me to take prenatal vitamins. Exactly which vitamins and minerals should be in them?

  • Folic acid, Iron, Calcium, Essential fatty acids, Vitamin D, Iodine

2) Is there anything I can do to relieve my morning sickness?

  • Start by eating small meals throughout the day.
  • Start by taking Vitamin B6 (25mg twice daily) and Unisom at night.
  • If no improvement, will start prescription anti-nausea medication.
  • Increase protein intake especially at bedtime.

3) Can my baby hear anything inside the womb? Should I be reading or talking to him/her while he’s/she’s still in my belly?

  • The baby not only hears you, but recognizes your voice and finds comfort in it.
  • This effect is highly exaggerated and there’s no solid evidence that in-utero interventions make your baby smarter or better adjusted.

4) Is it safe to have sex while I’m pregnant?

Yes, unless you have the condition of placenta previa/rupture of membranes.

5) How can I fall asleep and stay asleep in a position that’s safe for the baby

  • Ideally, one should sleep on their left side. Use pillows for support.

6) I’m trying to steer clear of toxins. What are the major offenders?

  • Mercury
  • Vitamin A/Isotretinoin/Tretinoin
  • Dietary additives
  • Herbal remedies
  • Tobacco
  • Alcohol

7) Can I go to the tanning bed or the tanning spray system?

  • No – but, you may use sunless tanning lotions.

8) Can I dye or perm my hair?

  • YES, after the 1st trimester.  Try to keep chemicals off of your scalp.

9) What are foods I should not eat?

  • Raw meats and raw fish. Yes, you can eat fish but no more than 1-2 times per week.
  • Moldy cheeses (i.e. blue cheese)
  • Unpasteurized milk/cheese
  • Raw shellfish
  • Limit deli meat to 1 time per week.

10) Can I have flu, PPD or tetanus vaccinations?

  • YES. After delivery, every patient will get the Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis) vaccination in the hospital.

11) Can I travel?

  • Yes.  If you have a normal pregnancy, you may travel (any mode of travel, including airplane) up to 34 weeks.  Be sure to walk every hour.
  • Remember whenever you travel it may be where you deliver.

12) Can I drink coffee, tea or soda products?

  • Yes, but limit to one serving per day.

13) Is it okay to have an alcoholic drink?

  • No. Please avoid it. No amount is considered safe during pregnancy.

14) Is epidural going to slow my labor? Cause paralysis? When can I get an epidural

  • Epidurals do not slow labor or cause paralysis.
  • You can get an epidural anytime during the labor process.

15) Is it safe to exercise and continue work during pregnancy?

  • A good “rule of thumb” is to limit exertion to about 2/3 of what you could do before pregnancy.

16) How much weight should I gain in pregnancy?

  • Underweight women should gain between 28-40 lbs.
  • Women of normal weight should gain between 25-35 lbs.
  • Overweight women should gain between 15-25 lbs.
  • Obese women should gain between 11-20 lbs.

17) How often will I be going to the doctor’s office?

  • Initial visit to 26 weeks, visits are every 4 weeks.
  • From 26 weeks to 36 weeks, visits are every 2 weeks.
  • After 36 weeks until delivery, visits are every week.

18) How often do I get US during my pregnancy? When can I find out the gender?

  • US will be done initially for dating.
  • Then, 2nd US will be done around 18-20 weeks focusing on the fetal anatomy. At that time, you can find out the gender!!!
  • Then, 3rd US will be done around 28-36 weeks for fetal growth and position.

19) When should I go to Labor & Delivery?

  • Labor pains/contractions every 5-10 minutes per hour
  • Broken water bag
  • Vaginal bleeding like you are on your “period”
  • Baby moving less than usual

20) Can I go to the dentist when I’m pregnant?

  • Yes.  You can have X-rays don with an abdominal shield and get “novocaine,” some antibiotics and some pain pills.  Please have your dentist contact us to discuss medications.

21) What kind of medications can I take during pregnancy?

  • Headache – Tylenol
  • Allergy/Sinus – Benadryl, Sudafed, Triaminic, Claritin, Zyrtec
  • Cough – Robitussin
  • Sore Throat – Chloraseptic spray, Throat lozenges or gargle warm salt water
  • Nausea/Vomiting – Vitamin B6, Ginger, Ginger Tea, Emetrol
  • Diarrhea – Pepto-Bismol, Kaopectate or Imodium AD
  • Constipation – Fibercon, Metamucil, Colace (100mg twice a day), Citrucel, Milk of Magnesia
  • Hemorrhoids – Tucks, Preparation H, Anusol HC cream
  • Gas – Mylicon
  • Heartburn – Tums, Mylanta, Maalox, Papaya, Pepcid AC, Zantac
  • Fever, Aches – Tylenol: Regular or Extra Strength
  • Leg Cramps – Oscal 500 or similar over the counter calcium twice per day
  • DO NOT TAKE:  Aspirin, Advil, Nuprin, Motrin, Aleve or Anaprox

22) What kind of symptoms and changes should I expect in each trimester?

1st trimester:

  • Bouts of nausea
  • Tender, swollen breasts
  • Increased urination
  • Fatigue
  • Food aversions or cravings
  • Heartburn and constipation

2nd trimester/3rd trimester:

  • Continued breast growth
  • Weight gain
  • Braxton Hicks contractions
  • Backaches
  • Occasional lightheadedness
  • Heartburn
  • Swelling
  • Spider veins, varicose veins and hemorrhoids

1) When should I have my first gynecological exam?

  • You should have your first exam when you are 21 years of age.

2) Can I have a pap smear if I have my period?

  • Yes, if you have a light flow.

3) My mother has a history of breast cancer, when should I get my first mammogram?

  • If you are at a greater risk for breast cancer, beginning screening mammograms before age 40 is recommended. Talk to your doctor about your particular risk factors.

4) How is HPV Spread?

  • HPV is spread by skin-to-skin contact — usually during vaginal, anal, or oral sex.

5) Should I get the HPV vaccine?

  • We offer the HPV vaccine for girls and women 9 through 26 years of age.  Ideally, females should get the vaccine before becoming sexually active (when they may be exposed to HPV). Females who are sexually active may also benefit from the vaccine.  The vaccine is not recommended for pregnant women.

6) Why is the HPV vaccine only recommended for women through age 26?

  • The vaccine has only been tested in girls and women 9 through 26 years of age.  New research is being done on the vaccine’s effects and safety for women older than 26 years of age.

7) Do I need a Pap test if I have had a hysterectomy?

  • After a hysterectomy for a non-cancer related reason, you do not need a pap test (which screens for cervical cancer); however you do need the annual pelvic exam and breast exam as part of screening for ovarian and breast cancer.  Your yearly Well Woman appointment continues to be an important part of wellness and disease identification.

8) What do I do if I miss a birth control pill?

  • If you are less than 24 hours late, take your pill as soon as possible and return to your daily pill schedule. If you are 24 hours (or more) late, take the missed pill and today’s pill at the same time. Use a back up method of contraception or abstain from intercourse for the next 7 days.

9) Can I skip the placebo pills and start another pack to avoid getting my period?

  • Yes. Continuous use of birth control works best if you are taking a monophasic pill with the same dose in the 3 weeks of active pills. Triphasic pills have different amounts of hormones each week so using them continuously may cause break-through bleeding.

10) How can I tell if I am in menopause?

  • Menopause is considered to be 1 year without a menstrual period.

11) What is perimenopause?

  • This is a stage of life when the ovaries gradually begin to produce less estrogen.  It is characterized by hot flashes, breast tenderness, irregular periods, decreased libido, mood swings and difficulty sleeping.

12) What are the most common symptoms of menopause?

  • Hot flashes, night sweats, irregular periods, emotional changes, loss of libido, and vaginal dryness.

13) When should I call for bleeding issues? Call if:

  • Cycle is less than 21 days or greater than 42 days
  • Duration is less than 1 day or greater than 8 days
  • Volume: soaking regular pad or tampon/1hr or 6+/12 hrs  (Go to the Emergency Room)
  • Pain with bleeding
  • Chance of pregnancy

14) When should I call for pain issues? Call if:

  • Associated with fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or abnormal vaginal discharge
  • Associated with urinary tract infection (UTI) symptoms or back pain
  • With unprotected intercourse, or exposure to STD’s