Frequently Asked Questions

Is it safe to get the Flu Vaccine during pregnancy?

Vaccination against influenza has been shown to be safe in pregnancy. In fact, it is recommended for patients who are at high risk of acquiring influenza in pregnancy, such as women with underlying medical disorders or healthcare providers.

How can I tell if I am in labor?

Regular uterine contractions and water breaking are signs you are in labor.

How do you know when it is not Braxton Hicks and time to go (to the hospital)?

Braxton Hicks contractions are also known as false labor. They usually begin sometime after the 20th week of pregnancy. Sometimes they are felt earlier and are more intense in women who have had a previous pregnancy.

How much weight should I gain during my pregnancy?

The average recommended weight gain during pregnancy is 25 to 35 pounds.

How soon after delivery can I have intercourse?

It takes approximately 6 weeks for your uterus, cervix, and vaginal tissues to return to their normal pre-pregnant state.

I am 14 weeks pregnant. Can I go to the dentist? What if I need dental work done?

Dental work during pregnancy is safe.

I am 16 weeks pregnant. I am having pain in both sides of my lower abdomen. Is this normal?

Although there are many reasons for abdominal pain during pregnancy, the most common condition is round ligament pain. The round ligaments are connective tissue ligaments that run from the upper aspect of the uterus down to the groin. As pregnancy progresses these ligaments enlarge and become stretched, and can cause pain. The pain sensation that women often feel involves both sides of the lower abdomen and sometimes the back. The pain is sharp in nature and can be worse on the right side. Certain movements may exacerbate the pain.

Round ligament pain has not been associated with any adverse outcomes of pregnancy. Treatments include heat on the affected area and rest. Medications often do not alleviate symptoms.

I am 18 1/2 weeks pregnant. My OBGYN suggests an amniocentesis, but I do not wish to risk it.

Diagnosis of chromosomal anomalies by amniocentesis is highly accurate. Although there are no major studies on error of amniocentesis, it has been shown that errors in diagnosis occur only 0.1% to 0.6% of the time.

I am 30 weeks pregnant and having a lot of sciatic pain. What can I do? Is this common during pregnancy?

Sciatica is a very common condition that usually occurs late in pregnancy and resolves after delivery.

I am a month pregnant and I’m cramping a lot. Is that bad?

Many women have cramping during early pregnancy. However, if you have persistent cramping, especially if it is associated with bleeding or spotting, it is important that you see your physician immediately.

I have had two miscarriages, what are my chances of having another one? Do I need any special testing?

If you have a prior liveborn infant, the risk of recurrent abortion is 20% to 25% after one miscarriage, 25% after two miscarriages, and 30% after three miscarriages.

Is it safe to travel by air during pregnancy?

Flying in airplanes is safe during pregnancy and there is no indication that it causes future complications.

Is the Consumption of Fish Dangerous During Pregnancy?

Healthcare officials have issued a new advisory on the dangers of eating fish. Healthcare officials are concerned that the level of mercury in fish might pose certain risks to a developing fetus.

What are Apgar scores and what do they mean?

The Apgar score measures the need to resuscitate an infant immediately after birth.

What are the effects of antibiotic use on birth control pills?

Some antibiotics and certain other medications have the potential to reduce the effectiveness of birth control pills.

What are the symptoms of pregnancy other than morning sickness and missed periods?

There are other signs and symptoms of pregnancy. You have mentioned two of the most common and the most obvious, an absence of menses.

What are your chances of being pregnant and still having a period?

From a physiologic standpoint it is not possible to continue having a period while you are pregnant.

What is an ectopic pregnancy?

Ectopic pregnancy, also known as tubal pregnancy, develops outside the uterus, usually in the fallopian tube.

What is the possibility of my passing herpes to my child during labor/delivery?

Because of the risk of transmission to your infant, the American College of OB/GYN recommends cesarean section if any herpes lesions are present at the time of your delivery.

What types of pain relief are available during and after childbirth?

There are several types of anesthesia that can be used during labor and delivery. It is important for each woman to understand her options beforehand.