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Preadmission What You Can Expect Hospital Virtual Tour FAQs


Frequently Asked Questions

I am pregnant - when should I have my first visit? 
We are happy to see you when you first find out that you are pregnant.  Please call our office to schedule an appointment for an initial nurse visit. Unless you are having complications, your first physician visit should be between 8-12 weeks of pregnancy.  Weeks of pregnancy or gestational weeks are counted beginning with the first day of your last menstrual period. 

What will happen at the initial nurse visit? 
The nurse will explain our practice, complete a medical history form, and answer any questions you might have; you will be sent for lab work.  This visit may last up to 2 hours. At the completion of this visit the nurse will schedule your physician visit based on your medical and/or pregnancy history.

What can I expect at my first physician visit?
The physician will review your history that was taken by the nurse, review your blood results, and examine you. A limited ultrasound for dating will be part of the examination. You can anticipate the visit will last about an hour.

What dietary recommendations do you give your patients?
We recommend that you eat small, frequent meals (4-6) and calcium intake should be 1500 mg a day.  Do not eat raw meat, raw fish, deer meat, unpasteurized milk, soft-ripened cheeses made with unpasteurized milk, and raw or undercooked eggs.  Feta cheese is okay to eat.  Watch your fish intake (See Department of Health and Environmental Control guidelines). Click here for a listing of recommendations to help with nausea.

Where does your practice deliver? 
We deliver at Palmetto Health Richland Hospital.

When should I start taking folic acid if I'm considering getting pregnant and can I take over-the-counter prenatal vitamins? 
The best way to get enough folic acid is to take a multivitamin with 400 micrograms of folic acid in it and eat a healthy diet before you try to become pregnant.  You should continue taking the multivitamin with folic until you become pregnant and have your initial nurse visit.

You can read more about the benefits of folic acid at the following website: http://www.marchofdimes.com/pnhec/173_769.asp

What do you suggest if my prenatal vitamin makes me nauseous? 
Many patients have found that Flintstone's Vitamins are tolerable.   Taking two Flintstone's Vitamins will suffice as a supplement.

How often will I come in and what tests will I have done during my pregnancy?  Click here to view the general guidelines for routine OB care with our practice.

May I travel long distances while I am pregnant? 
Yes, but only until you reach 34 weeks of pregnancy for international travel or 36 weeks for domestic travel.  You should stop every one to two hours and walk for about 10 minutes to increase circulation and prevent leg and feet swelling.  After 36 weeks you should travel no more than one hour away from the hospital without your doctor’s permission. 

May I travel by airplane? 
Yes. Some airlines require a written letter from the physician authorizing travel by air. Remember if you go out of town, take a copy of your prenatal records with you.

May I go swimming? 
Yes, provided you have not experienced a rupture of your membranes (water breaking)

May I go to the dentist while I'm pregnant? 
Yes, and we encourage you to do so.  Please let us know and we will provide your dentist with a letter for guidelines.

Is a salt substitute safe while I'm pregnant? 
No, because it contains potassium salts that could cause problems.

Are diet drinks okay? 
Yes, after the first trimester (13 weeks), but try not to drink more than one a day.  If given a choice, use products with Nutrisweet, also known as Aspartame.

Is it safe to wear sunscreen?
Yes, in fact, you are at greater risk of sunburn due to the increase in hormones during pregnancy.  Drink plenty of fluids and always wear sunscreen at least SPF 30.

Is it safe to get my hair relaxed, permed, or dyed while pregnant?
Yes.  Make sure it is applied in well-ventilated areas.

May I drink coffee, tea or drinks with caffeine? 
Drink these in moderation. (No more than the equivalent of two cups of coffee per 24-hour period).

When will I feel the baby move for the first time? 
You may feel the baby move around 18 to 22 weeks.  You may feel movement earlier in your second or third pregnancy.

May I have intercourse throughout pregnancy? 
Yes.  There are no restrictions as long as there are no complications (i.e. vaginal bleeding or premature labor).  If in doubt, consult your doctor. Sexual activity is not allowed once your water has broken.  Stop if you have pain or shortness of breath.

Is exercise okay during my pregnancy? 
Yes, but only in moderation and as directed by your doctor. Do not start anything new.  Low impact or prenatal aerobic exercise classes, as well as walking and swimming are recommended.  Remember, do not lie flat on your back during any exercise. 

May I sit in a Jacuzzi or hot tub? 
No, because your body temperature could become too high.  This could be harmful to both you and your baby. 

Is alcohol safe? 
Since no safe level of alcohol consumption has been documented at any point, our general recommendation is to avoid all alcohol intake throughout the entire pregnancy.  If you have any further questions, please consult your doctor.