Pregnancy FAQ’s

I believe that I’m pregnant. How do I go about getting confirmation and when can I make my first obstetrical appointment?

A home pregnancy test can confirm your pregnancy or you can contact our office to schedule a urine pregnancy test. Your first obstetrical visit should be within the first six to eight weeks from your last menstrual period. Some women have medical problems or past obstetrical histories that necessitate being seen earlier in their pregnancy.

May I exercise safely during pregnancy?

Yes. Low impact aerobics, swimming and walking are usually considered to be safe. Your heart rate should not exceed 120 beats per minute. Always check with your obstetrician before starting an exercise program during pregnancy. Your doctor will be able to provide you with guidelines for exercise based on your current condition and your medical history. Patients with bleeding or spotting, a low-lying placenta or placenta previa, threatened or recurrent miscarriages, previous premature births, a history of early labor, or a weak or incompetent cervix should not exercise.

May I eat fish while I’m pregnant?

Yes. You may eat up to 12 ounces (approximately 2 average meals) per week of fish or shellfish that are lower in mercury including salmon, canned light tuna, pollock, catfish, and shrimp. Avoid shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommend that pregnant women eat no more than 6 ounces of albacore (white) tuna per week. They should also avoid eating any game fish without first checking its safety with their local health department. For more information about the risks of mercury in fish and shellfish or for information about specific types of fish, visit the FDA’s Food Safety Website at http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~frf/sea-mehg.html. For information about the safety of locally caught fish and shellfish, visit the Environmental Protection Agency’s Fish Advisory website or contact your State or Local Health Department.

May I paint or use pesticides in my home?

The safest answer is to leave these projects for someone else. Latex paint is generally considered to be safe, if applied in a well-ventilated area. However, painting projects may expose you to other chemicals that may be more hazardous to your baby such as heavy metals in paint pigments, resins, solvents, extenders, etc. Pregnant women should avoid contact with pesticides. If this is not possible, they should not re-enter the treated area for 24 hours after a pesticide has been applied.

When will I feel my baby move?

This usually happens around 16-24 weeks with a first pregnancy. You may feel your baby move earlier in subsequent pregnancies.

How many movements should I feel in an hour?

Beginning at 26 weeks, count the number of times the baby moves in one hour. If you record four or more movements in one hour, the activity of the baby is adequate. If you feel less than four movements, count for an additional hour and divide the total by two. Eight movements in two hours are also adequate. If you feel less than this, call the office.

Is it okay to have sex during pregnancy?

Yes, in most cases it is perfectly safe to have sex while you are pregnant unless your water has broken or your doctor has instructed you otherwise. You might find that you have to vary positions as the pregnancy advances. Lying side-by-side (with your partner behind you, as if “spooning”) works well for many couples, especially late in pregnancy. Experiment and see what works for you. Occasionally, there are complications that require that a patient avoid having sex for all or part of the pregnancy. These can include a low-lying placenta, placenta previa, incompetent cervix, history of preterm labor, or if you are expecting more than one baby. If you have any questions about whether or not you have a complication that precludes you from having sex, discuss it with your physician.

Will my baby be hurt during intercourse?

No. Your partner’s penis does not come in contact with the baby during intercourse. The mucus plug seals the cervix and the baby is surrounded and protected by amniotic fluid and the strong muscles of the uterus.

I have lost interest in sex since becoming pregnant. Is this normal?

Some women find that their interest in sex declines; others find that they are more interested in sex; still others find that their interest in sex fluctuates during pregnancy. With all of the changes your body is undergoing – from the raging hormones to your expanding waistline – all of these responses are considered normal. It’s not unusual for many women to find that their interest in sex decreases during the early months of pregnancy, when they are more likely to feel tired, have breast tenderness, and morning sickness. During the second trimester, as these symptoms begin to subside, many women experience a renewed interest in sex. Late in the third trimester, as baby’s due date approaches, a lot of women note that their interest in sex begins to decline again. Realize that your partner’s interest in sex may fluctuate during the pregnancy, as well, for a variety of reasons such as concerns about hurting you or the baby. Couples should be open and honest about communicating their needs, desires, and concerns during this time.

I noticed that I had contractions after I had an orgasm. Can an orgasm cause me to go into labor?

Not in a normal pregnancy. Orgasms can cause uterine contractions, but the contractions you have during or just after orgasm are different from labor contractions and they will not cause you to go into labor.

Is spotting normal in pregnancy after a pelvic exam or intercourse?

Yes. You may have brown or red spotting that may last two or three days after a pelvic exam or intercourse. If heavy bleeding occurs (similar to a period), you should call the office.

What do I do if I think my water broke?

Call the office or the answering service (if after hours). You will need to be checked.

Where can I find answers to many concerns and questions during my pregnancy?

The answers to some frequently asked questions appear here on the website. Please refer to the Maternity and Newborn Links.