Information for Our Pregnant Patients

Your Pregnancy Journey

Pregnancy is usually a very special time in your life and can be a very rewarding experience. However, it is important for you to take proper care of yourself. This information should serve as a guideline for you throughout your pregnancy and help to answer some of your most common questions. If you have any other questions, discuss them with your physician during your prenatal visits.

Office Information

Office Hours

Our office is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 am until 5:00 pm. Individual physicians hours may vary. Our office may be reached at (225) 201-2000. Non-emergency questions will be answered during regular office hours or at the end of the day. Emergencies will be addressed immediately.

After Hours

After regular office hours, the physician can be reached by contacting Woman’s Hospital Medical Exchange: (225) 922-3766. Please limit these calls to emergencies only. Calls regarding prescriptions, appointments, lab results, etc. will be handled during office hours.

Associates

LWH provides 24-hour coverage for emergencies. The coverage consists of one call group of male and female physicians.

Please note, you may be examined, treated or delivered by a member of the call group other than your regular physician. If your physician is not on call, the covering provider may also be reached through the Medical Exchange at (225) 922-3766.

Visits

During the first seven months of your pregnancy, your exams will be scheduled every four weeks. In the seventh and eighth month, you will be seen every two to three weeks. After that, you will be seen weekly until delivery. Following delivery, you will have at least one postpartum visit with your physician.

Pregnancy Events

Labor

At term, when contractions begin, wait until they are regular and strong in character before going to the hospital. If this is your first baby, contractions should be about 4-5 minutes apart for at least 2 hours.

Bleeding

Should heavy bleeding occur, call immediately!

Bloody Show

After 36 weeks of pregnancy, a brown or blood tinged mucus may come out of the birth canal. This is the mucus plug and is not dangerous. It does not necessarily mean labor will happen soon, but usually indicates the cervix is effacing.

Ruptured Membranes

If your bag of water breaks, call immediately!

Medications

If possible, medications should be limited during pregnancy. The following are considered safe and can be purchased over-the-counter without a prescription. No medication is completely safe as very few have been tested extensively for use during pregnancy.

Symptoms Medications
HEADACHES, BACKACHES, MUSCULAR PAINS, FEVER
Tylenol - Take as directed.
COLD, SINUS PROBLEMS
Claritin, Zyrtec, Sudafed, Tylenol Sinus, saline nasal spay - Take as directed.
COUGH, CHEST CONGESTION
Mucinex, Robitussin (Plain or D.M.) - Take as directed.
DIARRHEA
Imodium AD - Take as directed.
CONSTIPATION
Metamucil, Miralax, Citrucel, Surfak, Colace, High fiber diet, bran flakes, lots of water.
HEMORRHOIDS
Preparation H, Tucks pads, Anusol suppositories or Anusol HC cream and hot sitz baths.
INDIGESTION/HEARTBURN
Pepcid, Prevacid, Tums, Rolaids, Maalox, Riopan - Take as directed.
SORE THROAT
Any over-the-counter throat lozenges or spray, gargle with warm salt water.
NAUSEA
Vitamin B-6 10-25 mg every 6 to 8 hours. Emetrol, Bonine, Dramamine - Take as directed. If Nausea persists, try Vitamin B-6 10-25 mg every 6 to 8 hours and add Unisom (doxylamine) 12.5 mg every 6 to 8 hours.
VAGINAL YEAST INFECTION
Monistat 3 or 7 - May be used at any stage of pregnancy.
ALLERGIES
Benadryl may be used any time during pregnancy for colds, allergic reaction or sleep.

Use common sense with medications. Although these medications appear safe in pregnancy, no medication is completely without risk. You must balance your discomfort against the small but potential risk of any medication.

Common Pregnancy Concerns (A-Z)

Activities to Avoid

• Avoid hot tubs, saunas, roller coasters, sky diving, skiing, scuba diving, and motorcycle riding.

• Avoid changing cat litter boxes – cat feces can transmit toxoplasmosis.

• Do not smoke, drink alcohol, or use illicit drugs. These can be very hazardous to you and your baby. Smoking should be stopped immediately. According to the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG), no amount of alcohol during pregnancy is considered safe.

Dental Care: Gum disease and bacteria in the gums become more common during pregnancy and can have potential negative impacts. Continue routine teeth cleanings. Dental X-rays (with shielding of the abdomen and thyroid) and local anesthesia (lidocaine without epinephrine) are safe during pregnancy (if you are not allergic).

 

Diet: A balanced diet with special attention to protein, calcium, iron, fresh fruits, and vegetables is recommended. Remember, the quality of your nutrition is more important than the quantity. Drink plenty of water and avoid high mercury fish, unpasteurized dairy, and under cooked meats.

 

Douching: Should not be done during pregnancy. Increased vaginal discharge is normal, provided vaginal burning, itching, and odor are absent.

 

Educational classes: Courses on labor and delivery, breastfeeding, infant CPR, and baby care are widely available. Consider enrolling in classes, especially if you are a first-time parent.

 

Exercise: Exercise is recommended in pregnancy for 30 minutes each day, 5 days per week. If you already jog or attend exercise classes, it is acceptable to continue in moderation. If you are not exercising regularly now, walking and swimming are good forms of exercise that you can begin during pregnancy. Avoid excessive fatigue, dehydration, or overheating. After the first trimester of pregnancy, avoid performing exercises on your back. Stop exercising and call your physician if you experience vaginal bleeding, dizziness, shortness of breath, chest pain, headache, muscle weakness, calf pain or swelling, uterine contractions, decreased fetal movement, or fluid leaking from vagina.

 

Fever: Use Tylenol for any fever over 100.4 degrees. If the fever does not respond to Tylenol, call your physician.

 

Hair Treatments: Hair coloring and nail care should always be done in large, well-ventilated areas.

 

Hemorrhoids: If you have hemorrhoids, it will be necessary to increase the amount of liquids you drink. You may also need to use stool softeners. Anusol and Tucks pads assist with discomfort.

 

Insects: It is safe to use bug spray while pregnant. Use a mosquito repellent that contains an EPA-registered active ingredient, such as DEET, picaridin, 2-undecanone (IR3535), or oil of lemon eucalyptus. You may have your house sprayed for insects, but the home should be ventilated for several hours before you return.

 

Painting: You may paint rooms or refinish furniture in well-ventilated areas (use gloves and a filter mask). Do not use oil based products.

 

Pregnancy Discomfort: Increased fatigue and back pain are very common during pregnancy. Maternity belts can be worn to help relieve lower back pain, pelvic/round ligament pain, and other discomforts associated with pregnancy. Maternity belts are available for purchase inside Louisiana Women’s Aesthetics on the first floor (Suite 103).

 

Seatbelt: You should definitely wear your seatbelt throughout pregnancy. The shoulder belt should sit between your breasts and the lap belt below your belly, over your hips.

Sexual Activity: Sex during pregnancy is safe unless you are experiencing bleeding, preterm labor, or if your physician has told you otherwise.

 

Swelling: For swelling or varicosities of the legs, full-length maternity leggings or pantyhose can help increase circulation and provide comfortable support. Frequent rest periods with the feet elevated may help ease some of the discomfort.

 

Travel: Travel (by car, plane, train, boat, etc.) during a normal pregnancy is typically allowed up to 36 weeks. Consult with your physician before traveling, and ask for a copy of your prenatal records to take with you. Drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration. Because pregnant women are more susceptible to getting blood clots, make sure to get up and move at least every 2 hours to stretch your legs.

 

Vitamins: Prenatal vitamins are to be taken throughout pregnancy and up to three months after delivery. In some cases, supplemental iron will be added. You may also add a plant-based DHA supplement if your vitamin does not contain this. If you are breastfeeding, vitamins should be continued as long as you breast feed.

 

Work and School: A pregnant woman can continue to work or attend school until she goes into labor. If you are having pregnancy complications, your physician may restrict your work depending on your job activities.

Your Appointments

smiling pregnant woman

Schedule of Prenatal Visits

Every 4 weeks for the first 7 months (weeks 4 to 28).

Weeks 28 to 36, every 2-3 weeks.

Weeks 36 to 40, once a week until delivery.

 If your pregnancy is complicated, more visits may be necessary. It is advisable to make several appointments in advance. If you need to cancel an appointment, please notify us at least 24 hours in advance.

Family

Your partner is always welcome to attend your regular prenatal visits and is encouraged to be with you at delivery. If you bring children, we ask that they remain quiet and calm.

Ultrasounds

Obstetrical ultrasounds will be performed for medical indications. Due to limited space and seating, there is a three person guest limit (including children).

Pregnancy Outcome

With modern obstetrical care, most pregnancies will progress to a happy and healthy outcome. However, this is not true in all cases. Miscarriages, stillbirths, and abnormal births do occur, even in the best of care. Your greatest chance for a successful outcome can be realized by attending your prenatal visits regularly, maintaining a nutritious diet, and informing your physician should any unusual symptoms occur.