Common Questions About Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a very big deal, whether it’s your first time or your third. A woman’s body undergoes extensive changes during pregnancy, and lots of questions can arise. Your OB/GYN is here to help with some answers to common questions. Call us or see us if you have any further questions.

Are home pregnancy tests reliable?

At-home pregnancy tests yield accurate positive results (indication that you are pregnant), but frequently inaccurate negative results (indication that you are not pregnant). If you think you’ve had a false negative test, the best way to confirm your results is through a blood test. If you believe you are pregnant, you should schedule your first appointment 6-12 weeks from the first day of your last period. If you have bleeding or other concerns, it’s best to see your doctor sooner.

Can I drink alcohol while pregnant?

No safe minimal level of alcohol consumption is known. The best advice is to avoid alcohol completely during your pregnancy. Alcohol has been associated with fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS), in which the baby is born with an unusual (atypical) facial appearance, and is destined to develop mental retardation, growth deficiency, and behavioral disturbances. It was first described in 1973, but has subsequently been confirmed by many other studies.

What can – and can’t – I eat during pregnancy?

It’s best to consult your doctor, because there are a variety of opinions regarding what a woman should or shouldn’t eat. Generally, however, it is a good idea to avoid alcohol, under-cooked meats, and unpasteurized dairy products.

How much weight will I gain during pregnancy?

As a general rule, expect to gain between 25 and 35 pounds during a single-baby pregnancy. You should plan on eating around 300 extra calories a day, but be sure that those calories come from healthy foods and not from unhealthy or fast food.

Is it possible to know ahead of time whether I can have a vaginal birth?

It is very hard to predict ahead of time whether a vaginal birth is possible, or whether your baby will need to be delivered by C-section. Often, this cannot be determined until you actually go into labor. The C-section rate in the United States is around 30%.  At Harmony OB/GYN we expect and plan that you will have a Vaginal birth if appropriate unless there is some risk for either you or your baby.  While a C-section may not be your ideal plan sometimes it is the best way to protect the baby.

What kinds of exercise and activities are okay during the first trimester?

Almost anything, except for dangerous, forbidden, high-risk activities such as water-skiing, scuba diving, and skydiving. You can safely engage in exercises including stair-climbing, treadmill, jogging, sex, and swimming. None of these types of exercises are associated with miscarriages during the first trimester.  Generally if you can have a phone conversation during your exercise you are ok.  Anything more strenuous should be avoided.

Is it safe to have sex during pregnancy?

Yes, it is! In fact, sex is often engaged in throughout the entire pregnancy term. The only potential problems that preclude sexual intercourse are things like placenta previa, threatened preterm labor, threatened miscarriage, preeclampsia, and rupture of the membranes.  We will explain these if necessary during your prenatal care visit.

How should I measure my pregnancy – by weeks or months?

It is more accurate to measure your pregnancy by weeks than by months. We consider a full-term pregnancy to be 40 weeks, while nine months is 39 weeks. Your first trimester ends around 12-13 weeks and the third between 24-26 weeks.

Why do I feel so tired all the time? 

It is entirely normal to feel fatigued during pregnancy; especially during the first and early second trimesters. The changes in your hormones lead to hugely increased cardiac-pumping output, and this may be the reason for your fatigue. Also, the enlarging uterine muscle demands huge energy requirements which just make you feel tired.  We encourage you to continue to engage in normal activities as best as you can!

Can I breastfeed my baby if I’ve had breast implants?

In most cases, breastfeeding is not hindered, whether your implants are silicone or saline, or above or below the muscle. The overall belief is that the benefits of breastfeeding far outweigh any risks.

Questions regarding pregnancy are very common. We are happy to provide answers if you have any further questions. Please contact our office at 908-757-9555 or click here to contact us online and we will get back to you for an appointment. Our patients love the fact that they have local, community-based gynecologists in Edison and Somerset. We have been committed to providing top care for our patients in Middlesex and Somerset County New Jersey for decades.

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