Should I have a check up before I attempt to get pregnant?

It’s a good idea to see your provider before you conceive. You should make an appointment with your provider for your annual exam and make sure you are up to date with your pap smear. You should also start a prenatal vitamin with folic acid before you attempt to conceive. Preconception counseling can also include assessment of individual risk factors, including medication use and chronic health problems.

Should I worry that I haven’t gotten pregnant after 4 months of trying?

Most women are able to conceive within the first year of trying. Couples attempting to conceive should avoid smoking, drugs, and alcohol as they could affect fertility. Timed intercourse on days 11. 13. and 15 after the start of your period is optimal. Couples who have been attempting to conceive over one year, or if you are 30 and above, 6 months, should make an appointment with their provider.

Are there extra risks for pregnancies in women over 35?

Age does not prevent someone from having a safe and healthy pregnancy. However, some conditions seem to occur more often with advanced maternal age. These include high blood pressure, diabetes, .decreased fertility and Cesarean birth.

How much weight should I expect to gain when pregnant?

A weight gain of 25-35 is recommended by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists for a woman of normal weight at the beginning of her pregnancy.

Can I take medicine if I am pregnant?

A pregnant woman should not take any medications without checking with her provider. Some medications can be harmful to the developing fetus especially in the first trimester. Some medications such as Tylenol, Tums, Maalox, Robitussin DM, Sudafed and Afrin nasal spray are considered okay but check with your provider before taking anything.

Can I take the flu shot if I am pregnant?

Yes, the Center for Disease Control recommends that all pregnant women receive the flu vaccine in the second trimester during the October-March flu season.

What is Group B Streptococcus?

Group B Strep. is a type of bacteria commonly found in the vagina or rectum of women. In most cases, no symptoms or problems occur. Some babies exposed to Group B Strep. during delivery can become infected. All women are screened for these bacteria between 35-37 weeks. If a woman is found to carry this bacterium, she will be treated with antibiotics during labor to decrease the risk of transmitting the infection to the baby.

Can I continue having sex while I am pregnant?

Sexual relations during normal pregnancies are not harmful. If you are bleeding or leaking fluid you should call your provider and avoid intercourse.

How can I tell if I’m in labor?

Every pregnancy is different. Some women experience contractions in their back, some in the front. If you are less than 37 weeks and notice any signs and symptoms, call your provider immediately. Labor differs from person to person. The usual signs and symptoms include:

  • Contractions 5 minutes apart for an hour which do not change in frequency and intensity while changing positions.
  • A gush or slow leak of fluid from your vagina. If you are not sure if you are leaking fluid, put on a peri pad and see if it gets wet.
  • Blood tinged vaginal mucous