FAQ’s

What should I do if I have a question?

If the question is of a routine nature please review this material.  If your question remains, write the question (i.e. diet, weight, etc.) down and bring it with you to your next appointment.

If the question is more urgent please call during office hours and we will return your call.  (i.e. spotting only, fleeting pain)

If there is a possible complication of pregnancy please call regardless of the time.  (i.e. spotting with pain, menstrual–like bleeding)

Important information to have available when you call

  • your full name (please spell in to the person you speak with)
  • your date of birth
  • your due date
  • whether this is your first, second, etc. pregnancy
  • your problem/question
  • your correct (preferably local) phone number.   Please be aware that we cannot return calls to blocked numbers.
  • keep in mind that the provider prefers to speak to the patient directly, if at all possible

What can I do if I miss your call

Call back through the office. Please do not call the number on a caller I.D. as we may no longer be at that number.

Is it normal to bleed after intercourse or after a cervix exam

Yes, a small amount of bleeding may occur but should be self limited and rapidly switch to a brown discharge over the following hour.  If the bleeding is more than you would expect with your period, or if it persists bright red, please call.

What do I do if I feel contractions or menstrual type cramping

Lie down, rapidly drink 32 ounces (1 L) of water over 5-10 minutes and observe.  If the feeling worsens (please don’t wait until it “gets bad”) or if it persists beyond an hour, call us.

I think I passed my mucous plug, what should I do

Observe.  Sometimes nothing happens other than a gooey mass is passed; sometimes contractions begin.  The plug itself means little, it’s what happens afterword that deserves attention.

I need to have dental work done, can I do it

Yes.  We encourage routine dental care without interruption. If X-rays are necessary to guide treatment they can be done with the belly shielded.  We do ask that routine, screening X-rays be delayed until after Baby is born.

I bought Dorney Park or ski passes, what do I do

Contact your purchasing source to notify them of your pregnancy.  They will inform you of their policy.

I bought a Gym membership, can I still use it

Yes, but do tailor your workouts to allow frequent rests (including water breaks), eliminate bouncing, twisting, and hyperflexing of joints.  If there is a trainer knowledgeable in pregnancy physiology, review and modify your workout with his/her input.

Should I wear my seatbelt

YES.  Place the lap portion over the upper thighs close to the bend of the hips.  Place the shoulder portion across your chest, between the breasts and above the belly.

Can I color or perm my hair during my pregnancy

The answer is not clear.  There are no good studies declaring safety or clear risk, especially for an elective activity.  As a small amount of chemical does enter your bloodstream, if you do color or perm you should at least wait until after the first 13 weeks.  See the following sites for both sides of the story.

Changing Hair Color During Pregnancy – Hair Dye and Pregnancy – Is it Safe?

Understanding Your Obstetric Insurance Benefits

Most insurance companies pay a single (“global”) fee which covers routine care of your normal pregnancy (please check with your company). The fee includes only regularly scheduled prenatal visits, delivery, and a single visit shortly after your delivery. It does not include care unrelated to your pregnancy. Laboratory fees; ultrasound fees; and hospital fees are separate and are billed separately. Visits with the provider for non-pregnancy issues and for post partum complications are not included in the global fee and are billed separately as well. It is important for you, the beneficiary, to be aware of what is covered, what is not and what your responsibilities are. Please refer to your insurance benefits package to determine these. We cannot access the details of your insurance contract.

Hospitals

As a patient in our practice, we offer you the option to deliver at one of the three hospitals in Allentown: Sacred Heart Hospital, Lehigh Valley Hospital (Cedar Crest), or St. Luke’s Allentown. As your healthcare provider we will try to honor your hospital preference however, it is important for you to be aware that because we offer the option to deliver at three different hospitals there are rare occasions when we will be obligated to a specific site (already taking care of another patient) and request that you come to a hospital where we already are. The situation is unusual, however, in order to provide the best patient care to all of our patients we would ask that you be flexible if this becomes necessary.

Disability

Pregnancy causes some changes in body function.  A healthy woman tolerates these changes as only minor discomforts.  Patients with chronic illness may not adapt as easily. Most jobs can be continued during pregnancy.  Disability occurs only when the requirements of a job place the safety of mother or baby at risk.  If we determine that disability occurs during your pregnancy we will provide appropriate documentation of the disability (see office form policy).  Please understand that normal aches and discomforts of pregnancy may be inconvenient but are not disabling; we will recommend comfort measures instead.  If you feel yours or your baby’s safety is a risk, please discuss this with us at your visits.  We cannot support disability requests retroactively.

Our routine restrictions for activity/work in pregnancy are:

  • No lifting > 20 lbs
  • No work in an area where fainting would be dangerous to patient or coworkers
  • No work in an area with sustained temperatures >85*F
  • No work where tobacco smoke or other organic exhaust is present
  • Patient is restricted to a 40 hour work week
  • Patient will need frequent and ready access to toileting facilities
  • After 28 weeks of pregnancy, patient will require a 15 minute rest every four hours, at which time she should elevate her feet.

Post partum disability/recovery includes the six weeks after delivery.  Individual companies at their own discretions may extend this, however the norm is six weeks.  Family Medical Leave Act situations allow up to twelve weeks of unpaid leave for the birth of a child and require completion of appropriate FMLA paperwork (see office form policy) provided through your company’s human resource office and according to its policies.

How to Contact Your Providers

Keep the office telephone number in an easy to find location (you may take a business card from the front desk to keep handy).  ALWAYS CONTACT US THROUGH THE OFFICE NUMBER.  After hours there is an answering machine with a message which addresses most after hours concerns.  Please listen carefully to it and follow the instructions provided.  In the rare event that the office phone service is interrupted and you feel you are dealing with an emergency situation you may call the hospital and ask to have the provider paged.

Please assure your phone will accept secured calls.  If your phone normally blocks calls from secured numbers you must open your line or your call cannot be returned.

When Should You Call Your Healthcare Provider

You may always call during office hours.   Please provide daytime and evening numbers as we may need to return your call in the evening.  After office hour phone calls should be reserved for emergent situations.

There are specific situations when you should always call:

  • spontaneous vaginal bleeding (no recent intercourse or pelvic exam, see below).
  • one sided pain which is worsening with time.
  • persistent nausea and vomiting.
  • unusual and persistent pain.
  • fever and chills.
  • decreased fetal movement.
  • if you think your bag of water is leaking or has broken.
  • frequent tightening/contractions 5 or more times in an hour before 35 weeks (see below).
  • worst headache you’ve ever had, not relieved by Tylenol or rest.
  • visual changes (black spots, fireworks).
  • sudden, severe swelling of face or hands.
  • trauma (significant falls, motor vehicle accidents, physical abuse, etc.)
  • labor