Obstetric FAQs

Frequently asked questions about pregnancy

The highly trained OBGYNs at Women’s Health Partners have provided answers to some of the most frequently asked obstetric questions to help guide patients through their pregnancy. If you have more questions about your pregnancy or would like to schedule an appointment, call our office in Boca Raton at (561) 368-3775 or Boynton Beach at (561) 734-5710 today!

If your test is clearly positive, you’re very likely pregnant. False positive pregnancy tests are possible but rare. There are some medications and medical conditions that can cause a false positive (chemical pregnancy / Ectopic pregnancy / Recent miscarriage or abortion / User error…)

An average woman needs about 2,000 calories a day. When you are pregnant, you need about 300 calories more each day to stay healthy and help the fetus grow. A woman whose weight is normal before she becomes pregnant should gain 25–35 pounds during pregnancy. Women who are underweight should gain about 28–40 pounds. Women who are overweight should gain 15–25 pounds. Women who are obese should gain about 15 pounds. Women carrying twins should gain as much as 45 pounds.

If you keep up the good eating habits you began in pregnancy, you will be close to your normal weight within a few months after giving birth. Combining healthy eating with exercise will help the process.

In your first pregnancy, this appears by the 22nd week: earlier in subsequent pregnancies. Consistent motion is established after the 24th week and is most noticeable after meals in the evenings. Motion may decrease slightly in quantity in the last month, but the fetus still should move several times every day. Please notify us if it does not. A simple test of your baby’s well-being is a “kick count.” After 26 weeks, fetal motion of any kind should occur at least 10 times in the two hours following a meal.

Even if you’ve been trying for months, don’t worry just yet. Most couples conceive within a year, so chances are you might still have a few months to go. We recommend that a couple begin having tests if they cannot get pregnant after having unprotected sex for 1 year. Tests are done sooner in women over 35. Tests are also done sooner in women who don’t have a period every month.

Most women can still breastfeed after having had breast implants, as the surgery usually doesn’t involve the ducts or the areas of your breast involved in milk production. There are times the incision is done in the armpit or around the areola, usually for cosmetic reasons (to make the scar less visible) and may affect milk supply.


Listeria is a harmful bacterium that can be found in refrigerated, ready-to-eat foods (meat, poultry, seafood, and dairy – unpasteurized milk and milk products or foods made with unpasteurized milk), and soil. When eaten, it may cause listeriosis, an illness to which pregnant women and their unborn children are very susceptible.

Tips on preventing Listeria:

  • Your refrigerator should register at 40° F (4° C) or below and the freezer at 0° F (-18° C). Place a refrigerator thermometer in the refrigerator and check the temperature periodically.
  • Refrigerate or freeze perishables, prepared food, and leftovers within two hours of eating or preparation. Follow the 2-Hour Rule: Discard food that is left out at room temperature for longer than two hours. When temperatures are above 90° F (32° C), discard food after one hour.
  • Use ready-to-eat, perishable foods, such as dairy, meat, poultry, seafood, and produce, as soon as possible.
  • Wash all fruits and vegetables before cutting and eating.

Do not eat:

  • Hot dogs and luncheon meats – unless they are reheated until steaming hot.
  • Soft cheeses like Feta, Brie, and Camembert, “blue-veined cheeses,” or “queso blanco,” “queso fresco,” or Panela – unless they are made with pasteurized milk. Make sure the label says, “made with pasteurized milk.”
  • Refrigerated pâtés or meat spreads.
  • Refrigerated smoked seafood – unless it is in a cooked dish, such as a casserole. (Refrigerated smoked seafood, such as salmon, trout, whitefish, cod, tuna, or mackerel is most often labeled as “nova-style,” “lox,” “kippered,” “smoked” or “jerky”. These types of fish are found in the refrigerator section or sold at deli counters of grocery stores and delicatessens.)
  • Raw (unpasteurized) milk or foods that contain unpasteurized milk.
  • Bagged chopped lettuce, spinach, and salads. Wash and chop heads of lettuce yourself.


Toxoplasmosis is a parasite found in raw and undercooked meat; unwashed fruits and vegetables; water; dust; soil; dirty cat-litter boxes; and outdoor places where cat feces can be found. It can cause an illness called toxoplasmosis that can be particularly harmful to you and your unborn baby.

Tips on preventing Toxoplasmosis:

  • Wash your hands with soap and warm water after touching soil, sand, raw meat, cat litter, or unwashed vegetables.
  • Wash all cutting boards and knives thoroughly with soap and hot water after each use.
  • Thoroughly wash and/or peel all fruits and vegetables before eating them.
  • Separate raw meat from other foods in your grocery shopping cart, refrigerator, and while preparing and handling foods at home.
  • Cook meat thoroughly. The internal temperature of the meat should reach 160° F (71° C). Use a food thermometer to check.
  • Avoid drinking untreated water, particularly when traveling in less-developed countries.

In uncomplicated pregnancies, you may travel by any means until the beginning of your last month. High risk patients are generally discouraged from traveling, especially after 36 weeks. If travelling is necessary, please discuss your travel plans with your physician or midwife. Most pregnant women will require extra rest while on vacation, especially if you are going to a higher altitude. When you travel, be sure to move your legs at least each hour to avoid blood clots.

Most pregnancies last around 40 weeks from the first day of your last menstrual period (or 38 weeks from conception), so typically the best way to estimate your due date is to count 40 weeks, or 280 days, from the first day of your last menstrual period (LMP).  An early ultrasound can also help in confirming your due date.

This information will help when you enter labor, or when you might have a pregnancy complication. Please do not go to the hospital without talking to the doctor first unless you have a severe problem such as heavy bleeding. In that case, go to the nearest hospital or call 911. If you do not receive a call back within 15 minutes, please call again.

About Contractions

Contractions usually begin in advance of active labor. It is only necessary to call when they are a consistent 5-6 minutes apart over at least 1-2 hours, and they cause a significant level of discomfort. If your previous labor was fast, or you had a C-section, please inform the doctor you speak with.

About Bleeding

In your last 3 weeks, it is common to have a light spotting, mucous or bloody discharge called “show” and it is not necessary to call unless bleeding is heavier than menstrual flow, especially if it is bright red or associated with clots. This show may reoccur a few times. It does not actually predict when you will go into labor.

About Ruptured Membranes

Please call us when you think your water breaks. This is a watery flow, either clear, slightly bloody, or greenish. Please note the color if you can.

About Pain

Some pain will accompany contractions. Strong consistent pain without relief is unusual and should be reported.

If you have not been exercising, the addition of walking, swimming, or some aerobic activity should become part of your routine. It is good for your stamina, circulation, weight control, and decreased feeling of fatigue. If you have been exercising, you may want to continue to do what your body is accustomed to. If you are new to exercising, we want you to start off slowly and increase with time. ACOG considers the following conditions to be incompatible with vigorous exercise in pregnancy: history of 3 or more miscarriages, ruptured membranes, preterm labor, incompetent cervix, bleeding, or placenta previa, heart disease or multiple gestations. Always speak with a provider if you are unsure about a particular activity. Keep well hydrated with water or Gatorade-like liquids. Avoid the use of hot tubs, saunas, or steam rooms due to the heat.

The following are general guidelines to exercising:

  1. Start off slowly, and warm up and cool down adequately
  2. If you feel breathless, dizzy, or overtired, stop and rest
  3. Do not hold your breath during exercising
  4. Exercise should be performed slowly and in control. Avoid pushing, pulling, or leaning that will strain muscles or cause you to lose your balance.
  5. Remember, your center of gravity is different when you are pregnant.
  6. Wear supportive footwear and comfortable clothing
  7. Avoid exercise in hot, humid weather
  8. Be sure to drink plenty of water during exercise

When you are pregnant, you must approach things differently. Medications are taken only when absolutely necessary, not just for our comfort. If you are taking any medications from another physician, please let us know. It is best to avoid taking any medication, however, there will be times that taking a medication is both safe and helpful. Any prescription medication we give you will be safe in pregnancy. Other, over the counter medications are also considered safe. If at any time you are unsure or what we have suggested is not effective, please feel free to call us for assistance. The following guidelines should be used when choosing medications and should be taken as directed on the label. Ibuprofen and aspirin are not recommended during pregnancy.

Nausea: Vitamin B-6 (50mg, 2 times per day), Ginger (in the form of ginger ale, ginger tea, or ginger tablets), sea-bands (available at the drug store), Emetrol, eat small frequent light meals. If these do not help, notify the office and we can recommend other treatments. Nausea is very common during the 1st trimester.

Headache or fever over 101: Tylenol, 500mg every 4 hours as needed

Nasal congestion or cold: warm saltwater gargles, cold air humidifier, Benadryl 50mg every 6 hours, ocean nasal spray, Robitussin-DM. Avoid taking medications with containing Pseudo-ephedrine.

Cough: Robitussin or Robitussin DM, one teaspoonful every 4-6 hours

Constipation: increase water intake, Metamucil, Citrucel, Senokot, Fibercon, MiraLAX, Milk of Magnesia, or Konsyl

Diarrhea: Immodium, Kaopectate

Hemorrhoids: Tucks pads, Anusol, or preparation-H with cortisone, ointment, or suppositories

Heartburn: Tums, Maalox, Mylanta, Pepcid AC, Tagamet HB

Skin irritation: Alpha Keri, Aveeno, Caladryl, or Benadryl lotion, spray, or cream

Sleep: Tylenol PM

Yeast Infection: Monistat or Gyne-Lotrimin

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