LeConte Women’s Healthcare Associates wants you to have the best pregnancy experience possible. Read the information below to help prepare you for all stages of pregnancy.
Tests Performed During Pregnancy
- Blood pressure: taken at each visit
- Urine: checked at each visit to see if your body is producing excess protein or glucose and make sure there is not an early bladder infection
- Fundal height: we’ll measure the uterus with a tape measure at each visit to make sure the pregnancy is growing properly.
- Fetal heart tones: we should be able to hear the baby’s heartbeat around 12 weeks gestation
- Ultrasound: ultrasound can be performed after approximately seven to nine weeks gestation to determine the due date and check on baby’s wellbeing. The ideal time is 18 to 20 weeks to evaluate organ development. We can often determine the baby’s gender at this 18-20 week ultrasound.
- Glucola or gestational diabetes testing: the glucose test screens for gestational diabetes. It’s performed around 25 weeks and takes about one hour. Make sure you have NOTHING to eat or drink other than water for at least ONE HOUR BEFORE your appointment. This includes no gum, candy, mints or smoking.
- Group B strep: we’ll test this around 35 weeks gestation (also known as GBS or Beta Strep). The test is simple and quick and involves a Q-tip just inside the vagina and near the rectum and only takes about two seconds to perform. (Nothing to dread!) This is a very common bacteria and is not sexually transmitted. It poses no immediate threat to the unborn baby. But if the test is positive then you’ll receive an antibiotic through your IV while you are in labor. If the bacteria is not there then one less thing to worry about!
What to Expect
Discomforts of Pregnancy
- Breast tenderness: Wear a good, well fitting support bra. You can take Tylenol.
- Heartburn: Tums, Maalox, Mylanta are safe to use. Zantac, Tagamet, or Pepcid are also fine to use during pregnancy.
- Nausea: Unisom Nighttime Sleep Aid or Emetrol over the counter liquid. Take 1 tsp when nausea first occurs, then follow bottle instructions. Using Vitamin B6 50mg twice daily and Unisom at night can be a good combination.
- Crackers, toast, soup, or broth
- Maalox or Mylanta
- Eat regular, small meals every two to three hours
- Try peppermint or cinnamon candy
- It is possible that your nausea may be related to your prenatal vitamins, so changing the time of day you take them may relieve the problem.
- Vomiting: clear liquid diet (i.e. popsicles, Jell-O, Gingerale, Sprite, Gatorade). Gradually add soup and broth, then advance to regular foods. If vomiting resumes, stay on clear liquids. If vomiting continues, especially for more than 24 hours, and fever arises, call your doctor (865) 524-3208 .
- Nasal congestion: increase fluid intake, vaporize at home. Normal saline nasal drops two to three times a day. Tylenol Cold & Sinus, Claritin, or Benadryl are okay to use.
- Headache: Regular Strength Tylenol or Extra Strength Tylenol. If headache continues and is associated with blurred vision, swelling of the hands, face, or feet, call your doctor.
- Nosebleed: Pin the nose and hold for five to ten minutes. Ice to back of neck. Frequent use of a saline nasal spray may be helpful. Also applying a thin layer of Vaseline to the inside of each nostril may help (almost like Chap stick to the inside of your nose.) Nosebleeds occur more often in pregnancy due to increased blood volume.
- Diarrhea: Imodium and Kaopectate are okay to use during pregnancy.
- Dizziness: Gradually stand from sitting or lying position. Eat regular meals. Do not skip meals. Drink plenty of fluids. Avoid hot showers. If more than twice a week, notify your doctor.
- Colds or sinus problems: Increase fluid intake. You may use Tylenol Cold & Sinus, Benadryl, Sudafed, Tylenol PM or Chlor-Trimeton (as directed on package) for nasal drainage not accompanied by fever. Robitussin or Vicks Formula 44 may be used for cough. Vaporize at home. Normal saline drops to both nasal passages two to three times a day. If you develop a fever, colored nasal drainage, or persistent cough (productive or non-productive) call your doctor.
- Sore throat: Gargle with warm salt water two to three times a day. Tylenol as directed on package. For sore throats, Cepacol or Chloraseptic Spray or Lozenges are okay.
- Constipation: Increase fluid intake. Increase dietary fiber (i.e. fruits, vegetables, and bran). Miralax and Citracel are good brands to use for fiber supplementation as they may produce less gas. Stool softeners such as Colace/docusate sodium. Milk of Magnesia. Enemas and glycerin suppositories are also safe.
When to Call the Doctor
- Contractions may begin 15-20 minutes apart and last 30-45 seconds. Usually, you will not need to go to the hospital when your contractions begin.
- It is time to call the doctor when your contractions are 5 minutes apart, last at least 60 seconds and you have to breathe through the contractions.
- The contractions should be five minutes apart for about 2 hours.
- If you think your water has broken (a sudden gush of fluid or constant trickling down your leg) you should call the doctor.
- Call the doctor if you experience bleeding more than spotting or decreased fetal movement, or have questions regarding symptoms you are experiencing.
- We have an answering service relaying calls to the physicians. If for some reason you do not receive a call back from a physician in 30 minutes, please call the exchange again–there are some situations when the pages may not be answered immediately such as when the physician is in surgery or a delivery.
- False labor – It may be difficult to tell the difference between false and true labor. Be prepared for the possibility of being sent back home if you are having false labor.
Early Labor at Home
- Activity: try to rest in order to conserve your energy. However, some patients find walking helpful.
- Eating (while at home): You may drink liquids or eat soup or jell-o, but avoid eating a heavy meal to prevent nausea and vomiting when labor progresses.
Where To Go
When you arrive at LeConte Medical Center there are two places you may check in. If it is a regular weekday and between the hours of 6:30 a.m. and 6 p.m., you may check in at the registration desk at the main entrance at the front of the hospital. If it is a weekend or after hours you need to check in through the Emergency Department where they will sign you in and then send you on up to the Birthing Center.
Admission to the Hospital
- You will be evaluated by a nurse in the triage area and she will contact the doctor. Your cervix will be examined and the baby will be monitored.
- If you are in labor you will be admitted to a room. You may be sent home if you are in false or early labor. (It is best to avoid admission until active labor begins.)
- Sometimes patients may be observed for an hour or so and then re-examined to see if the cervix has changed. You may be allowed to get up and walk during this time.
Attending a prenatal class is a great way to become acquainted with our Dolly Parton Family Birthing Unit at LeConte Medical Center and some of our staff. This half-day class covers many different aspects of the labor process, vaginal delivery, Cesarean section, epidurals and after care for you and your newborn. Classes are usually recommended in the last 4-6 weeks of your pregnancy. Early sign up is recommended. You can enroll by visiting the birthing unit on the second floor of LeConte Medical Center or call 865-446-8210 for more information.