Frequently Asked Questions

Some commonly asked questions by our patients.

 How do I get in touch with the doctor?

Getting in touch with us is very simple, just dial our main office number (919)678-6900 and follow the instructions.

What are the signs of Labor?

Labor is defined by regular contractions causing cervical change. Contractions will typically start far apart and progressively become more frequent and stronger over time. As contractions become closer, they will also increase in intensity and duration. Once you begin to have contractions, typically they last one minute from the start to the end of the contraction. Once they are five minutes apart give us a call and let us know. Your water may break once this process has begun or before you show any signs of labor. If your water breaks at any time, let us know so that we may advise you further. Finally, if you have any heavy bleeding towards the end of your pregnancy please call us.

What do I do if I think I am in labor?

It is important that you call us if you think you might be in labor. We can often help you determine where you are in labor and whether you need to be seen. If we determine that you need to be seen, we will call to make the arrangements.

What can I use for pain control during labor?

Pain control options are numerous. They range from breathing techniques and meditation to epidurals. Most people don’t know what will work for them until they are actually in labor. So, it is important to keep your options open. Natural methods may include techniques such as controlled breathing, use of the birthing ball, Jacuzzi baths, showers, reflexology massage, and acupuncture. These methods might not be adequate for all people. Pharmacological methods include the use of narcotic analgesics and epidural anesthesia. All of these methods are safe during labor.

When do I register at the hospital?

We will provide you the hospital registration material at your initial OB visit. We encourage you to register no later than 26 to 30 weeks.

What if I am older than age 35 at the time of delivery?

It is at the age of 35 where the risk of having a child affected by a chromosomal abnormality is equivalent to the risk of having a complication as a result of aggressive testing such as amniocentesis. It is therefore at this age that aggressive testing like amniocentesis and chorionic villious sampling is offered. Because of the risk associated with these more aggressive procedures many patients do not choose to do this testing initially. Other options can include first trimester ultrasound screening, serum screening, and detailed second trimester ultrasound. These tests when combined can help detect up to 85-90% of pregnancies affected by chromosomal abnormalities. Amniocentesis remains the gold standard detecting greater than 99% of chromosomal abnormalities.

When is it safe to travel by air during pregnancy?

Air travel is safe for most women up to 36 weeks of gestation. Most US carriers allow domestic travel up to this time. It is important to check with your individual carrier to determine their rules. Most international airlines allow travel up to 35 weeks of gestation. If you have any complications during your pregnancy, air travel may not be recommended. Please check with us to determine if air travel is recommended for you. If you are deemed to be a good candidate for air travel, several precautions can be taken to make your travel more comfortable. Gas producing food and drink should be avoided before scheduled flights. If you have nausea or air sickness, an anti-nausea medication may be helpful. Support stockings and movement of the lower legs may help to prevent blood clots in the legs. Since air turbulence cannot be predicted, seatbelts should be used continuously while seated. Seatbelts should be low on the hips below your belly.

When is it safe to travel by car during pregnancy?

The guidelines for automobile travel are very similar to that for air travel. In general, it is okay to travel up to 36 weeks, assuming that you have an uncomplicated pregnancy. It is important to keep in mind that if you do have complications while you are away, especially between 24 and 34 weeks, that require delivery of your baby, your baby may require an extended hospital stay, which may be very inconvenient for your family.

What are common over-the-counter medications that I can use during pregnancy?

It is best to avoid all over-the-counter medications during pregnancy, especially the first three months; however, if necessary, the following treatments are thought to be safe for you and your baby.
All herbal remedies should be avoided!
Call your doctor IF:

  • You can’t keep liquids down for 12-24 hours
  • You have abdominal pain, dizziness, extreme weakness
  • You have a fever of 100 degrees or higher
  • You develop a rash
  • You experience pain or burning with urination
  • You cough up or blow out yellow or green-colored mucus

COMPLAINT MEDICATION ALTERNATIVE REMEDY
Colds/Congestion Oral decongestants (guaifenesin)
1st trimester: Tavist (plain) Afrin spray (3 days) No Sudafed
2nd trimester: Tylenol Cold, Actifed, Triaminic (all types), Benadryl, Claritin(plain)
Drink at least 80 oz. fluid daily and use vaporizer or humidifier; Breathrite Strips (anytime)
Sore Throat/Cough Throat sprays, lozenges, Zyrtec 2nd trimester: Robitussin, Triaminic Honey and lemon, tepid fluids
Headache/Fever Acetaminophen (Tylenol). Avoid aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen Take a nap, cold compress to head or back of neck
Nausea/Vomiting Emetrol, Pepto Bismol, vitamin B6 25mg twice a day and 50mg at bedtime Eat saltine or whole wheat crackers before getting out of bed. Use seabands
Diarrhea Kaopectate, Imodium Increase fluid intake, avoid high fat, spicy foods
Indigestion Antacids, Titralac, Mylanta, Tums, Maalox Avoid high fat, spicy foods, eat smaller, more frequent meals; drink fluids between meals
Constipation Stool softener- Colace (docusate) or fiber laxative (avoid stimulant laxatives)- Metamucil, Citrucel Drink at least 80 oz water daily; increase exercise; increase intake of fiber (prunes), fresh fruits, and vegetables
Frequent Urination Avoid coffee and tea
Hemorrhoids Anesthetic ointment, preparation H, tucks Warm sitz bath

What types of fish should I avoid during pregnancy?

Certain types of fish may contain mercury. Fish thought to be the highest risk include shark, swordfish, king mackerel and tilefish. You can safely eat up to 12oz per week of shrimp, canned light tuna, salmon, pollock and catfish. If you prefer white albacore tuna then you may only eat 6oz per week. It is not recommended to eat raw fish at any time during pregnancy.

When do I pick a pediatrician?

We like you to have chosen a pediatrician by approximately your 32nd week. Once you come into the hospital in labor, the hospital staff will ask you which pediatrician you have chosen and they will alert their office of your delivery.