Pregnancy can be a time of great joy, especially for a first-time mom. It can also be a time filled with dozens of questions and concerns and for many, a time filled with new and troubling symptoms and health conditions. A good OBGYN can treat most of these pregnancy related conditions, will help monitor against others and will keep you as informed and calm as possible along the way.
Setting Up the Guidelines Early
During one of your earliest appointments it is important to ask your doctor what types of things that you should call the office for, which things should be addressed at the hospital immediately and how to deal with common, but non-threatening conditions and symptoms. Every situation is different, but the doctor may want to get a phone call:
If you have not been able to keep food or water down for more than 24 hours.
If you are running a fever
If you are constipated to the point of being in pain or if it has been more than 3 days since your last bowel movement
If you are so tired that you cannot function at all especially after the end of the first trimester
You may be directed to go to the ER immediately:
If you are bleeding or cramping
If you have a thick, mucus filled discharge
If you are in severe pain especially in the back
If you think you are having contractions
If you are dizzy, have fainted or have fallen down
Common Symptoms Can Still Be Scary
Some people are unaware that there are random, sometimes strange symptoms that are just a normal part of pregnancy. For instance, they may not know that nosebleeds, bleeding gums and the constant feeling of nasal congestion are all normal. They can be annoying and in some cases, can interfere with your ability to get good rest so the doctor may have some tips to help you. It is important that you don't just grab random medications to treat these or any other conditions especially in the earlier parts of your pregnancy because these drugs can affect your baby and his development.
Simple, all-natural tricks are all that you need and are better for you and the baby in most cases. If you do need to take medications, the doctor will let you know which are safest for you and how to take them to minimize risk as well as to minimize nausea.
More Serious Issues
Even a healthy woman can develop problems during her pregnancy. Gestational diabetes, problems with blood pressure and others can present new challenges and should be handled by a doctor that specializes in pregnancy related complications. An OBGYN has trained to handle these issues and can help you to deliver a healthy, happy baby while working to minimize the risk to you.
One of the most common problems during pregnancy is urinary tract infections (UTIs). If you were prone to them before pregnancy you may have a higher risk of having them during for a number of reasons. First, your hormones may play a role in increased UTIs. As the baby grows your uterus will press on your bladder making it harder to completely empty. You may feel the urge to urinate frequently even if you do not have an infection at the time. Because of this it can be easy to be confused about whether you have an infection or not. Watch for other symptoms of an UTI including:
A strong need to urinate RIGHT NOW.
A feeling that you have to go every few minutes
An odor with your urine.
Your urine looks cloudy or darker than normal
You see small amounts of blood in your urine
You may run a slight fever if it's a UTI, but not always. If the symptoms progress, call the doctor immediately.
Women who are at high risk for any serious conditions will be monitored closely and may be taught to do some of the monitoring at home as well. It is important that you follow the guidelines that you are given so that you are not putting your health or the health of your baby at risk. Women at risk for developing gestational diabetes may need to track their blood sugar several times a day for example. There may need to be some dietary changes as well as some medications.
Other risks that may need to be closely monitored include:
Weight especially in a woman who is under or overweight at the start of her pregnancy
Sexually transmitted diseases
Possible contact with contagious diseases that could be harmful to the developing baby. Women who are at highest risks for coming contact with these diseases can include teachers and day care workers especially in areas where a lot of vaccinations are not being given.
Questions and the Ability to Focus Your Energies
It is natural that things will terrify you. You might wake at night with sudden questions about something you read earlier in the day. There are a lot of ways to get some really bad information including friends and family and social media. It can be almost impossible to separate the terror inducing hysteria from the simply outdated information out there. This is why it is important that you always ask the doctor any questions that you might have. Print out articles, write down notes or record them on your phone so that you are prepared. Never be afraid to bring this information to your doctor who may not have had a chance to see the articles in question.
Reading pregnancy books and getting informed is great but if you disagree with something or are scared by what you have read, discuss it with the doctor. Your goal is to get the right information and to let the rest of it just pass you by. Siouxland OBGYN wants the same thing that you do: a healthy baby. It is our goal to help you through this challenging and joyous time as easily and comfortably as possible.