Frequently Asked Questions



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Here you can find the most frequently asked questions. Use the search field below or you can browse the questions directly. If you can not find an answer to your question please call us at (828) 253-5381.

  • Pregnancy Care

  • Is It Normal to Be Nervous Before the First Visit?

    It’s ok and very natural to feel anxious or have concerns about your first prenatal visit. Your first prenatal visit at Laurel OBGYN will be longer and more involved than other visits. It will include:

    • Reviewing your medical history
    • Administering tests and a physical exam
    • Estimating your due date

    Our goal of this visit is to assess your health and provide support and guidance on what to expect in the coming months. We also share resources and helpful information to help you in your first trimester. 

    As we are experiencing the COVID-19 pandemic, we are administering the safest practices and policies in our health clinic. Each team member is working diligently to ensure our patients and staff are at the lowest risk possible. 

  • When Should I Have My First Gynecologic Visit?

    An obstetrician–gynecologist (ob-gyn) is a doctor who specializes in the health care of women. Girls should have their first gynecologic visit between the ages of 13 years and 15 years.

  • Postpartum Care

  • How Much Weight Should I Gain in Pregnancy?

    Weight gain in pregnancy varies from person to person. It also depends on your weight before you become pregnant.

    Most pregnant women gain between 10kg and 12.5kg (22lb to 26lb), putting on most of the weight after week 20. Much of the extra weight is due to your baby growing, but your body will also be storing fat, ready to make breast milk after your baby is born.

    Putting on too much or too little weight while you’re pregnant can lead to health problems for you or your unborn baby. But don’t worry, it’s easy to make healthy food choices. Find out what to eat when pregnant and what foods to avoid.

  • When Do Pregnancy Cravings Start?

    There isn’t a specific time when pregnancy food cravings start. It’s different for every woman – and you may not necessarily have any cravings.

    If you do start having cravings, it’ll probably be in your first trimester (it could be as early as 5 weeks into pregnancy). They’ll get stronger in your second trimester, and then eventually stop in your third trimester.

    Cravings come in all shapes and sizes. Some women crave fatty foods like chips. Others get pregnancy cravings for things they didn’t like before they got pregnant, or strange combinations of food such as mars bars with bacon.

    Try to eat as healthily as possible – keep those unhealthy temptations to a minimum!

    If you find yourself craving things that aren’t food, like toothpaste, coal or even soil, speak to your midwife or doctor, as this may be a sign of a vitamin deficiency.

  • Obstetrics Care

  • What Prenatal Vitamins Should I Take?

    You’ll get most of the vitamins and minerals you need by eating a healthy, varied diet. But when you’re pregnant (and while you are trying to get pregnant) you also need to take a folic acid supplement. It’s also recommended you take a daily vitamin D supplement – especially in the winter months (October to March) when you don’t get enough from the sunlight.

    Along with the vitamins you should take, there are also some to watch out for and avoid. You should avoid supplements and multivitamins containing vitamin A (retinol) – as too much of it can harm your baby’s development. You should also avoid liver and liver products (including fish liver oil), as they are high in vitamin A.

    Find out more about vitamins and supplements in pregnancy.

  • What Can I Do to Stay Healthy?

    Making good lifestyle choices can help you to be strong and healthy for years to come:

    • Maintain a healthy weight by eating a well-balanced diet and exercising often.
    • Avoid smoking, drinking alcohol, and using illegal drugs.
    • Seek help if you have emotional ups and downs or feel depressed.
    • Use birth control if you are having sex and do not want to have a baby.
    • Protect yourself from STIs by using a latex condom. Know your partners and limit their number.
    • Keep up with routine exams, tests, and immunizations.

  • Gynecology Care

  • What Are the Pelvic Exam and Pap Test?

    Even though you probably will not have a pelvic exam, you should know what one is. Another test that you will have later (at age 21 years) is a Pap test. This test checks for abnormal changes in the cervix that could lead to cancer.

    The pelvic exam has three parts:

    1. Looking at the vulva
    2. Looking at the vagina and cervix with a speculum
    3. Checking the internal organs with a gloved hand

    The doctor will use a speculum to look at your vagina and cervix. When you have a Pap test, a sample of cells is taken from your cervix with a small brush.

    To check your internal organs, the doctor will place one or two gloved, lubricated fingers into the vagina and up to the cervix. The other hand will press on the abdomen from the outside.

  • What Happens During a General Physical Exam?

    During the general exam, your height, weight, and blood pressure will be checked. You also will be examined for any health problems you may have.

  • Pregnancy Concerns

  • Other Recommendations

    • Avoid hot tubs, saunas, and tanning beds
    • Self tanning creams are safe (if they do not contain retinol)
    • Avoid Smoking/tobacco, alcohol, caffeine, dieting
    • Register early for childbirth classes (by 20 weeks). Call (828) 213-8113.

  • Fetal movement

    After 28 weeks of pregnancy, it is important to count fetal movement daily

    Recommendations:

    • Pick a time when you are not distracted
    • Pick a time when the baby is usually active (often this is after a meal)

    Count fetal movements and make sure your reach ten counted movements before 1 hour has passed. (If you get to ten before an hour has passed, you can stop counting.) Call if you are unable to get this amount.

  • Leaking Water/water breaking

    Call anytime you think that you are leaking amniotic fluid, usually associated with a constant trickle or gush of fluid.

  • Leaking breasts

    Can be normal occurrence in pregnancy but please discuss with your doctor at your appointment to confirm that the discharge is normal.

    Recommendation: Avoid stimulating the breast and do not try to express the milk as this will only make you produce more.

  • Contractions

    Contractions can be normal in pregnancy but some can be a sign of labor or preterm labor.

    Recommendation: Call if contractions are painful, more than 6 in one hour, continue to increase in intensity and do not resolve with rest and hydration.

  • Diet

    The American College of Ob/Gyn makes the following suggestions during pregnancy::

    • Add 100-300 cal/day to your diet (300 calories is equivalent to a small snack-for example, ½ peanut butter and jelly sandwich and 1 glass low fat milk)
    • Daily amount of Grains – 6 ounces
    • Vegetables – 2 ½ cups
    • Fruit – 1 ½ – 2 cups
    • Meat/Beans – 5 – 5 ½ ounces
    • Normal weight gain for underweight person – 28-40 pounds
    • Normal weight person – 28-35 pounds
    • Overweight person – 15-25 pounds
    • Obese person – 15 pounds
    • With twins – 35-45 pounds
    • Avoid unpasteurized cheese/milk, raw/undercooked meat or fish, deli meat -unless it has been re-heated until steaming.
    • Avoid the following fish: shark, king mackerel or tile fish and if eating tuna, eat canned albacore light tuna. Limit fish to 2 meals per week.

  • Dental work

    You can have your teeth cleaned, have fillings, have teeth pulled, and have x-rays if they shield your abdomen. They can use local numbing medicine and certain antibiotics. Make sure you tell your dentist you are pregnant and let us know if he or she would like a note from us. It is actually better for your pregnancy if you maintain good dentition during pregnancy.

  • Exercise

    You may continue the same exercise program you had before pregnancy unless we have recommended otherwise.

    Recommendations:

    • Decrease as needed for comfort in pregnancy
    • Don’t try to train for a new level of exercising
    • Make sure you can still talk through your exercise (if you are too winded to talk, you should probably stop.)
    • Try not to lift more than 25 pounds
    • Don’t exercise while lying on your back
    • Try to avoid exercises that test your balance (skiing, tennis, horseback riding)

  • Swelling

    Most common in late pregnancy and in hot weather and in women who are on their feet throughout the day.

    Recommendations:

    • Increase water
    • Avoid salty foods
    • Elevate feet above the level of the heart when resting
    • Exercise
    • Avoid squatting, sitting, or standing at length
    • Wear support hose- available at Motherhood (full length hose are better than knee or thigh high)
    • Wear Maternity belt – available at Motherhood or BabieRUs
    • Call if warmth, palpable clot, chest pain, shortness of breath, concerns

  • Varicose Veins/Spider Veins

    Caused by increased pressure from pregnancy and increased venous dilatation.

    Recommendations:

    • Avoid tight clothes
    • Avoid squatting, sitting, or standing at length
    • Wear support hose- available at Motherhood (full length hose are better than knee or thigh high)
    • Wear Maternity belt – available at Motherhood or BabieRUs
    • Elevate feet above the level of the heart when resting
    • Call if warmth, palpable clot, chest pain, shortness of breath

  • Backache

    Caused by increased weight, postural changes, and pressure from a growing pregnancy.

    Recommendations:

    • Avoid lifting and high heels
    • Maintain good posture
    • Exercise and stretch regularly; use back exercises
    • Use a maternity belt- available at Motherhood and BabiesRUs
    • Can use heating pad, Tylenol, or ice packs to lower back

  • Frequency of Urination

    Caused by a growing pregnancy pushing on the bladder. This may be worse in the 1st and 3rd trimester.

    Recommendation: Call if it is accompanied by burning, pain, blood, or fever

  • Insomnia

    Common in late pregnancy

    Recommendations:

    • Exercise regularly, stay active in the day
    • Try relaxation techniques… warm bath before bed, decrease stimulus in bedroom (for example, no TV), meditation, stretching before bedtime
    • Can use Benadryl, Tylenol PM

  • Leg Cramps

    May increase with dehydration.

    Recommendations:

    • Increase water
    • Stretch (especially before going to bed)
    • Exercise regularly
    • Increase calcium to recommended daily dose with diet or Tums
    • Increase Potassium in your diet with bananas or figs

  • Intercourse

    Okay anytime during pregnancy unless your physician has recommended otherwise.

  • Yeast

    Very common in pregnancy. Symptoms include white clumpy vaginal discharge, itching, and burning.

    Recommendations:

    • Can use Monistat/Femstat 3 or 7 day treatments (although applicators may be contraindicated if you are at risk for preterm labor or if you have certain placental condition so please call our office if you have any concerns prior to use).
    • Wear loose fitting clothes and cotton undergarments
    • Dry off completely after bathing; may use a hair dryer to decrease moisture
    • Change out of moist clothes quickly after exercise, swimming, etc.
    • Call if discharge is yellow, green, or has a foul odor, or continues despite treatment.

  • Sore throat

    Usually cause by nasal drainage into the throat or viral infections in which case, antibiotics don’t help.

    Recommendations:

    • Decongestants (like Sudafed) to help decrease drainage
    • Warm saltwater gargles
    • Can use throat lozenges and Chloraseptic

  • Cough

    Remember that water is the best expectorant.

    Recommendations:

    • May use Robitussin or Triaminic
    • Drink water
    • Call if you have a fever and a productive cough
    • Get your flu vaccine!

  • Nosebleeds

    Caused by dry nasal passages and worsened by vascular changes in pregnancy

    Recommendations:

    • Saline nose spray 3-4 times daily
    • Use a humidifier
    • Vaseline jelly to lower nasal septum

  • Sinus/Allergies/Colds

    These problems can be worse in pregnancy and can result in increased mucous secretions, dry mucosal membranes and increased symptoms in which case, antibiotics don’t help.

    Recommendations:

    • Increase fluids, use humidifiers, use saline nose spray
    • Can use decongestants like Dimetapp, Tylenol Cold & Sinus
    • Can use antihistamines like Claritin, Benadryl, Tavist
    • Get your flu vaccine!

  • Heartburn and Indigestion

    Caused by hormonal and physical changes of pregnancy that slow down the digestive track

    Recommendations:

    • Avoid spicy, greasy foods and foods with fat or are hard to digest
    • Chew food slowly and don’t overeat
    • Eat small, frequent meals
    • Don’t lie down after eating; elevate the head of your bed
    • Can use Maalox, Mylanta, Mylicon, Tums, Pepcid AC, Zantac

  • Diarrhea

    Below are recommendations for diarrhea caused by stomach viruses:

    • Increase fluids to avoid dehydration
    • BRAT diet – bananas, rice, apple sauce, toast
    • Can use Imodium AD
    • Call if persists after 2 doses of Imodium

  • Headache

    Caused by hormonal changes, dehydration, congestion, and allergies.

    Recommendations:

    • Increase water and eat small frequent meals
    • Rest adequately
    • Can use Tylenol, Tylenol PM
    • Can use treatments under Sinus/Allergies/Colds (see below)
    • Acupuncture, meditation, and massage therapy can be used

  • Constipation

    Caused by sluggish bowels

    Recommendations:

    • Increase water. You need 64-96 ounces daily
    • Increase fiber in your diet (try a cereal each morning with > 3gm fiber)
    • Exercise regularly
    • Fiber therapy- Metamucil, Fibercon, or Citrucel
    • Colace and Milk of Magnesia can be used

  • Hemorrhoids

    Caused by increasing uterine pressure, venous dilatation, constipation, and heavy lifting

    Recommendations:

    • Avoid constipation (See Constipation recommendations)
    • Avoid heavy lifting
    • You can use Tucks pads, ice packs (no heat), and Anusol/Preparation-H
    • Call if they are blue in color and painful

  • Nausea

    Nausea and vomiting are very common. This usually occurs in the first 12 weeks, but can last longer. Your baby will be fine, even if you cannot eat very much during this time. The goal is to prevent dehydration.

    Recommendations:

    • Eat 5-6 small meals a day, increasing protein
    • Avoid spicy or greasy foods and anything that is hard to digest
    • Separate solids from liquids
    • Eat crackers one half hour before getting out of bed
    • Can try teas… raspberry, ginger, etc and ginger root capsules
    • Emetrol, Dramamine, and Meclizine are safe to use
    • Increase fluids
    • Acupuncture, meditation, and massage therapy can be used
    • Call if you cannot tolerate anything by mouth and keep appointments so that you and your doctor can discern if weight loss is dangerous or dehydration is occurring.


  • About Laurel OB/GYN

    Laurel OB/GYN serves women of
    Western North Carolina as an
    independent obstetrics and
    gynecology practice in Asheville.

    Contact

    Mon-Fri: 8:15 AM – 5:00 PM
    Closed: Sat-Sun

    41 Oakland Rd, Suite 200
    Asheville, NC 28801

    Call: 828-253-5381

    Fax: 828-253-9087

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