Common Questions

What do I do for Bleeding in Early Preganacy?
If you should experience bleeding in the first trimester, it does not always suggest a miscarriage. It is not uncommon to experience light bleeding when the embryo implants in the uterus. Sometimes a blood clot can form at the implantation site and this may dissolve slowly and present itself later in the first trimester. Light bleeding may also arise from the cervix- this occasionally happens after intercourse or heavy activity.

However, due to the possible concern of a miscarriage or other pregnancy complication, please report any spotting or bleeding in pregnancy, even if the bleeding seems to have stopped. While it may turn out to be something minor, such as implantation bleeding or an irritable cervix, it could be a sign of a serious problem. You will probably need an exam to make sure you and your baby are fine and to rule out any complications.

You should seek medical attention if you have heavy bleeding especially with cramping. If you are actively bleeding (such as saturating more than three or four pads in an hour), have severe pain of any kind, and/or are experiencing dizziness or weakness, please try and contact your doctor immediately and consider heading straight for the emergency room for further evaluation.

If you have vaginal bleeding or spotting in pregnancy, it is important to know if your blood type is Rh positive or negative. Those women who are Rh negative and have vaginal bleeding will need a shot of Rh immune globulin to prevent the possibility of antibody formation against a positive blood type (if the fetus is positive). Ideally, and if indicated, the Rh immune globulin shot should be given within 72 hours of the bleeding episode.

Can I have caffeine while I am pregnant?
Pregnant women should reduce caffeine intake or cut it out entirely. If you decide to have some caffeine, then be aware of your total dietary caffeine intake and try to consume less than 200 mg of caffeine (equivalent to 10-12 oz of coffee) per day from all sources. Be aware that some over-the-counter medications may contain caffeine, so be sure to check their labels.

Can I color my hair?
Coloring your hair during pregnancy is probably safe. If you are concerned, then hold off coloring hair with permanent dyes during the first trimester and consider highlights instead of coloring your whole head of hair.

Can I paint?
Avoid excess exposure to oil based paints, lead, and mercury. You should minimize your exposure to latex paints that contain ethylene glycol and biocides. Avoid removing old paint used prior to the 1970s due to the possible risk of lead exposure. Do not stand on a ladder.

Can I have sex during pregnancy?
For a healthy woman with a normal pregnancy, intercourse is safe during pregnancy. You and your partner may want to experiment with different positions that may be more comfortable for you.Bloody discharge after intercourse is common and goes away the next day. If you are having problems in your pregnancy, such as bleeding, premature labor or ruptured membranes, do not have intercourse.

When will I feel my baby move?
Yourare usually able to feel your baby move start around 18-22 weeks with your first pregnancy and 18-20 weeks with subsequent pregnancies.

Report any marked decrease or lack of movement after 26 weeks.

What position should I sleep in?
Early in your pregnancy, try to get into the habit of sleeping on your side. Lying on your side with your knees bent is likely to be the most comfortable position as your pregnancy progresses and also makes your heart’s job easier because it keeps the baby’s weight from applying pressure to the large vein (called the inferior vena cava) that carries blood back to the heart from your feet and legs. Some doctors specifically recommend that pregnant women sleep on the left side but in most cases, lying on either side should be fine and help take some pressure off your back. If you do find you rolled onto your back while sleeping, don’t panic, simply roll back onto one of your sides and go back to sleep. Some women will also find they need added support while sleeping which may be accomplished through use of additional pillows or a body pillow.

Can I lay in a tanning bed or use spray tan?
Tanning beds will not hurt your pregnancy but are not good for you. Spay tan is the better option.

Can I travel?
If you have an uncomplicated pregnancy it is usually safe to travel until he third trimester. Frequently, the most comfortable time to travel is in the middle of the pregnancy and this is when problems are least likely to occur.

If you are traveling by car or plane, plan to walk around every 2 hours for a few minutes to maintain circulation and decrease your risk of leg clots. Try to stay adequately hydrated by drinking 8-10 glasses of water a day.

Please be aware that there are risks involved with travel during pregnancy. An obstetrician can only advise and educate a pregnant woman about the risks of travel.

If you are traveling far from home, it is recommended that you be familiar with a nearby healthcare facility in the event problems or concerns arise while away. Also, it is recommended to minimize or avoid traveling far after 28 weeks.

How much weight should I gain?
Anticipated weight gain should be 25-35 pounds or approximately 3-4 pounds per month. Mothers who are underweight before pregnancy may gain 28-40 pounds and those that are overweight before pregnancy should limit their weight gain to 15-25 pounds. Women carrying twins may gain as much as 45 pounds. For more information look under “Food & Nutrition” section.

Can I use a hot tub or sauna?
You can harm your baby if you raise the temperature of his/her environment over 102 degrees for prolonged periods of time. So avoid hot tubs while you’re pregnant. If you have to get in, it is permitted after 12 weeks for 5-10 minutes, but drink plenty of cool fluids.
NO saunas.

Doubly blessed with twins?
Twins can make you more uncomfortable and tired than usual during pregnancy because the uterus becomes much larger sooner. Consider resting more during the day. Discuss your activity level at home and at work with your doctor, some women with twins may need to restrict their activity.
You will need to increase your caloric intake more when you are carrying twins. If you are of average weight, you will need to eat about 2200 to 2,400 calories per day and you should expect to gain up to 45 pounds.

The risk of certain complications is higher with a twin pregnancy. You are more likely to develop high blood pressure, anemia, gestational diabetes, preterm labor, and/or growth problems with the babies. Sometimes these problems can be prevented with early detection and care and this is why you have more frequent prenatal visits and ultrasounds when you are carrying twins. Be certain to report any problems or concerns early when you are carrying twins.

We only deliver twins by C-Section, to minimize any birth injuries to either baby. C-Sections are usually delivered in the operating room which is larger than our traditional birthing rooms and can accomodate the extra medical staff & equipment .We deliver all twins no later than 38 weeks, however most deliver several weeks earlier due to complications.

Breastfeeding is still encouraged and preferred when you have twins. Your milk supply will increase to meet the demands of your twins. If the babies are born prematurely, then consider pumping and storing the milk until they are able to feed from the breast.

How much weight should I gain?
Anticipated weight gain should be 25-35 pounds or approximately 3-4 pounds per month. Mothers who are underweight before pregnancy may gain 25-40 pounds and those that are overweight before pregnancy should limit their weight gain to 15-20 pounds. Women carrying twins may gain as much as 45 pounds. For more information look under “Food & Nutrition ” section.
Should I get the flu shot?

If a pregnant woman gets the flu, she is more likely to become very sick. The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) recommends that all women who will be pregnant during the flu season (October through mid-May) be offered the vaccine. According to ACOG, flu vaccination is an essential part of prenatal care that provides protection to both women and their babies. No adverse side effects have been shown in pregnant women. The flu vaccine is a “passive” vaccine and no live or dead virus is injected, and there is no known fetal risks to passive immunization. Breastfeeding women can also safely get the vaccine. However, women with egg allergies, should not get the vaccine as the vaccine making process can include chicken eggs. We recommend preservative free flu vaccine.

Can I use artificial sweeteners?
According to the Food & Drug Administration (FDA), sucralose (eg. Splenda) is safe for everyone to consume, including pregnant women. As well, the FDA advises aspartame (eg. Equal or Nutrasweet) is safe during pregnancy and lactation. Both sucralose and aspartame consumption should be limited to a moderate level. Aspartame is not safe for everyone – particularly not for those people with PKU (a rare metabolic disorder), certain liver diseases, or high levels of phenylalanines in their blood.
The FDA notes that the safety of saccharin (eg. Sweet-n-Low) in pregnancy remains questionable so advises to avoid it in pregnancy.
What is cord blood banking?

Cord blood is the blood that remains in the umbilical cord and placenta following birth, which is usually discarded. Cord blood banking uses external facilities as a place to store and preserve your baby’s cord blood. The cord blood of your baby serves as an abundant source of stem cells, which are genetically distinctive to your baby and your family. The stem cells from your baby’s cord blood may be able to treat a small number of limited diseases or conditions in a parent or sibling. There are fees for privately banking and storing cord blood. The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology cautions that patients need to be aware that the chances are remote that the stem cells from their baby’s banked cord blood will be used to treat that particular child – or another member of the family – in the future. Currently there are few public cord blood banks but hopefully this will change in the future.

Can I use herbal remedies?
There is little known about the safety of herbal medicine and nontraditional medications during pregnancy. Many women don’t consider herbal remedies to be medicine and when pregnant don’t report their use to their obstetricians.

Before starting or continuing herbal medications, be aware that the FDA does not regulate them and that they may have side effects or interactions with other medications, which could be even more concerning if you are pregnant.