Having a baby is one of the most life changing events in a woman’s life. Here at Madison Ob-Gyn Associates, every effort is made to ensure that your pregnancy experience is an enjoyable one. We strive to maintain the health of you and your baby throughout your entire pregnancy. Listed below is a guide to common questions/concerns often encountered during pregnancy. Please be aware that this is simply a guide–as always, our providers are available to address any concerns if you are unsure of what to do or feel that your condition requires immediate attention.
Frequently addressed concerns:
Activity: Low impact exercise is recommended in a normal pregnancy (walking, swimming); Sexual relations can be continued unless directed otherwise by your physician (except in the presence of vaginal bleeding or ruptured or leaking fluid); No tobacco, alcohol, or illegal drugs.
Dental Work: May proceed as normal; routine use of local anesthetic can be safely utilized.
Beauty Routine: May continue as wished; avoid inhaling chemical fumes as nausea may be aggravated; permanents may not have successful result secondary to hormones of pregnancy.
X Rays: Abdomen should be properly shielded. (Be sure to inform the radiologist that you are pregnant.)
Tanning: Not recommended.
Travel: You may travel up to 32 weeks of pregnancy, unless advised differently by your physician. Be sure to allow for accomodations to take a short walk every 2-3 hours while in route.
Common issues during pregnancy & safe remedies:
Nausea: Try to slowly drink Sprite or Ginger Ale; Keep some saltine crackers at the bedside to have a small snack on arising; eat several small meals daily to avoid an empty stomach.
Vomiting: Try to drink clear liquids. If vomiting not relieved within 24 hours, please call the office.
Headache: Tylenol as directed on bottle.
Pain: Tylenol as directed on bottle. No Motrin, Advil, Aleve, Aspirin, or ibuprofen.
Colds: Benadryl, Sudafed (plain), Tylenol Sinus, Zyrtec, Claritin, Actifed, Robitussin, Robitussin DM, Hall’s cough drops.
Diarrhea: Clear liquid diet for 24 hours; if diarrhea persists for 2 days, call the office.
Constipation: Drink 10 glasses of water daily, increase fiber in diet by eating additional salad, raw vegetables or fruit. Additionally, you can try warmed prune or apple juice. Metamucil is also safe and can be used. If none of the above are successful in relief, try Milk of Magnesia & fleets enema. (These should not be used repetitively and you should speak with your doctor if constipation continues to be a problem.)
Hemorrhoids: Preparation H, Anusol, Tucks pads.
Indigestion: Tums, Mylanta, or Maalox. Do not use Alka Seltzer or Baking Soda. Keep head elevated when sleeping if heartburn is a persistent issue.
Yeast Infection: Monistat-7.
Leg Cramps: Very common in pregnancy due to the enlarging uterus; you will notice them most frequently in the last few months of your pregnancy; Decreased calcium levels can contribute to the severity of the cramps, therefore, you should increase the calcium intake in your diet. In addition, you should increase your fluid intake with water, milk, and fruit juices.
Stretch Marks: Commonly appear throughout your pregnancy on your lower abdomen, breasts, thighs, and buttocks. They are a result of the thinning of the lower layer of skin and have a hereditary component. Stretch marks are not preventable; vitamin E oil can be utilized for emollient to reduce symptoms of itch and dryness.
Breast enlargement: In preparation for breast feeding, your breasts may become tender and possibly leak milk. You may wish to wear a comfortable support bra (even while sleeping) to provide relief.
Am I in labor?
The onset of labor is the most anticipated event during pregnancy. Fortunately, there are several clues that the body will give that may indicate that the labor process has begun. Every woman’s labor onset is different, so if unsure, please call your provider for further guidance. However, here are some of the most common clues:
• Contractions occurring every three to five minutes for greater than one hour and increasing in intensity and duration; contractions of true labor usually last more than 30 seconds each and are not relieved with rest, position change, Tylenol, etc.
• Rupture of membranes–Slow or periodic leaking of fluid from the vagina or large gush of fluid may indicate that your water has broken; note the color of the fluid and tell your provider
• Bloody show–Blood-tinged mucous appearing discharge that may indicate the onset of cervical thinning and dilation
Pregnancy Warning Signs
Whether or not your pregnancy has been problem-free up to now, and whether or not you think you might be in labor, be sure to call your caregiver right away in the following situations:
• Your water breaks or you suspect that you’re leaking amniotic fluid
• You have vaginal bleeding (unless it’s just a small spot of blood, which is common after a recent cervical check or vaginal exam in the office)
• You are having contractions every 3-5 minutes for one hour
• You have severe or persistent headaches unrelieved with Tylenol, vision changes, intense pain in your upper abdomen, or abnormal swelling
• Your baby is less active. If decreased movement of your baby is noted after 28 weeks, drink 2 glasses of cold water and lie down on your left side. Remain lying down for one hour, and count the times you feel your baby moves. If no movement is felt, call the doctor.
• You are experiencing sharp pains or severe cramps in your stomach
Every pregnancy is different and no list can cover all situations, so if you’re not sure whether a symptom is serious, or if you just don’t feel like yourself or are uneasy, trust your instincts and call your health care provider. Please call your doctor prior to going to the emergency room unless a serious medical emergency occurs.