Frequently Asked Questions

Pregnancy FAQ

Questions

  1. When should I schedule my first prenatal visit?
  2. What medications are safe during pregnancy?
  3. What can I do to treat nausea?
  4. Is it safe to travel during pregnancy?
  5. Can I travel to higher altitudes?
  6. What are kick counts?
  7. Can I eat seafood during pregnancy?
  8. What foods should I avoid in pregnancy?
  9. What is cell free DNA testing?
  10. What is Toxoplasma?
  11. Is exercise safe during pregnancy?
  12. Can I have a dental exam during pregnancy?
  13. Can I ski/snowboard while pregnant?
  14. How do I schedule childbirth classes?
  15. Can I take a bath during pregnancy?
  16. How do I know if I’m in labor?
  17. Who is going to deliver my baby?
  18. What is a doula?
  19. Is it safe to dye my hair during pregnancy?
  20. Is it safe to drink caffeine in pregnancy?
  21. Can I use tobacco or alcohol during pregnancy?
  22. What about marijuana in pregnancy and breastfeeding?

Answers

  1. When should I schedule my first prenatal visit?

    We would like to see you during or after your 6th week of pregnancy (2 weeks after your missed period). If you have a history of ectopic pregnancy or you are experiencing bleeding, please schedule an appointment sooner.

  2. What medications are safe during pregnancy?

    See Handout (PDF Download)

  3. What can I do to treat nausea?

    Nausea is a common symptom in the first trimester and typically improves after 12 weeks. Eat small frequent meals throughout the day and try to avoid foods that are high in fat. Bland foods such as toast, crackers, rice, etc, are typically well tolerated. Foods containing ginger have also been shown to help with nausea (ginger ale, ginger tea, and ginger snaps). You also may want to avoid taking your prenatal vitamin for a few days as this can cause nausea. If the above suggestions don’t help you can take Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) 25mg three times a day and Doxylamine (Unisom) ½ tablet daily (12.5mg). If you are still unable to tolerate food or liquids despite these suggestions, please call the office.

    See Handout (PDF Download)

  4. Is it safe to travel during pregnancy?

    It is safe to travel during pregnancy as long as you have not experienced any complications. You can travel by air up to 36 weeks. If you are travelling by car, make sure to wear your seatbelt and to stop every few hours to stretch and walk. If you are on a long flight, make sure to do the same. If you are planning any trips during pregnancy make sure to talk with your doctor before you leave. Taking long trips after 36 weeks is generally not recommended as you could go into labor at any time.

  5. Can I travel to higher altitudes?

    Pregnancy at high altitude has been associated with low birth weight babies and increased risk of preeclampsia and preterm labor.  Short visits to high altitudes are safe if you have a normal pregnancy. Strenuous activity should be avoided and it is important to stay well hydrated.

  6. What are kick counts?

    See Handout (PDF download)

  7. Can I eat seafood during pregnancy?

    Certain types of seafood are safe to eat in pregnancy in limited amounts.  The concern is the amount of mercury found in seafood, which if ingested in high amounts can be harmful to your baby’s neurologic development.  Fish that contain high levels of mercury (and should be avoided) are shark, tilefish, king mackerel, and swordfish.  It is safe to eat other types of seafood including shellfish, up to 12 ounces per week.  Albacore (white) tuna contains more mercury than canned light tuna, so you may eat up to 6 ounces of albacore tuna per week.  Examples of commonly eaten seafood that are low in mercury include shrimp, canned light tuna, salmon, and catfish.

  8. What foods should I avoid in pregnancy?

    Avoid all unpasteurized dairy products which include soft cheeses such as brie, feta, camembert, and blue cheese. Do not eat hot dogs or luncheon meats unless they are reheated until steaming hot. Do not eat refrigerated pates, meat spreads, or smoked seafood. The concern with the above foods is contamination with Listeria which is a bacterium that could be harmful to the pregnancy. Listeria can grow at refrigerator temperatures where most other bacteria cannot.

  9. What is cell free DNA testing?

    See Handout (PDF Download)

  10. What is Toxoplasma?

    Toxoplasma is a harmful parasite that can be found in raw and undercooked meats, unwashed fruits and vegetables, soil, and cat litter boxes. If you have a cat, have someone else change the litter box if possible during your pregnancy. Wear gloves while gardening or handling sand from a sandbox. Make sure that your food is washed thoroughly and is fully cooked, and avoid all raw meat including sushi.

  11. Is exercise safe during pregnancy?

    Moderate exercise is not only safe, but is encouraged during pregnancy. 30 minutes of exercise at least 3 days of the week is recommended. Avoid activities that are high contact or that have a high risk of falling. Try to keep your heart rate under 140 and avoid repeated lifting >25 pounds. If you have pregnancy complications or preexisting medical problems, please discuss this with your doctor first.

  12. Can I have a dental exam during pregnancy?

    Yes, in fact poor dental hygiene has been found to be associated with increased risk of preterm labor and other pregnancy complications. It is safe to use local anesthetics (Lidocaine) as well as narcotics (Vicodin and Percocet) and certain antibiotics (Ampicillin). X-rays should only be performed if necessary and your abdomen should be shielded with a lead drape.

  13. Can I ski/snowboard while pregnant?

    If you are an experienced skier/snowboarder it is safe during the first trimester, but not recommended after that time. If you are a beginner or have never been, it is not recommended.

  14. How do I schedule childbirth classes?

    Visit The Birth Center

  15. Can I take a bath during pregnancy?

    Yes, taking a warm bath is safe during pregnancy. You should avoid hot tubs and saunas which are not safe because they can raise your core body temperature. Elevations in core body temperature may cause certain birth defects.

  16. How do I know if I’m in labor?

    Your contractions should be 5 minutes apart or less, last at least 1 minute, and should persist for at least 1 hour. A good rule to follow is 5-1-1. Contractions are 5 minutes apart or less, each contraction lasts 1 minute, and contractions persist for at least 1 hour. If you are in labor then go to the Birth Center. If your water breaks you should go to the Birth Center even if you are not in labor.

  17. Who is going to deliver my baby?

    See Handout (PDF download)

  18. What is a doula?

    See Handout (PDF Download)

  19. Is it safe to dye my hair during pregnancy?

    Hair dye has not been associated with any adverse pregnancy outcomes. However care should be taken to try and limit the time of exposure to the chemicals and to avoid this during the first trimester.

  20. Is it safe to drink caffeine in pregnancy?

    Caffeine in limited amount is safe during pregnancy. You should limit your intake to 300mg/day or less. Many women choose to switch to ½ caffeinated or decaffeinated products during this time.

  21. Can I use tobacco or alcohol during pregnancy?

    It is not recommended to use either alcohol or tobacco during your pregnancy.  Both have been linked to several serious pregnancy complications.  If you need assistance with quitting, please talk with your doctor as there are many options available to help you.

  22. What about marijuana in pregnancy and breastfeeding?

    While marijuana may be legal in Colorado, it is not considered safe in pregnancy or during lactation.  Data is being collected to better understand the specific effects of marijuana on a growing baby, but overall we presume there is risk.  We strongly discourage use in pregnancy and DO NOT RECOMMEND marijuana as treatment for morning sickness.  Please see the form below by the Colorado Department of Health & Environment for more information.

    Marijuana and Your Baby (PDF Download)

Gynecology FAQ

Questions

  1. How often do I need pap smears?
  2. When should I have my first pap smear?
  3. Should I reschedule my pap smear if I start my period?
  4. Is there a less expensive option for my hormone replacement prescription?
  5. What if I forget to take my birth control pill?
  6. How do I schedule a mammogram?
  7. How do I know if I have a yeast infection?

Answers

  1. How often do I need pap smears?

    Women who have always had a normal Pap and are between the ages of 21 and 29 should have a pap smear every 3 years. Women age 30 and older may extend the interval between pap smears to every 5 years if certain conditions are met, such as testing negative for HPV (human papilloma virus).  Of course, personal factors such as Pap history, medical problems, or certain medications need to be considered. Your doctor or midwife is the best one to give you accurate advice on the frequency of Pap testing. Regardless of your age, a yearly exam is still recommended.

  2. When should I have my first pap smear?

    The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) as well as the American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology (ASCCP) recommend that pap smear screening should begin at age 21.  Screening before age 21 should be avoided as it may lead to unnecessary treatment in women who have a very low risk of developing cervical cancer.

  3. Should I reschedule my pap smear if I start my period?

    If you are on a heavy day of your cycle then you should reschedule. If you are having light bleeding or spotting then you do not need to reschedule.

  4. Is there a less expensive option for my hormone replacement prescription?

    See Handout (PDF Download)

  5. What if I forget to take my birth control pill?

    If you miss one pill, take two the next day. You are still protected from becoming pregnant and do not need to use a backup form of birth control (condoms). If you miss two pills, take two pills on the next two days and you MUST use a backup form of birth control for the remainder of the month. If you miss pills you will often have some irregular bleeding. If your period is late make sure to take a pregnancy test.

  6. How do I schedule a mammogram?

    You do not need an order to schedule a routine screening mammogram. Most insurance companies cover these however we recommend checking your coverage before scheduling the mammogram.

    Click here for instructions (PDF download)

  7. How do I know if I have a yeast infection?

    Typical symptoms of a yeast infection include vaginal burning or itching and a thick white discharge. Most yeast infections can be treated with over the counter medications such as Monistat. If your symptoms do not improve in several days please contact the office.