Frequently Asked Questions in Pueblo, Colorado
Knowledgeable answers to your questions
Do you have questions about pregnancy that you need answered quickly? Our FAQ page includes many of the most commonly asked questions about pregnancy.
From food safety to appointments and more, you'll find the answers you need from our knowledgeable staff.
If you have questions that are not answered below, we're glad to answer them during your appointment.
When can I schedule my first prenatal visit?
We would like to see you for your first prenatal visit around the 7th or 8th week of pregnancy, calculated from the first day of your last menstrual period (or 5-6 weeks since conception). Please call sooner if you have a known history of ectopic pregnancy.
Nausea can be a normal symptom in pregnancy. It is often related to the increases in pregnancy hormones (HCG). It is important for you and your baby to receive nutrition and the following dietary suggestions may help. Most nausea decreases considerably after the first trimester (12 weeks).
- Eat small frequent meals
- Place crackers or toast next to your bedside and nibble before getting up.
- Drink only small amounts of fluids with meals as your stomach fills quickly. Try sipping most of your fluids between meals
- Low-fat foods are easier to digest (low-fat milk, yogurt, lean meat, broiled or canned fish, poultry without skin, applesauce).
- Eat carbohydrates that are easy to digest (rice, pasta, potatoes, cereals, crackers and ginger snaps).
- Avoid highly seasoned food.
- Avoid foods that give you gas (cabbage, broccoli, onions, buttermilk, pinto or pork beans).
- Eat protein snacks before going to bed.
- Drink water, peppermint tea, ginger tea, Gatorade, 7-Up, and ginger ale.
- Guard against dehydration.
- Get plenty of fresh air.
- Remove strong odors from your surroundings.
- Rise slowly from bed and give yourself a few minutes to adjust.
- Wear non-restrictive clothing.
- Use a heating pad or hot water bottle to soothe sore abdominal muscles from vomiting.
Do not take any anti-nausea medicines without consulting your healthcare provider. You may want to avoid taking your prenatal vitamin for a couple of days. Some women are very sensitive to iron and concentrated vitamins. You may also take half of your prenatal tablet at bedtime and the other half at lunchtime. Other helpful over-the-counter supplements include:
- Vitamin B6 75 mg (either 25 mg 3 times a day or 75 mg once a day)
- Tums twice daily
- Unisom, one-half tablet once or twice per day
- Acupressure bands or copper wrist bands
If, despite the above suggestions, you are still unable to tolerate food or liquids, please call the office to speak with our nurse or to make an appointment to see your physician.
What kinds of fish should I avoid?
All fish should be thoroughly cooked to avoid bacteria that can harm your pregnancy. Some fish are high in mercury and should be eliminated from your diet. These include shark, swordfish, mackerel, and tilefish. Lower mercury fish is safe to eat in moderation; eat up to 12 ounces of fish or shellfish per week, which is equivalent to two servings. Lower mercury fish include shrimp, canned light tuna, salmon, pollock, and catfish. Canned white tuna has more mercury than canned light tuna, therefore if you choose white tuna please limit yourself to one 6-ounce serving per week.
What is listeria? What kinds of cheese can I eat?
Listeria is a food-borne illness that can be harmful to you and your pregnancy. It is a rare infection, but you can eliminate certain foods from your diet to reduce your risk of exposure to this bacteria. Do not eat unpasteurized dairy products. Do not eat soft cheese such as feta, queso blanco, brie, Camembert, or blue cheese unless the label states it has been pasteurized or has been made with pasteurized milk. This same bacteria can be found in deli-prepared salads (for example pre-made egg salad), deli meats, bologna, and hot dogs. Heating foods to steaming temperature kills this bacteria and makes the food safe to eat.
What about caffeine?
Generally 1 to 2 servings of caffeine per day is safe during pregnancy. You may choose to switch to decaffeinated products at this time if you wish.
Can I use artificial sweeteners?
There are no known problems with NutraSweet or Splenda use in pregnancy. However, low-sugar, naturally-flavored foods are ideal.
Travel, exercise, and sports considerations
Is it safe to travel during pregnancy?
It is safe to travel during pregnancy assuming that you are having no complications. If traveling by car please wear your seat belt, periodically stop to stretch, empty your bladder, and hydrate yourself. After 35 weeks, our physicians do not recommend traveling long distances since you can deliver at any time. However, if you must travel after 35 weeks, please schedule an appointment to see the doctor before you leave. This does not mean complications could not arise while you are out-of-town. Most airlines require a letter from your doctor stating that it is safe for you to travel. Please check with the airline for their specific requirements.
Is exercise safe during pregnancy?
We encourage moderate exercise during and after pregnancy. If you are an avid exerciser, you can often maintain much of your current routine. Listen to your body, and decrease your level and amount of exercise as needed. If you do not normally exercise, this is not the time to start training for your first triathlon! However, if you are in good health, we encourage you to start walking or swimming at least 30 minutes a day, most days of the week. If you are feeling dizzy, exhausted or faint, please stop exercising and rest. Pregnancy yoga is safe and recommended. Be sure you have a pillow tucked under your right hip to prevent lying flat on your back. High-contact sports and sports with a high risk of falling are not recommended. If you have medical problems (heart disease, lung disease, obesity, extreme sedentary lifestyle) or pregnancy complications (history of or high risk for pre-term labor, placenta previa, incompetent cervix), please speak to your doctor prior to exercising.
What about snow or water sports?
Boating and swimming are fine, but we recommend against water sports such as water skiing, jet skiing, knee boards, etc. You may snorkel but may not scuba dive during pregnancy. You may alpine or snow ski depending on your level of expertise. If you are a beginner, it is not recommended. If you are intermediate to advanced skier, please do so with extreme caution while watching out for other skiers. We do not recommend skiing after your 18th week. Cross-country skiing and snow-shoeing are safe during pregnancy.
Is visting the dentist during pregnancy safe?
It is safe to have dental cleaning done during pregnancy. Bleeding gums may be noticed more at this time. Local anesthetic with or without epinephrine may be used for fillings. Dental x-rays may be done if necessary, but your abdomen should be shielded with a lead apron. If they are not necessary, wait until after your pregnancy to have x-rays done.
Are hair and nail treatments and tanning safe during pregnancy?
It is safe for you to give or receive hair and nail treatments. Self-tanning lotions are also safe to use during pregnancy.
Is it okay to paint during pregnancy?
Painting is safe as long as the room is well ventilated. When painting, it is best to use a water-based (rather than an oil-based) paint. If nausea, light-headedness, headache, or dizziness occurs, stop and get some fresh air. Do not sleep in a freshly painted room for at least 24 hours.
Are baths and showers safe?
It is perfectly fine for you to take a warm bath or shower. It is also safe for you to use an electric blanket or heated waterbed. It is not safe for you to use a hot tub, sauna, or whirlpool. All of these things raise your core temperature, which is not good for the baby.
Should I be worried about vaginal discharge?
You may notice an increase in vaginal discharge at this time due to pregnancy hormones. Personal hygiene is usually all that is required. A panty liner may be helpful in absorbing moisture and keeping the area free from irritation. Vaginal douching is not recommended during pregnancy. If itching, burning, or odor is noticed, please call our office.
WHAT DO I DO IF I MISS A BIRTH CONTROL PILL?
If you miss one pill, take it a soon as you remember or take two the next day. You are still protected from becoming pregnant. If you miss two pills, take two pills for the next two days but now you must also use a back-up method such as condoms to prevent pregnancy for the remainder of the month. If you miss more than two pills, call your doctor. With missed pills you will often have breakthrough bleeding or spotting. Check a pregnancy test if your period is late.
DO I NEED TO RESCHEDULE MY PAP SMEAR IF I HAVE MY PERIOD?
We use the ThinPrep liquid-based pap. You can have a pap smear if you have your period as long as the flow is not very heavy.
WHEN DO I NEED TO START GETTING MAMMOGRAMS?
Women age 40 and older should have mammograms every 1 to 2 years. Women at increased risk of breast cancer should talk with their doctor about whether to have mammograms before age 40.
For more information on mammograms, please see the National Cancer Institute Website.