Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I use a hot tub in pregnancy?

A: No, it is not recommended. It can be especially dangerous in early pregnancy because hot temperatures can cause birth defects. Also, it is not healthy for you either as various infections may be encountered in public hot tubs. Additionally, when taking a shower, do not use very hot water either to avoid overheating yourself.

Q: Can I exercise in pregnancy?

A: Absolutely! As long as you avoid contact sports, heavy weights, and scuba diving, and as long as you don't have any complications such as preterm labor, high blood pressure, placental problems or other issues specified by your doctor, it is essential that you continue to lead an active style of life. It is not recommended to start exercising for the first time while pregnant though. But if you have always had a routine, you can continue. Make sure your heart rate remains below 140 beats per minute. If at any point you get uncomfortable or short of breath you should stop. You should not lift weights. It helps to take frequent breaks and drink plenty of water. Make sure all surfaces are smooth because in pregnancy you are more likely to suffer sprains and your joints are more lax. During your 2nd and 3rd trimesters, it is best NOT to do any exercises that involve you lying flat on your back.

Q: How do I choose a pediatrician?

A: You have to be very confident and comfortable with your choice because you are entrusting the life and health of your child to this person. It is a great idea to ask your doctor for recommendations. Also, in most cases, you can meet and talk to some pediatricians even before you deliver. It is a good idea to check into some other aspects of their practice, such as the number of partners, separate sick rooms, what hospitals they cover, and if there is a specific area that they specialize in. You may want to know how the office handles questions and phone calls in general, and how easy it is to get an urgent appointment.

Q: Can I travel?

A: Yes, you may be able to travel in pregnancy up to a certain point. It is NOT recommended to travel past 35 weeks. It is probably not a very good idea to travel in the first trimester if you are experiencing pains and/or bleeding. Otherwise, we can provide a letter with your due date which is sometimes required by different airlines. Make sure to wear comfortable clothes that are not tight. Avoid eating/drinking gas-producing products (e.g, broccoli, soda), walk around when able. If traveling by car, make frequent stops to walk around and make sure to map out nearby hospitals on your route.

Q: What if I have a pet cat?

A: Have someone else clean out the litter box! Make sure your pets are immunized as recommended. When the baby is born, it is better to introduce an article of clothing or a blanket with the baby's smells first. Watch out for your pet's reaction and be prepared to keep it away from the baby. Most cats don't like screaming babies and will avoid the nursery on their own. However, some get overly protective and may want to cuddle. This may be a problem. Talk to your pediatrician for more suggestions/recommendations. Your job in pregnancy is to avoid the litter box.

Dogs typically react better to babies than cats and do not carry toxoplasmosis.

Q: Should I be concerned about infections—I am a teacher?

A: If you have not had chickenpox (Varicella) or don't know if you did, we can order a blood test to see if you have the antibodies. If you do, then no worries. If you don't then make sure to avoid anyone who is affected by chickenpox while you are pregnant. After you deliver, you can get immunized.

Q: Can I get dental care in pregnancy?

A: We encourage you to maintain good dental hygiene, so continue with cleaning your teeth as scheduled. If you require a filling or any other work done, we can provide a letter to your dentist about general recommendations in pregnancy. Overall, as long as they shield your abdomen while taking X-rays, use local anesthetic without epinephrine, and use no Motrin/Advil/Aleve for pain control, there are no other limitations. If you require a major surgery that is NOT urgent, it may be best to wait until after you deliver.

Q: Can I color my hair?

A: There are no studies to evaluate the safety of hair-coloring products. However, we have not seen any adverse reactions in our practice. You may want to hold off during your first trimester.

Q: Why am I not getting an ultrasound every visit?

A: While ultrasound is considered the safest mode of imaging in pregnancy, exposing your baby to ultrasound waves so frequently may lead to unforeseen adverse effects that have not been fully understood. So, unless it is indicated to have ultrasound examinations on weekly basis, as in some fetal or maternal conditions that require close antenatal surveillance of your baby's well-being, we try to minimize any risks involved, even if theoretical.

Q: Which website would you recommend for references?

A: While there are a number of websites out there, it is essential to go to a trustworthy source of information. In general, www.acog.org has great information for patients. Another site is www.americanpregnancy.org. For later, Dr. Sears also offers a wonderful website for your reference: www.askdrsears.com. In any case, if you come up with a question, it is always best to also ask your doctor!

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