What is a trusted internet source for information on pregnancy, labor and delivery?
The ACOG (American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists) website is a trusted source of information. Visit the “For Patients” tab to explore many helpful topics. Please be careful of other sources on the internet, including social media.
Can I exercise?
Moderate-intensity exercise is recommended for 30 minutes per day, at least 5 times per week in uncomplicated pregnancies. This could include walking, jogging, stationary biking, swimming and modified Pilates or yoga, for example. Light weight training is also acceptable.
Listen to your body during exercise and don’t over-exert yourself. Drink plenty of water and avoid becoming overheated. Avoid activities with a high risk of falling or causing trauma to your abdomen (contact sports, snow skiing, kick-boxing or horseback riding, as examples).
Find more information about exercise during pregnancy on www.acog.org.
Can I have sex?
Yes, you can have sex unless you are having complications, or sex becomes too uncomfortable. A few non-painful contractions are normal after intercourse.
There are certain obstetrical situations for which a woman should not have sex, but if this is the case, your provider will discuss this with you.
Can I drink caffeine?
It is unclear whether large amounts of caffeine can increase the risk of miscarriage. In general, it is safe to have less than 200mg (one 12-oz cup of coffee) per day.
What foods should I limit or avoid?
Please refer to the ACOG website for a more thorough discussion of proper food preparation and reasoning behind the recommended dietary changes in pregnancy. This list is meant to be a quick reference guide of what foods to avoid or limit in pregnancy:
Avoid unpasteurized milk and foods made with unpasteurized milk such as imported soft cheeses (soft cheeses made with pasteurized milk are safe).
Avoid hot dogs, luncheon meats, and cold cuts unless they are heated until steaming hot just before serving.
Avoid raw and undercooked seafood, eggs and meat.
Avoid sushi made with raw fish. Cooked sushi is safe.
Avoid refrigerated pate and meat spreads.
Avoid refrigerated smoked seafood.
Avoid shark, swordfish, king mackerel, marlin, orange roughy and tilefish.
Limit white (albacore) tuna to 6 ounces a week.
Fish and shellfish that are allowed in pregnancy include shrimp, salmon, catfish and Pollock.
How should I prepare for an ultrasound?
No specific preparation is necessary if you are in your first trimester (less than 14 weeks). If you are 14 weeks or further along, you should come to your appointment with a full bladder. Please drink 32 oz. of water one hour prior to your appointment.
Can I get my hair colored or highlighted?
Hair coloring can be performed during pregnancy. It should always be done in a well-ventilated area. If possible, avoid treatments in the first trimester (until 14 weeks).
When can I find out if I am having a girl or a boy?
A screening ultrasound is usually performed around 20 weeks. Generally, the sex can be determined at this time, as long as the baby cooperates. Of course, you can choose to not find out. If you choose to have genetic testing performed, you can find out the sex simultaneously as early as nine weeks.
Can I tour the hospital where I am planning to deliver?
Should I take childbirth and/or breastfeeding classes?
These classes are completely optional. Some women find them to be incredibly beneficial. Others choose not to take them. Whichever is the case, our providers at Women’s Health Advantage (along with excellent teams at the hospitals) will be there to guide you through each step of your pregnancy, and labor and delivery process.
Additionally, lactation consultants are available during the postpartum period for assistance.
Should I make a birth preference list?
As we strive to provide individualized care, we recognize that different women have different expectations and preferences. Although deliveries do not always go “according to plan,” we recognize that you may have certain preferences that you would like for us to know and discuss. Review our Birth Preference Checklist and please let us know if you are interested so that we may coordinate a consultation with a Birth Navigator to begin this dialogue.
Am I allowed to and should I attempt a VBAC (vaginal birth after Cesarean)?
VBAC may certainly be an option for you. There are certain factors to take into consideration when weighing the pros and cons. Some women are excellent candidates to attempt VBAC, while others are not, for various reasons. The physicians at Women’s Health Advantage will provide individualized and thorough counseling to help guide you as you make your decision.
Will my doctor deliver my baby?
There is a reasonable chance that your own physician will deliver your baby, but it is not guaranteed. You will, however, be delivered by one of the physicians (or midwife) from Women’s Health Advantage. At the present time, we have a call system in place where three WHA physicians are on call on any given night, one for each of the three hospitals including Dupont Hospital, Lutheran Hospital and Parkview Regional Medical Center.
Where can I get a breast pump?
Some health insurance companies will cover a breast pump. Please check with your insurance if you are interested in purchasing one. The company may require a fax order from our office. If so, please let us know at any of your appointments.
How will I find out my test results?
You will be notified of normal test results via your preferred choice of communication (such as text or email). Other results will be reviewed with you at a follow-up appointment or by phone. Many of the test results will also be available online if you set up an account at MyHealthRecord.com
What resources are available for mothers and families raising children with Down Syndrome?
The Down Syndrome Association of Northeast Indiana (DSANI) has a mission to “enhance the lives of people living with Down syndrome, advocate on their behalf, provide information and support to families and professionals, and promote acceptance and inclusion of people with Down syndrome. ”
Visit the DSANI website to learn more.