Pregnancy FAQs

How do I know when I’m going into labor?

Call our office if you are at or near full-term (37 weeks) and experiencing:

  • Strong contractions every five minutes for an hour
  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Fluid leakage
  • Decreased fetal movement

When should I schedule my first office visit?

We would like to see you when you are about eight weeks pregnant. At this time, we will confirm your pregnancy.

What is an Amniocentesis and who needs this test?

Amniocentesis is a procedure used to detect chromosomal abnormalities, fetal infections and lung maturity. A small amount of amniotic fluid is extracted from the amniotic sac surrounding the fetus and examined under a microscope. The test is recommended for women who are determined to be at an increased risk for chromosomal abnormalities.

Who will deliver my baby?

During your prenatal care, you will schedule appointments with each of our obstetricians. That way, when you go into labor, you will already be familiar with the obstetrician on call and she will be familiar with you.

What is a Bloody Show?

A bloody show is a small amount of bloody mucous seen at anytime in the final month of pregnancy. It may be anything from just mucous (plug) to a pink or red discharge. Although it is a good sign that your cervix may be softening in preparation for dilation, it does not always mean you are going into labor. It may occur within 24 hours after a pelvic examination. If this occurs you do not have to call the physician. However, if you are experiencing heavy vaginal bleeding, call your doctor right away.

What are "Braxton-Hicks" contractions?

Braxton-Hicks contractions are very mild, irregular contractions that may feel like menstrual cramps. They can occur at any time in the late second trimester (26-40 weeks). If you experience more than 6 uncomfortable pains/cramps within an hour before 36 weeks, call your dotor.

What is an episiotomy?

An episiotomy is a cut the doctor makes at the perineum and posterior vaginal wall during delivery. At Piedmont Ob-Gyn, we avoid episiotomies, unless they are absolutely necessary.

Is it normal for my hands and feet to swell during pregnancy?

Swelling of the hands, feet, face and vulva during pregnancy is common and normal in most circumstances. It does not occur in all pregnancies, and will go away soon after delivery. We will monitor you to be sure the swelling is not accompanied by high blood pressure, which can be a concern.

What is Pre-Eclampsia or Toxemia?

Pre-eclampsia, or toxemia, is high blood pressure and protein in your urine. It occurs only during pregnancy and most often shows up in the third trimester, although it can occur in the late second trimester. This is a serious medical condition that can lead to seizures called eclampsia. There is no cure for this disease except for delivery. Most patients have no symptoms, but some may experience upper abdominal pain, headaches that are not relieved with Tylenol, visual spots or blurry vision. If you experience any of these symptoms, call your doctor immediately.

What can I take for a cold or illness during pregnancy?

We will give you a list of common over-the-counter drugs which are generally considered safe during pregnancy. For a simple cold you may take Benadryl or Sudafed for stuffiness. For a headache or fever you can take Tylenol, and for a cough you can take Robitussin. You may take Imodium for diarrhea and Emetrol for nausea. Take these over-the-counter medications as directed on the label.

Can I exercise during pregnancy?

Yes, unless you have been directed by your physician not to. You should not start any new demanding exercises you were not doing prior to pregnancy. A good rule of thumb is that you should be able to carry on a conversation while performing the exercise. Walking and swimming are good options.

Can I have sex during pregnancy?

Yes, unless your doctor has told you not to.

What if I cannot feel the baby move?

Many times if you are busy you may not notice fetal movement, although there is movement occurring. If you notice no movements or decreased movements, stop what you are doing, drink something sweet like orange juice, and lie down on your left side in a quiet room. You should have 10 movements within the hour and any movement counts. If not, then call office.

Is a circumcision always necessary for my baby boy?

No. A circumcision is removal of the foreskin of the penis. It is a cosmetic (or religious) procedure desired by some parents, but not necessary for the health of the baby. We normally perform the circumcision in the hospital prior to discharge home, if the parents request it.