We recommend that you complete all paperwork prior to arriving for your first visit at our practice. All new patient paperwork can be found on our website: www.myvaobgyn.com, under the tab “patient forms” located on the right side of the homepage.
After hours calls are answered by our providers. Please call the office at 703-858-5599 and you will be connected with the provider on call.
Unfortunately most pregnant women will be affected by either a cold or seasonal allergies during their pregnancy. We recommend increasing your water consumption and increasing your rest. Some medication is ok and can be taken if necessary to improve the symptoms of your cold or allergies. We recommend only plain medications, avoiding any combination allergy or cold medications. See list below:
For allergies: Benadryl, saline nasal spray
For cough and cold: Tylenol, Tylenol extra strength, Sudafed, Robitussin, Vicks vapor rub, Halls cough drops & lozenges, Afrin nasal spray
If fever greater than 100.3 develops at any time you should seek immediate care at the ER to assure you are not affected by the seasonal flu. Should you have any concern or feel that your symptoms are progressing further after increasing your water, rest, and treating the symptoms we encourage you to call your provider to prevent cold turning into an infection.
We recommend that you not dye your hair in pregnancy, especially avoiding the first three months of pregnancy. It is not completely understood how much dye is actually absorbed by your skin/hair when you dye it, or the effects it could ultimately have on your baby. If you must have your hair dyed, which we do not recommend, please wait until your second trimester and make sure that it is done in a well-ventilated area by a professional who minimizes chemicals and the type used in pregnancy.
We do not recommend getting your hair permed in pregnancy, as enough data has not been done on the chemical process to cause your hair to curl. It is unknown the quantity of chemical absorbed that could affect your fetus.
We do not recommend the use of hot tubs or saunas in pregnancy. The use of hot tubs and saunas increase the body temperature. There are studies that an increased body temperature of over 102 degrees Fahrenheit can lead to birth defects. We recommend if you need a way to relax to fill a well cleaned bathtub with body temperature water and to soak for 10 minutes. Avoid heating the water above 101 degrees Fahrenheit.
Tanning booths are not recommended in pregnancy. Tanning booths increase your risk for skin cancer, and if not properly cleaned, your risk for infection. A tanning booth can also increase your body temperature over 102 degrees Fahrenheit, which may lead to birth defects. There are some more recent studies that link ultraviolet rays to folic acid deficiency, which could lead to neural tube defects. We recommend that you use sunscreen when outdoors, as pregnancy can make skin more sensitive creating more darkly pigmented areas.
Due to hormone levels, many women experience nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. The majority of women experience these symptoms during the first trimester, although it may continue throughout the pregnancy for some women. We recommend battling nausea with small frequent meals and meals high in protein. In addition the use of peppermint or ginger teas and hard candy can reduce the nausea. If nausea is accompanied by vomiting, it is very important to increase your fluid intake to prevent dehydration. If you are unable to tolerate either food or liquids, please call your provider immediately.
Exercise is recommended in pregnancy, as long as your pregnancy is complication free. However, we recommend that you continue to exercise at the level you were prior to pregnancy and not add any new regimens. We would encourage you to eliminate any contact bearing exercise, especially any activities that could hit your abdomen and avoid any extreme workouts. When exercising in pregnancy is important to monitor your heart rate, and prevent it from exceeding 140 beats per minute. Some good activities to continue in pregnancy are walking, low impact aerobics, swimming, and gentle cycling.
As long as you are not exposed to environmental hazards or are in a position of contact to abdomen frequency, working through a normal healthy pregnancy is ok. We would encourage you to increase you fluid and water intake while working. If at a desk, stand up to walk every two hours to keep your blood circulating. Contact your provider if you have any questions or concerns regarding your work.
Some swelling in pregnancy is normal, due to the increased blood flow in pregnancy. Common sites of swelling in pregnancy are the fingers, ankles, and toes. To decrease the swelling we recommend increasing your water intake, and elevating body parts that are swelling. You should call your provider immediately if your swelling becomes painful, your fingers or toes appear discolored, or if the swelling occurs above your ankles or in your face.
If you are pregnant and contract or have been exposed to chicken pox, call your health provider immediately. Further testing may be required and will be something your provider discusses with you.
If you develop a headache in pregnancy you can take 2 Tylenol Extra Strength, sit down and evaluate if headache resolves. Some women will eat food and ingest a very small amount of caffeine at time of taking Tylenol. If headache persists or worsens, if headache is the worst you have ever experienced, or if visual changes occur your provider needs to be contacted immediately or go to the ER.
Constipation is very common in pregnancy. The best way to prevent or ease constipation is to increase your water and fiber consumption. If alteration of your intake is not enough a twice daily stool softener, such as Colace, is recommended. Laxatives are not recommended.
Bleeding gums are a common symptom in pregnancy due to the large amounts of circulating progesterone. It is recommended that proper dental hygiene be continued in pregnancy, which includes regular visits to your dentist. Flossing and using a soft bristle toothbrush can prevent excess irritation to gums. If bleeding worsens, pain, masses, lesions, or odor from gums appears contact your provider or dentist.
Leg cramps occur frequently in pregnancy. They can be decreased and improved with stretching; reaching over and pulling toes toward you can help. Increasing your potassium with a banana a day, your calcium, and magnesium have all been suggested as helpful in regards to leg cramps. If leg cramps occur multiple times a day please call and inform provider of frequent cramping. If you would notice calf pain, and/or one calf larger than the other, red, swollen, or warm it is very important to call your provider immediately. Call and go to ER immediately if you experience calf pain with shortness of breath, chest pain or palpitations.
It is safe to paint in pregnancy as long as the paint is water-based and the painting is done in a very well-ventilated area. We would advise that you wait to paint until after the first trimester, and avoid paint strippers and thinners. Avoid using ladder or scaffolding, as being pregnant can affect your sense of balance and puts you at a risk of falling.
Intercourse in pregnancy is ok as long as the pregnancy is progressing in a normal, complication free fashion. We recommend avoiding intercourse until after 8 weeks, to ensure pregnancy is progressing appropriately and to prevent bleeding from cervical irritation. If you develop any spotting or bleeding after intercourse, contractions or develop cramping, please call your provider immediately.
Heartburn is very common in pregnancy. The heartburn is related to hormones in the early part of pregnancy and an enlarging uterus in the later portion of pregnancy. Eating small frequent meals, meals high in protein, meals low in acidity/spice, sitting upright for 30 minutes before meals, and avoid eating before bed can prevent or lessen the degree of heartburn. Tums can be used following meals. If heartburn persists, worsens, or is making you miserable please contact your provider and further treatment options will be discussed with you.
Hemorrhoids are common in pregnancy. Eating meals high in fiber and increasing water intake will help to soften bowel movements. Straining and constipation can make hemorrhoids worse. If needed a stool softener such as Colace can be effective to prevent constipation. If hemorrhoids are uncomfortable or itch apply preparation H or Tucks pads can offer relief. If hemorrhoids are painful or turning black or blue or bleeding please call your provider immediately.
Yeast infections appear commonly in pregnancy due to alterations in the pH of the vagina. If you are experiencing an increase in discharge, the discharge has thickened or changed colors, or if you are experiencing any itching or irritation please call your provider immediately. Do not attempt to self-treat with over the counter medications.