Frequently Asked Questions and Pregnancy Information
Congratulations... You're Pregnant!
If you are a first time mom-to-be or already have children, you are about to go through one of the most exciting experiences of life. During pregnancy you may have a wide range of emotions and symptoms: happiness, confusion, tiredness, relief, nausea, headaches and joy. All of these feelings are quite normal. Remember that pregnancy and childbirth are normal life processes and not illnesses. We are committed to helping you have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby.
Pregnancy is a time of questions. The following are responses to frequently asked questions.
1. How often are my visits?
During the first 28 weeks of pregnancy doctor visits occur every 4 weeks. From 28 to 36 weeks visits are every two to three weeks. After the 36th week visits are weekly. Most prenatal visits are brief. The medical assistant will record your weight, blood pressure and urine test result. She will also listen to the baby's heartbeat and measure your abdomen (fundal height). Dr. Phelan or the nurse practitioner will then answer any questions you have.
2. What are the routine blood tests in pregnancy?
During pregnancy we recommend many blood tests. After your first visit several different blood test are done to check on a variety of conditions. The basic blood tests provide the following information:
• CBC complete blood count, this checks for anemia.
• Rubella this tells about immunizations against measles.
• Blood type Rh status it is important to know if you are an Rh- negative mother.
• RPR checks for syphilis, a sexually transmitted disease.
• HIV screens for Human Immunodeficiency Virus.
• Hepatitis B checks for a liver infection.
• Cystic Fibrosis this test can help determine your risk of having a baby with cystic fibrosis, one of the most common genetic diseases in the Caucasian population.
• Prenatal Screening there are many types of genetic screening tests available depending on your situation. Please discuss this with Dr. Phelan or the nurse practitioner for more information. Or go to www.cdph.ca.gov/programs/pns/ to learn more about the California prenatal screening program.
One Hour Glucose Tolerance Test This one-hour test is done between the 24th and 28th week of pregnancy. The test, done at the lab, involves drinking a special glucose liquid and measuring your blood sugar level an hour later. This test screens for diabetes of pregnancy. This test is more accurate if you have fasted (nothing to eat or drink for eight hours) prior to doing the test.
Three Hour Glucose Tolerance Test If your one-hour glucose test is abnormal you will be asked to do the 3-hour test. The three-hour test is a diagnostic test to determine if you have diabetes of pregnancy. This three-hour test involves taking blood samples fasting and one, two and three hours after drinking a special glucose liquid.
GBS testing. Around the 36th week of pregnancy a vaginal swab is taken to detect the presence of Group B streptococcus in the birth canal. If a patient has a positive GBS culture she is treated with intravenous antibiotics in labor to prevent a newborn infection. Mothers who test negative need no treatment.
3. What other tests are done during pregnancy?
During your second visit a complete physical exam and Pap smear will be performed. Routine screening for Chlamydia and Gonorrhea are done at the time of your Pap smear. Both of these are sexually transmitted diseases that can affect pregnancy if not treated.
4. When will I have an ultrasound?
And ultrasound is an imaging device that uses safe, high frequency sound waves to create a real time image of your baby. Dr. Phelan will often do an ultrasound at your first visit to confirm your due date and screen for abnormal pregnancies.
A second ultrasound is usually performed around the 5th month of pregnancy (20 weeks). This will be scheduled at an outside facility depending on your insurance carrier. This ultrasound is done to review the baby's anatomy. Usually by 20 weeks of pregnancy the sex of your baby can be determined during the ultrasound.
5. What can I do for nausea in pregnancy?
"Morning sickness" is very common during pregnancy. Approximately 70-85% of women experience some nausea and/or vomiting during the first three months of pregnancy. It is worst between the 7th and 12th week. Over 60% of women have resolution of their symptoms by the 12th week of pregnancy. There is no evidence that the nausea and vomiting harms the developing fetus or leads to complications later in pregnancy.
The following diet and lifestyle changes can help you cope with morning sickness.
• Eating frequent but small meals.
• Eating high carbohydrate, low fat foods.
• Eating protein predominant meals.
• Eating a bland dry diet like crackers.
• Drinking small amounts of cold, clear carbonated liquids like 7-Up or lemonade, drink the fluids between meals.
• Lying down and getting plenty of rest.
• Changing positions slowly especially in the morning.
• Going outside for fresh air as needed.
• Avoid offensive foods or smells.
• No teeth brushing immediately after meals.
• Try using popcicles.
Over the counter medications that may be helpful when diet changes are not working:
Vitamin B6 25mg three times a day
Unasom 1/2 tablet three times a day
These medications can be taken separately or together to help with the nausea.
If you continue to experience persistent nausea/vomiting and cannot even tolerate sips of water contact the office. Depending on the situation Dr. Phelan may recommend prescription medications that are safe in pregnancy. Medications may be necessary to control your symptoms and prevent dehydration.
Morning sickness as many women can attest does not always occur in the morning. Hopefully with the above hints you will be able to minimize any discomforts.
6. What medications can I take during pregnancy?
For common symptoms you can take the below mentioned medications.Please follow the package directions for dosage and frequency.
• Robitussin DM
• Any over the counter cough drops
• Anusol suppositories
• Preparation H
7. Will Dr. Phelan be there for my delivery?
Dr. Phelan tries to be available for all his patients at all times.But on nights and weekends he shares call with the other qualified obstetricians in the community.
8. Billing questions.
Creekside OB/GYN of Folsom uses an out of office billing service named Lakeside Medical Billing managed by Karen Walker.If you have any billing questions please contact Karen Walker directly at 1-877-774-7173.
9. What if I have other questions?
As your pregnancy continues you will have many other questions. Try to write them down and bring them to your next appointment. Dr. Phelan or the nurse practitioner will be happy to discuss each one.
By working together, Dr. Phelan and the staff at Creekside OB/GYN of Folsom are committed to helping you have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby.