Table of Contents:
- Can I Exercise During Pregnancy?
- What Should I Expect at my First Prenatal Test Visit?
- What Diet Restrictions Should I Have While I am Pregnant?
- What Can I Do if I Experience Morning Sickness?
- Can I Have an X-Ray When I am Pregnant?
- Can I Suntan While I am Pregnant?
- What are the Signs that I am in Labor?
Premier OB/GYN, LLC is proud to provide complete obstetrical care. Our dedicated physicians and well-trained staff will be there for you from your initial visit to confirm your pregnancy through final delivery and postpartum visits. We know what a special time this is for you and your family.
ROUTINE OBSTETRICAL APPOINTMENTS ARE SCHEDULED ON TUESDAY AFTERNOON AND FRIDAY MORNINGS
WHAT IS OBSTETRICS?
Obstetrics is the branch of medicine and surgery concerned with childbirth and the care of women giving birth. Obstetricians are medical doctors who specialize in the management of pregnancy, labor, and delivery.
We have created a comprehensive program that includes:
- Scheduled office visits for prenatal care
- Prenatal Education
- Premier Services Plus
- Pregnancy risk screening
- Nutrition counseling
- Lactation counseling
- Tobacco cessation counseling
- Gestational Diabetes counseling (if recommended by physician)
- In-house lab services
- Random drug screens due to zero tolerance drug policy
- Fetal heart monitoring
- Fetal non-stress testing
- 3D/4D ultrasound
- Educational classes
- Delivery at Lakewood Ranch Medical Center
- Post-partum follow-up
WHEN SHOULD I BEGIN TO TAKE PRENATAL VITAMINS?
You should start taking prenatal vitamins three months prior to conception, if you are planning to get pregnant. If you just found out you are pregnant, you should begin taking them now. The most important single vitamin in the group is folic acid, which helps to prevent birth defects. That’s also why it’s a good idea to take a daily multivitamin, even if pregnancy isn’t planned. Most contain folic acid, and it will be there if you do get pregnant.
WHAT KIND OF CARE DO YOU GIVE MY BABY WHILE IN THE WOMB?
We will monitor your health and the health of your baby. To do so, we’ll perform routine ultrasounds, measurements, and numerous other tests. We’ll keep an eye on various conditions that could cause problems with your pregnancy or with the baby. These are things like diabetes, high blood pressure, various infections, and genetic disorders.
Beyond your baby, we’ll also help you cope with the various aspects of pregnancy, from morning sickness to back pain. We’ll answer all of your questions, and explain every step of your pregnancy and what you can expect.
HOW OFTEN DO I NEED TO HAVE APPOINTMENTS DURING MY PREGNANCY?
We’d like to see you if you’re planning to get pregnant, so that we can get you started on prenatal vitamins and give you some advice on do’s and don’ts. Of course, once you become pregnant, we should see you pretty much as soon as you know. From there, for a typical pregnancy, we will want to see you on this schedule:
- Weeks 4-28 — 1 prenatal visit a month
- Weeks 28-36 — 2 prenatal visit every two weeks
- Weeks 36-40 — 1 prenatal visit every week
WHEN CAN I FIND OUT THE SEX OF THE BABY DURING MY PREGNANCY?
We can usually give you the sex of your baby during your midpregnancy ultrasound, which occurs between 16 and 20 weeks. To do so, however, your ultrasound technician will need to get a clear view of the baby’s genitals. That’s not always easy to do. You can also find out the sex during amniocentesis around the same time.
WHAT TESTING IS DONE DURING PREGNANCY?
The various tests we’ll perform are grouped by the phase of your pregnancy. We’ll explain the role of each test before they are performed. These are the basics. Of course, every pregnancy and pregnant woman is unique, so these tests can vary.
- Urine tests
- Rh factor tests
- Initial blood work-up
- Pap smear
- Quad screen
- Level 2 ultrasound
- Glucose screening
- Non-stress test
- Biophysical profile
- Group B strep
I am beyond grateful for coming across this practice for the birth of my son! As a first time mother, I was nervous about the whole experience; however, everyone at Premier OB/GYN was wonderful and was there for me every step of the way. Being pregnant is a very vulnerable time in a woman’s life, and Dr. Lin, Dr. Barton, and Dr. Shen were all extremely comforting, knowledgeable, and just overall friendly towards my husband and me. I knew from my first appointment I had made the right choice. Dr. Lin delivered my son via c-section, and I couldn’t have felt at more peace knowing I was in the hands of such a caring and experienced professional. Without a doubt, if I were to have another child, I wouldn’t want any other group of doctors to be a part of such a beautiful, yet challenging, time of my life. Thank you to ALL of the doctors, nurses, and helpful staff. You are by far the best around!
CAN I EXERCISE DURING PREGNANCY?
It used to be that pregnant women were told not to exercise, but that’s not the case today. Remaining physically active during pregnancy is associated with better pregnancy outcomes and it can shorten labor. Exercise now is proven to help both mom and baby. Here are a few specifics.
- Strong core — This includes abdominal exercises, believe it or not. Strengthening your abdominal muscles and your core is fine throughout your pregnancy. Plus, this will help in labor and delivery. You’ll need to avoid exercises that you have to do on your back after your first trimester, but there are other ways we’ll show you to keep strengthening your core.
- Running — If you like to run, that’s fine, too. Don’t push for personal best times, but running is fine.
- Range of motion — Pay attention to range of motion, however. When pregnant, your body releases a hormone called relaxin, which helps to lubricate the joints so that labor is easier. But because your joints are more relaxed and loose, they can be easier to injure during deep muscle and joint movements. Avoid heavy lunges, squats, and similar exercises.
- Balance and contact — After your fourth month, your balance starts to become more of a challenge. So, take that into account. Plus, higher risk sports like skiing, biking, or contact sports like soccer probably need to not be part of your pregnancy regimen.
If you would like more information on care during your pregnancy, please check our Educational Information: Obstetric Q&A Fact Sheet tab where subjects are linked to the ACOG (American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology) website.
Note: If you are having a problem and require medical attention, please proceed to the nearest emergency room.
WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT AT MY FIRST PRENATAL TEST VISIT?
We hope you’ve been seeing us at Premier OB/GYN prior to your pregnancy. That way we can get you started on some prenatal vitamins and answer some of the many questions you probably have.
But once you become pregnant, we’d like to hear from you as soon as you know. We’ll likely schedule your first prenatal appointment for your eighth week of pregnancy. It could be sooner if you have an existing medical condition, have had prior problems with pregnancy, or have certain symptoms such as vaginal bleeding, abdominal pain, severe nausea, or vomiting.
During this first prenatal visit, you’ll be screened for potential medical issues or other concerns that could affect your pregnancy. This visit will likely be the longest appointment during your pregnancy. We start by checking all of your vital signs and taking your medical history. From there, we move on to certain examinations and tests, including blood and urine. Throughout this appointment, we want you to ask every question you have about what’s going on with your body and your baby, and what you can expect. Here is what we will go through:
- Vital signs — Your vitals indicate the status of your essential body functions, such as heartbeat, breathing rate, and blood pressure. These will be monitored throughout your pregnancy. We will ask the date of your last period, and from this we will calculate your due date.
- Reproductive history — We’ll discuss any previous pregnancies, including miscarriages and abortions. We’ll discuss the length of your pregnancies, delivery methods, birth weight of the baby, and any complications. Past reproductive experiences can help us predict your outcome with this pregnancy.
- Gynecologic history — We need to be aware of any current or past gynecological problems that could potentially lead to birth defects or complications in your baby. We’ll need to know of any sexually transmitted infections, etc.
- Medical history — We’ll discuss any and all diseases you may have had and other conditions that could impact your pregnancy.
- Family history and risk assessment — We’ll talk about your family history and ethnic heritage, as well as those of your partner. This is important because certain medical conditions occur more frequently among certain populations. For instance, a family history of diabetes or high blood pressure can point to problems such as gestational diabetes and delivery complications.
- Physical exam — We’ll conduct a fully physical exam.
- Head and neck- We’ll check your teeth, gums, and thyroid gland. Severe gum disease can be a risk factor for preterm labor. An underactive or overactive thyroid can also signal possible complications.
- Lungs, heart, breasts, abdomen- We’ll listen to your lungs and heart. We’ll check your breasts for lumps. We’ll check your liver and spleen.
- Arms and legs- We check for swelling, reflex reactions, and blood flow.
- Skin- Moles and other skin spots may get darker during pregnancy due to your hormonal changes. But if moles change color or size significantly, or if you develop any new moles we need to be aware of this.
- Pelvic exam- A thorough pelvic exam will be made. We will check your cervix for any abnormalities or signs of infection. We’ll perform a Pap test to obtain cells from your uterus. We’ll evaluate the size and shape of your uterus. We’ll check for any masses or tender areas. We’ll examine your pelvic bones to assess the shape and size of the birth canal.
WHAT DIET RESTRICTIONS SHOULD I HAVE WHILE I AM PREGNANT?
It’s important to eat a healthy diet. Pregnancy is no time to eat endless processed foods, junk foods, fat bombs, and the like. The better your diet, the better for your baby. There are 11 specifics that you’ll need to avoid or minimize during your pregnancy:
- High-mercury fish — Because mercury is found in polluted seas, large marine fish tend to accumulate it, and mercury can lead to serious developmental problems in children. It’s advised to have no more than 1-2 servings of high-mercury fish per month. These fish include shark, swordfish, king mackerel, tuna (especially albacore).
- Sushi — Raw fish and raw shellfish can cause several infections, including viral, bacterial, or parasitic. Pregnant women are especially susceptible to Listeria infections.
- Undercooked, raw, and processed meat — Undercooked meat that has been cut, such as hamburger or sliced or minced meat should be fully cooked as it can contain bacteria. Whole cuts of meat, such as tenderloins or sirloins, are considered safe.
- Raw eggs — Raw eggs can be contaminated with Salmonella. This can come from poached eggs, Hollandaise sauce, salad dressings, homemade ice cream, and uncooked cookie dough.
- Organ meat — While organ meat is a great source of several nutrients, it should not be eaten more than once a week.
- Caffeine — Pregnant women need to limit caffeine intake to less than 200 mg per day, or about 2-3 cups of coffee. High caffeine intake can restrict fetal growth.
- Raw sprouts — Raw sprouts, including alfalfa, clover, radish, and mung bean sprouts can be contaminated with Salmonella.
- Unwashed produce — It’s important to thoroughly rinse, peel, or cook fruits and vegetables, as they can be contaminated with Toxoplasma, E. coli, Salmonella, and Listeria, which can all be acquired from the soil or through handling.
- Unpasteurized milk, cheese, and fruit juice — Raw milk and unpasteurized cheese can contain harmful bacteria. Stick with pasteurized options of all of these.
- Alcohol — Pregnant women are advised to completely avoid drinking alcohol, as it increases the risk of miscarriage and stillbirth.
- Processed junk foods — Processed junk food is generally low in nutrients and high in calories, sugar, and added fat. You may have heard you’re eating for two, but you do not need twice your normal calories. Adding about 350-500 extra calories per day during the second and third trimesters is sufficient. Those calories should come from good foods, not garbage.
WHAT CAN I DO IF I EXPERIENCE MORNING SICKNESS?
Morning sickness is very common during the first trimester of pregnancy. It usually stops after 12 weeks, although about 20 percent of women can continue to experience some degree beyond that point. What can you do to stem it?
- Avoid foods that aggravate nausea or vomiting, such as fatty foods, spicy foods, or foods with strong smells.
- Have small meals and snacks throughout the day, rather than three large meals.
- Try eating a few crackers or a slice of dry toast when you first wake up, before you get out of bed in the morning.
- Eat at times during the day when your nausea tends to be less severe.
- Cold foods may be easier to stomach, especially if you find you’re sensitive to strong odors.
- Drink small amounts of liquid regularly between meals. Try to avoid drinking during or close to meals.
- Sucking on ice chips or popsicles can help you get enough fluids.
- Take your prenatal vitamins and supplements at night or with a snack.
- If iron supplements or multivitamins are making you feel worse, talk to us about taking only folic acid for a while.
- Avoid becoming too hot, as this can worsen nausea.
- Get plenty of fresh air by opening windows or going for walks.
- Get plenty of rest and relaxation. Fatigue worsens nausea.
- Acupressure can help. Apply pressure with the tip of your finger to the P6 acupressure point. This is located about 2 inches above the crease of the wrist on the inside of the arm. This can be done for 5-10 minutes at least 4 times a day.
CAN I HAVE AN X-RAY WHEN I AM PREGNANT?
The possibility of an X-ray during pregnancy causing harm to your unborn child is very small. Generally, the benefits of the diagnostic information from an X-ray outweigh the potential risk. The only exception would be a large number of abdominal X-rays over a short period of time.
CAN I SUNTAN WHILE I AM PREGNANT?
The sun’s rays are an important source of vitamin D. About 20 minutes of sun exposure without sunscreen is safe for your skin and it allows your body time to absorb the vitamin D. Just don’t overdo it.
WHAT ARE THE SIGNS THAT I AM IN LABOR?
If you’ve run through your term of pregnancy, more than not you’re beyond ready to have your baby. Labor is the process of childbirth, starting with contractions of the uterus and ending with delivery. We’ll discuss this with you for weeks leading to this point, but here are some signs that labor has started:
- Baby drops
- Cervix dilates
- Cramps and increased back pain
- Loose-feeling joints
- Weight gain stops
- Fatigue and “nesting instinct”
- Vaginal discharge changes color and consistency
- Stronger, more frequent contractions
- Water breaks