Moms to Be
Congratulations on your upcoming delivery! Whether this is your first of fifth child, we understand what an exciting and important phase of your life this is. Our physicians and staff are here to provide the best care available to the pregnant women of Central Massachusetts. Before, during and after delivery unique issues and questions may arise. We are here to assist you through it all. Women’s Health of Central MA obstetricians perform deliveries at the Maternity Center of UMass Memorial Medical Center – Memorial Campus, 119 Belmont Street, Worcester, MA. Should your infant need, UMass has the region’s only Level III (highest rating) Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and is internationally recognized for its quality care.
WHCMA Prenatal Information
The documents included in this booklet: WHCMA Navigable Prenatal Packet are derived from WHMCA doctors as well as other prominent sources, such as the Centers for Disease Control, ACOG and others. Important topics in this booklet will be reviewed with you during your prenatal intake with a nurse or medical assistant (intakes are either in person or over the phone) – prior to seeing your doctor. Please read through the remainder of the information. If at any point during your pregnancy you have questions – ALWAYS discuss with your doctor or midwife. We hope this booklet is helpful to you throughout your pregnancy! Additional resources and FAQs are listed below, as well.
Many of our patients have utilized and appreciated the National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition free text message program available to pregnant moms to help educate and support them during their pregnancy. This educational program is called “text4baby.” We hope you enjoy this interactive tool for pregnancy!
We recommend the following links for information about pregnancy. With so many pregnancy sites available online, we wanted to highlight the most credible and resourceful ones for our patients. We hope that you find them helpful.
- The March of Dimes
- Womenshealth.gov/Healthy Pregnancy
- Women’s, Infants, and Children’s Program
- The National Women’s Health Information Center
- American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
- American Board of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
Family Services for Pre- & Post- Pregnancy
- Baby Center
- Mothers and Company
- Web MD / Health and Pregnancy
- What to Expect When You’re Expecting
Frequently Asked Questions During Pregnancy
Q: I often feel nauseous, especially in the morning. How long will this last?
A: Nausea and vomiting can occur all too frequently during pregnancy, especially during the first 12 weeks. This condition is better known as “morning sickness” or “Hyperemesis,” and usually subsides by the third month of pregnancy. Feelings of nausea can be lessened by avoiding fatty/greasy foods and eating small meals throughout the day. Instead of three large meals, it may be helpful to eat smaller, more frequent meals. If possible try to drink enough fluids to avoid dehydration.
Q: There are times when I am dizzy. Is this part of being pregnant?
A: Over the next few months, your body will sense many subtle changes. For some women, these changes cause dizziness that increase as pregnancy progresses. To prevent dizziness, get up slowly from a lying or sitting position. Shift your weight from one leg to another if standing for longer periods of time. If possible, when resting or sleeping, try to avoid lying flat on your back.
Q: I’m concerned about spotting. What’s normal and what isn’t?
A: It is common to have vaginal bleeding or spotting during your pregnancy. This is most likely to occur during the first three months. This does not mean that you are having a miscarriage. In fact, approximately 30 percent of women experience some bleeding during pregnancy without any complications. However, it is important to contact us if you have any bleeding as we may want to examine you or perform an ultrasound.
Q: I have more headaches than usual. Is this common?
A: Headaches occur frequently during pregnancy. If you have had a history of headaches or “migraines” before pregnancy, your headaches may become frequent. Tylenol may be helpful in treating headaches. If you find that the headaches are becoming worse and the Tylenol has no effect, it’s time to give us a call.
Q: I feel a cold coming on. What can I do to treat it?
A: Colds and flu affect as many pregnant women as non-pregnant, and are especially prevalent in the winter months. If other family members have flu-like symptoms, chances are likely that you may develop the same illness. For relief of symptoms, many over-the-counter remedies are available such as Tylenol for fever, joint and muscle aches; Sudafed for runny nose and nasal congestion; Robitussin DM or regular cough syrup only for coughs. Always remember to keep up your fluid intake, especially if you have a fever. In the event of a high fever, or should your symptoms persist, please call us.
Q: Can I maintain my workout schedule?
A: A modified program of light exercise is actually encouraged during your pregnancy. The key is simply not to over do it. This is not a time to push yourself to the limits of exhaustion. If you monitor your heart rate, do not exceed a rate of 140 beats per minute.
Q: Why do I have this urge to urinate?
A: Feeling the need for frequent urination is common during pregnancy; such feelings may even increase as your pregnancy progresses. If the feeling of frequent urination is associated with burning, back pain, fevers, chills, nausea, or vomiting, call us. These may be symptoms of a urinary track infection.
Q: What can I do about constipation?
A: The iron you are taking in your prenatal vitamins could be causing constipation. Should this be a problem, try to increase your intake of fluids, fruits and vegetables. If necessary, use Milk of Magnesia, Metamucil or Colace.
Q: What can I do to reduce swelling?
A: Fluid retention (known as Edema) causes swelling of the face, hands, legs and feet. Swelling of any area is uncomfortable, especially during the summer months. To reduce swelling, try resting on your left side for 3-4 hours in the afternoon. This improves circulation to vital organs and may help alleviate some of the swelling. Call us should you develop severe headaches, blurry vision, abdominal pains, or vomiting in addition to the swelling.
Q: It is all right to have intercourse?
A: Having intercourse during pregnancy is not harmful to your baby. However, it may become more uncomfortable during pregnancy and, as a result; you may feel a decrease in the desire to have intercourse with your sexual partner.
Q: Why do I have heartburn?
A: Heartburn is a common complaint during pregnancy. Unfortunately, heartburn may increase as pregnancy advances because there is less room for the stomach to expand. To relieve heartburn, try sleeping with your head elevated on two pillows. Avoid eating a heavy meal just prior to bedtime and stay away from greasy/fatty foods. It is all right to use readily available antacids such as Tums, Mylanta, or Maalox. Use no more than 3 times per day after meals and at bedtime if needed.
If you have additional questions regarding your upcoming delivery, feel welcome to contact us today!