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Common Questions
Click among the two question groups to jump to answers listed down page.

Obstetrics Common Questions


Gynecology Common Questions



Obstetrics Related Questions and Answers

When should I see the doctor for my first prenatal visit?

Call the office as soon as you know you are pregnant (positive home pregnancy test) and we will schedule an appointment for you to be seen when you are 2 -3 weeks late for your period (i.e. 6-7 weeks pregnant).

What foods should I avoid during pregnancy?

Mercury: avoid swordfish, tile fish, mackerel and shark. Limit total fish intake to 12 ozs per week (i.e. 2 average size servings/week) arrow Click this for the FDA information sheet on mercury

Listeria: Avoid deli meats, lox, and unpastuerized cheeses.
arrow Click this for the USDA Fact sheet on Listeria

Artificial Sweeteners: Splenda and equal are fine in moderation. Avoid saccharin.

Raw food: Avoid raw meat, eggs, fish.

Toxoplasmosis: Make sure meat is cooked well; hot dogs must be completely heated through do not change the cat litter

Alcohol: Avoid during pregnancy.

Can I get my hair colored?

arrow Click this for the answer

Should I bank my baby’s cord blood?

Cord blood banking is a process in which blood is drawn from the umbilical cord after the baby is delivered and the cord is cut while the placenta is still attached to the mother’s uterus. There is no harm to the mother or baby in this procedure. The cord blood is then processed and cryopreserved by a cord banking company for potential future use by the baby or a relative of the baby. The stem cells in the cord blood can potentially be used to treat blood-related cancers, bone marrow diseases and blood disorders and other diseases. There are many different cord blood banking companies (most are for-PROFIT) that will provide you with information and solicit your participation. If you do choose to bank your baby’s cord blood we suggest you research the different companies including cost into your selection criteria.

Can I exercise when I’m pregnant?

Becoming active and exercising for 30 minutes per day can benefit your health during pregnancy. Take caution, though, as pregnancy may make you more prone to injury or falls, especially later in pregnancy. Avoid activity where there is a high risk of fall or hitting your abdomen. Activities such as walking, swimming, or running may be good for you.

Can I travel when I’m pregnant?

The best time to travel is in the middle of your pregnancy – between weeks 14 to 28. Some airlines restrict air travel after 36 weeks, others require a medical clearance for travel. Please check with your carrier, and discuss travel plans with your doctor, prior to booking a trip.

Can I get the flu shot when I am pregnant?

Yes, it is recommended that you get the flu shot when you are pregnant or will be pregnant during flu season. You may get the flu shot even if you are in the first trimester. arrow Click this for the answer

How do the doctors feel about epidurals?

We are supportive of patients’ expectations and desires for a positive birthing experience. For some women this involves a labor without pain medications. Many women chose to have labor epidurals. arrow Click this for the answer

Will I get an episiotomy?

We prefer to avoid routine episiotomy. Under certain circumstances an episiotomy is necessary – this is established when the fetal head is crowning. Some women find perineal massage helpful in reducing tears at the time of delivery.

What is the practice’s c-section rate?

Our goal is to deliver heatlhy babies to healthy moms. Cesearean sections are avoided unless medically necessary for the health of the mother or the well-being of the baby. The practices c-section rate for mothers having their first baby is slightly lower than the national average.

What hospital are the doctors affiliated with?

arrow Click this for the answer

What medications can I safely take when I am pregnant?

Please discuss medications during pregnancy with your doctor.

Can I sleep on my back?

It is fine for you and for your baby to sleep on your back in the first and second trimester. Once you are later in the third trimester the size and weight of the uterus may compromise the volume of blood returning to your heart by compressing the vena cava (the major blood vessel that brings blood back to your heart from the lower half of your body). If the blood return to your heart is diminished you may feel short of breath when lying flat on your back. If you feel short of breath when you lie on your back, sleep on your side.

What position will I be in while I’m pushing in the second stage of labor?

If you have the energy and strength to do so, we recommend you try multiple different pushing positions during the 2nd stage of labor. Your Labor and Delivery nurse will help you with positioning and pushing techniques.

My 5 year old was just diagnosed with Fifth’s disease?

arrow Click this for the answer

I was exposed to someone with shingles and I am pregnant.  What should I do?

Shingles is due to reactivation of the chicken pox virus (varicella). You are usually immune to varicella if you have previously had chicken pox or the vaccine. If you are immune, you can not get chicken pox or shingles by being exposed to a person with either disease. If you are immune the fetus will not be affected by your exposure to the virus. If you are not immune and you have had an exposure to either chicken pox or shingles you may be a candidate for an immune globulin injection.  Please discuss this with your doctor.

We are painting a room in our apartment. Is it safe for me to be around the paint fumes?

Exposure to paint fumes has not been shown to cause harm to the developing fetus. You may find you are more sensitive to smell.  If the smell bothers you avoid prolonged exposure for your comfort.

Gynecology Related Questions and Answers

When should I have my first GYN exam?

arrow Click this for the answer

I missed one or two of my birth control pills?

Read the package insert that comes with your pill for instructions. 
If you miss one pill, take two the next day. You are still protected from becoming pregnant.
If you miss two pills, take two pills on the next TWO days. You must use a backup method of contraception such as condoms for the remainder of the month. If you are late or miss pills you will often get breakthrough and or irregular bleeding. Check a pregnancy test if you are late for your ’period’/withdrawal bleed.

Can I have a pap smear if I have my period?

We use the ThinPrep pap.  You can have a pap smear if you have your period as long as the flow is not very heavy. In general, you should try to schedule your annual exam for when you are not having your period if possible.

What should I do if I think I have a vaginal infection (such as yeast)?

Call the doctor’s office and speak with the nurse or doctor about your symptoms.

I think I have a bladder infection (UTI).

Call the doctor’s office and speak with the nurse or doctor about your symptoms.

How much calcium do I need?

On average, most women require 1200 mg of calcium and 1000 IU vitamin D daily. There are several over the counter supplements available, and on average have 600 mg calcium and 400 IU vitamin D per tablet. Speak with your doctor to determine what your individual requirements are.

I have gone through menopause but am having some staining?

Call your doctor.  You will need to be evaluated with an ultrasound and/or an endometrial biopsy.

My mother has a history of breast cancer, when should I get my first mammogram?

arrow Click this for the answer

My partner was just diagnosed with genital warts?

You should make an appointment to be evaluated by your doctor.

Should I be tested for HPV?

If you are sexually active, you are at risk of having been exposed to HPV.  When your Pap smear is performed at Totowa OB/GYN the cells can be tested for the human papilloma virus.  Please discuss HPV testing with your doctor at the time of your visit. 

Is the Patch safe?

Recent scientific data has shown the level of estrogen you are exposed to by using the Orth Evra patch is higher than if you were taking oral birth control pills. Please make an appointment with your doctor to discuss whether the Patch is a good choice for you.

Should I get the HPV vaccine?

Please discuss the HPV vaccine and its availability with your doctor.