Prenatal / OB Care
Prenatal care means taking care of yourself and your baby during your pregnancy. The best thing you can do for your baby and yourself is to seek prenatal care early and get regular prenatal care throughout your pregnancy. The physicians at OB/GYN Associates can detect health problems more easily when they see mothers regularly. This allows for early treatment, which can cure or prevent many problems.
Our office will ask you to schedule many visits during your pregnancy and each one is important. We want to give you and your baby the best start possible.
Estimated Schedule of visits:
- Dating Ultrasound (less than 14 weeks gestation): A dating ultrasound will be performed assuming you are less than 14 weeks pregnant at the time you begin prenatal care with OB/GYN Associates. You will be required to partially undress and this is a vaginal ultrasound. Please only invite friends and family you feel comfortable undressing in front of. Ultrasound results will be discussed with you by your care provider.
- Pre-OB appointment (7-8 weeks gestation): This appointment will be scheduled to confirm the pregnancy test and start you on prenatal vitamins. You will be given information and explanations on our office care and an opportunity to ask any questions you have about pregnancy.
- First OB appointment (9-10 weeks gestation): This visit will be scheduled with the provider you intend to see throughout your pregnancy. This visit will include a full physical exam with history and routine prenatal screening. This will take the place of your annual well woman exam.
- OB checks: Following your First OB appointment, your prenatal "OB check" visits will occur every 4 weeks until you reach 32 weeks gestation. From 32 to 36 weeks gestation you will be seen every 2 weeks. After 36 weeks you will be seen weekly until your delivery. This is just a general schedule, please keep in mind all pregnancies are different and adjustments to the schedule will be made as needed. These visits may include any or all of the following: weight and blood pressure monitoring, additional lab work, fetal heart tones & glucose screening. We will also be working with you through your pregnancy to determine what instruction and support you may need.
- 20 Week Ultrasound (approximately 20 weeks gestation):
At this ultrasound you will be sent to another facility. The technologist will measure your baby's head, abdomen and legs. Amniotic fluid will be measured and the placenta assessed. Your baby's umbilical cord, kidneys, bladder, hands and feet will all be checked. You will need to have a full bladder for this appointment. You will be required to partially undress. Please only invite friends and family you feel comfortable undressing in front of, as the exam must be performed on bare skin. Depending on fetal position it may be possible to find out your baby's sex at this appointment. Please keep in mind that sex determination is, at best, an educated guess. Ultrasound results will be discussed with your care provider.
If you have any questions or problems during your pregnancy call our office during normal business and press 9 and we will get a nurse to assist you. For emergencies after business hours call our office and the physcian on call will be paged.
General Patient Guidelines
You may use this as a guideline for medications safe to use during your pregnancy. Please call our office if your symptoms persist or if you have a fever over 100.4 degrees.
For allergy or cold symptoms, you may take Sudafed or Sinus Tylenol, Robitussin (Plain or DM) for cough, lozenges for sore throat associated with allergies or a cold.
Mylanta (either chewable or liquid), Maalox, Mylicon, Gaviscon or Tums are all safe to take for indigestion. If you have persistent problems with indigestion, there are some things you can do: eat small, frequent meals, avoid carbonated beverages and spicy foods, do not drink through a straw, and do not lie down after eating. If these changes don't help or if you have nausea and vomiting or severe abdominal pain, contact your physician.
Headaches or Discomfort
Tylenol - Regular or Extra Strength. Ibuprofen may be used in the first and second trimesters ONLY. DO NOT USE ASPIRIN. Call the office if pain persists or if headaches are accompanied by blurred vision, pain in the upper right abdomen, sudden weight gain, or swelling of the face and/or hands.
Minor Bladder Irritations
Eliminate all carbonated beverages, coffee, and tea from your diet. Increase your water intake to 8-10 glasses per day and drink 3-4 glasses of cranberry juice per day. If not better within 24 hours, please call the office.
If urinary symptoms include hesitancy when you start to void, a strong sense of urgency to void, increased frequency and burning on urination, fever, chills, low abdominal pain or cramping, back or flank pain, blood in the urine, or foul-smelling urine, please call the office immediately.
Do not add salt to your food (get rid of the salt shaker!) and limit or omit high-sodium foods such chips, salted nuts, pretzels, soy sauce, bouillon and canned soups, bacon or ham and other processed meats. Many canned and processed foods contain a lot of sodium. Check nutrition labels and limit your sodium intake to 2 grams per day. Elevate your feet whenever possible. Please call the office if swelling continues, if you notice significant swelling in your face or hands, or if swelling is accompanied by a headache or epigastric pain.
Avoid wearing shoes with heels and standing for long periods of time. Sit in chairs that provide good back support. A warm bath, heating pad, or cold compresses can help ease back pain. You may take Tylenol as needed for pain. Call the office if backache continues.
In the late second and third trimesters, back pain can be a sign of preterm labor or urinary tract infection. If you have back pain that is intermittent and rhythmic, doesn't respond to any of the above treatments, or is accompanied by severe pain and/or fever, call the office immediately.
Try eating dry crackers before getting out of bed in the morning. Eat every two or three hours throughout the day. Avoid smells that trigger nausea, highly-seasoned or fatty foods, alcohol, caffeine, and cigarette smoke. Sometimes peppermints or ginger tea can help reduce nausea. Do not take prenatal vitamins on an empty stomach or if feeling nauseated. If not controlled with diet, try Emetrol (if not diabetic) or Nestrex. If vomiting continues, please call our office.
Avoid standing or sitting with your legs crossed for long periods and stay well-hydrated. Eat a balanced and calcium-rich diet. Get regular exercise and stretch your calf and thigh muscles by stretching them three times a day and before you go to bed (see below). Lie down on your left side to improve circulation to your legs. Try taking a warm bath before going to bed to help relax your muscles. Increase calcium intake by taking Calcet or Forfree (over the counter).
If you do get a cramp, immediately stretch your calf muscles by straightening your leg - press down on your heel first and gently flex your toes back toward your shins. It might hurt at first, but it will ease the spasm and the pain will gradually go away. Walking around for a few minutes after the cramp subsides may be helpful, too.
Call the office immediately if your muscle pain is continuous and is accompanied by redness, warmth, tenderness, or swelling. These can be signs of deep vein thrombosis.
Surfak, Docusate, Dialose, Metamucil, Fibercon are all safe to take during pregnancy.
Try to avoid constipation by staying well-hydrated (drink plenty of fluids), eating fresh fruits and vegetables, and exercising. Milk of Magnesia or Senekot are safe to take for constipation.
If you have diarrhea, you should stick to a bland or clear liquid diet until the diarrhea subsides. It is safe to take Kaopectate or Immodium to treat diarrhea after 12 weeks of pregnancy. If diarrhea lasts more than 48 hours or is accompanied by weakness and fatigue, nausea and vomiting, right upper abdominal or epigastric pain, headache, blurred vision, bleeding from the gums or from minor trauma, jaundice or yellowing of the skin, or pain in the shoulder or neck, call the office immediately.
To prevent hemorrhoids (or piles), eat a healthy diet that includes fresh fruits and vegetables, drink plenty of liquids, exercise regularly, use a stool softener (if needed), and avoid standing or sitting in the same position for prolonged periods. If you develop hemorrhoids, you can soak your rectal area in tepid water for 10-20 minutes several times per day in the bathtub or using a sitz bath (a small basin that will fit into the opening of your toilet - can be purchased at most drug stores). Preparation-H, Anusol, and Tucks can be used to treat hemorrhoids.
We encourage dental care during pregnancy. Let your dentist know that you are expecting so that he can take adequate precautions, as indicated. You may have dental x-rays with a shield, and the dentist may use local anesthesia. Your dentist may call the office if there are any questions regarding medications to be prescribed.