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Obstetrics Questions:

Our practitioners and doctors have listed answers and helpful links to common obstetrics questions. For more personal advice relating to your needs, or if you have questions that we have not addressed here, please contact us to set up an appointment.


What should I expect during my OB visits? 
Every visit will begin with getting your weight and blood pressure and collecting a urine specimen. The nurse will ask you general questions about your pregnancy. (How are you feeling? Do you feel the baby moving? Are you having any contractions? Have you had any bleeding or abnormal vaginal discharge?) She may also confirm your allergies and medications. You will then be seen by a provider who will make sure you are doing well and answer any questions you may have. Your provider will measure your abdomen and listen to your baby’s heartbeat.

Who will deliver my baby?
We are a group practice and rotate call coverage in the birth center. Therefore, any of our doctors may attend your delivery. We highly encourage you to rotate your visits so that you have the opportunity to meet everyone.

How can I reach my OB/GYN provider after-hours?
If you should need to reach a provider after office hours, you can call 304-368-7911. We have a call service that answers the phone 24/7, and will get in touch with the provider that is on-call that day.

How many ultrasounds will I get during my pregnancy?
The standard is two. You will receive one ultrasound at your NEW OB appointment to confirm the pregnancy and for dating confirmation, and then a full fetal anatomy ultrasound between 19 and 21 weeks gestation.

Do you offer 3D/4D ultrasounds?
No, we do not.

What foods should I avoid during pregnancy?
You should avoid fish that contains mercury; saccharine; alcohol; deli meats; unpasteurized cheeses; and meat, poultry and fish that have been undercooked.

How late in my pregnancy is it safe for me to work?
As long as your pregnancy has been uncomplicated and your job does not place you or your pregnancy at risk for harm, there are no restrictions to working up to the day of your delivery.

What do you suggest if my prenatal vitamin makes me nauseous?
We suggest taking your vitamin at night before bed or taking 2 chewable Flintstone vitamins will suffice as a supplement.

Can I take a prenatal vitamin from the grocery store, or do I need a prescription? 
As long as your prenatal vitamin contains folic acid and DHA (an omega-3 fatty acid important for neurological development), an over-the-counter prenatal vitamin is acceptable.

Can I travel?
You may travel up to 35 weeks. Try to remember to empty your bladder every 1 to 2 hours and get out of the car to stretch and walk around. Also, consider taking a copy of your prenatal record with you when you travel. If you need to travel after 35 weeks, check with your provider.
The Zika Virus is still a threat in many common vacation destinations. Because infection with the Zika Virus can cause severe birth defects, the CDC encourages pregnant women, or women who may become pregnant, to avoid traveling to Mexico, the Caribbean and various other warm-weather destinations. Visit cdc.gov/zika for a complete list of travel destinations to avoid. 

Is swelling normal?
Swollen feet can be very common, especially late in pregnancy and in the warm-weather months. This can also be a sign of toxemia/preeclampsia, so if your blood pressure has been high or your swelling is associated with headaches, blurry vision or nausea, you should call our office. However, most swelling is not related to toxemia. Limiting salt intake and drinking 8 to 10 glasses of water per day may help. Elevate your feet when you are able and consider wearing support panty hose.

Is it safe for me to paint the walls in my nursery?
Make sure that the room is well-ventilated. Do not climb on ladders. Take frequent breaks. Avoid oil-based paint. Latex paint is acceptable as long as adequate ventilation is available. 

Can I color my hair?
Yes, having your hair colored during pregnancy is safe as long as you are in a well-ventilated area, since very little of the chemical in hair dye is absorbed into  your system. However, you may find that you are more sensitive to the smells  
in a hair salon. We do recommend waiting until you are out of the first trimester.

Can I drink coffee, tea or drinks with caffeine?
Yes, but only in moderation. Generally, we suggest limiting your caffeine intake to two hot or cold drinks or approximately 200 mg per day. 

Is it safe for me to get in the hot tub?
No. Most hot tubs and saunas are too hot to be safe for pregnant women and the developing fetus. It is not a good idea unless you can control the temperature and set it at no more than 100 degrees. 

Can I get a massage?
A massage during pregnancy can be a great way to relax, relieve muscle aches and pain, and reduce anxiety. It is important to tell your therapist that you are pregnant, even if you are early in your pregnancy.

Can I exercise while I am pregnant? 
Walking is usually best. Low-impact, prenatal aerobic exercise classes and swimming are also fine. Avoid exercises that cause you to lie flat on your back.

I was exposed to the chicken pox. Do I need to worry?
If you had chicken pox as a child, you are immune, and do not need to worry. If you have no history of chicken pox and are exposed, please call our office.

Are there any restrictions on sexual activity?
If your pregnancy has been healthy and normal, it is safe to have sex throughout pregnancy. It’s important to consider your comfort level. Sex should not be painful or uncomfortable during pregnancy. If you’ve had complications during your pregnancy, you may be advised to not have sex.

When should I start feeling the baby move?
You may feel the baby move between 18 and 20 weeks, depending on the position of your placenta. If this is not your first pregnancy, it may be sooner.

When should I register at the hospital?
You will be given a form to fill out to preregister around approximately 35 weeks gestation. If the form is not completed in the office, it can be completed at patient registration in the hospital.

Is it safe to clean the cat’s litter box?
The concern here is toxoplasmosis, a parasite infection that can be transmitted through infected cat feces. If you have never had toxoplasmosis and you get the infection while pregnant, you can pass the infection on to your developing baby. It can cause birth defects, such as eye and neurological damage. Try to have someone else clean the litter box. If this is not an option, be sure to wear gloves. If you’re gardening, be sure to wear gloves, as toxoplasmosis can also live in soil.

I was exposed to a child with fifth disease. Do I need to worry?
Fifth disease, also known as “slapped cheek” syndrome, is a common viral infection in children caused by parvovirus B19. Although, it rarely causes infections in the developing fetus, please notify us of your exposure.  

Can I get a flu shot? Should I get a flu shot?
If you are pregnant, a flu shot is your best protection against serious illness from the flu. A flu shot can protect pregnant women, their unborn babies and even their babies after birth. The CDC and your provider recommend the flu vaccine for all pregnant women. It is considered safe to get a flu shot even if you are in the first trimester. 

Can I go to the dentist?
Yes, and we encourage you to do so. Make sure your dentist knows that you are pregnant. Your dentist should only use local anesthesia and must cover the abdominal area during all X-rays.

Can I go swimming?
Yes, do not go in rough water, body surf or scuba dive. No jumping, diving or belly flops.

Is it safe to sleep on my back?
By the time most pregnant women reach the third trimester (28 weeks), they no longer feel comfortable sleeping on their backs. Most women will want to sleep on their sides to feel more comfortable. A long body pillow can help provide more comfort sleeping in side positions.

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