We make every effort to deliver our own patients, however, we do rotate weekend and night call. Thus, one of the other physicians may be involved in your care. You will be provided the opportunity to meet the other physicians during one of your obstetrical appointments, if you so desire.
If you have any problems during your pregnancy, we ask that you call the office during office hours (9:00AM – 4:30PM). If you have an emergency after office hours, the answering service will notify us of your call. If your call is not returned immediately and you have a true emergency, go to the nearest emergency room or Medical City preferably.
The global fee for obstetric care includes your routine prenatal office visits, uncomplicated delivery, and postpartum visit. In addition, there are fees for routine lab work, sonograms, high risk pregnancy, special lab work, circumcision, emergency room visits, cord blood collection, and cesarean sections. This is explained in detail at the time of your initial obstetrical visit and you will have ample opportunity to ask the benefit coordinator questions.
We deliver exclusively at Medical City Dallas at the new Women’s Hospital as mentioned previously, which has a Maternal Level IV designation as well as a Level IV NICU. The new Medical City Women’s Hospital offers spacious private rooms, on-demand complimentary room service by City Gourmet, and an infant security system. There is an option to reserve a Luxury Suite, if you desire, at check in on the day of your arrival to L&D.
Below you will find a list of common questions asked by our maternity patients. Click on the question to reveal the answer. If you find that your question is not addressed below, please contact us and we’ll do our best to get back with you promptly!
The old saying “eating for two” should definitely NOT be followed. On average, you need about 300 extra calories daily (ex. a yogurt and handful of almonds, or a ½ a sandwich). If starting at a healthy weight, you should gain between 25-35 pounds (less if you are overweight, more if you are underweight). A general goal is 10 pounds in the first half of pregnancy, then ½ to 1 pound a week after that. Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) is common during pregnancy, and it is best avoided by eating small frequent meals. This is also helpful if you are affected by nausea or heartburn.
In general, eat what you would normally eat, but be mindful about making healthy choices and avoiding excess sugars and starches.
Some exceptions and guidance:
- Fish/meats – In general, most cooked fish is safe in pregnancy, and a great source of omega-3 fatty acids which are helpful in developing your baby’s nervous system. We recommend you avoid or limit fish that contains high mercury levels (think: the bigger the fish, the more mercury). Common fish that are higher in mercury are big-eye tuna and swordfish, as well as shark, king mackerel and tilefish. Safer options are salmon, snapper, and catfish. Shellfish and shrimp are ok too. You can find more information at https://www.fda.gov/Food/FoodborneIllnessContaminants/Metals/ucm534873.htm
Raw fish and meats can carry bacteria and parasites, and during pregnancy, your weakened immune system makes you more prone to infection. It is best to cook all meats to the recommended proper temperature before consuming them to lower this risk. Lunch meat should be microwaved to avoid Listeria (rare bacterium that can cause miscarriage), and highly processed meats (like hot dogs) should be limited/avoided as well.
- Cheese/dairy – Dairy products like milk, cheese and yogurt are high in calcium, protein, vitamin D and phosphorus and are important for your baby’s developing bones, teeth, muscles, heart, and nerves. Avoid unpasteurized cheeses including queso fresco (check the label) due to Listeria risk.
Generally, you should continue your usual exercise routine during pregnancy, as long as you are healthy and the pregnancy is going smoothly. Some benefits include reducing constipation and back pain, maintaining a healthy weight (with less to lose after delivery), and possibly reducing your risk of gestational diabetes, preeclampsia and cesarean section. Aim for 20-30 minutes of aerobic exercise daily. Great choices are walking, swimming, prenatal yoga/Pilates, the elliptical machine and the stationary bike. Avoid lying flat on your back for any prolonged period of time after 12 weeks and skip the abdominal exercises because they will not be effective. Certain activities should be avoided like skiing, scuba diving and hot yoga, as well as contact sports like basketball and soccer. Stop if you have any worrisome signs like dizziness, chest pain, vaginal bleeding, or regular contractions.
There is no amount of alcohol consumption that is considered safe in pregnancy.
Yes, in moderation. Caffeine is safe in small quantities (less than 200mg daily). This equates to approximately one 11oz cup of coffee or a medium sized latte.
While there is no scientific evidence that sugar substitutes are harmful in pregnancy, it is best to drink these in moderation.
Without complications such as placenta previa or a low-lying placenta, preterm labor or vaginal bleeding, the answer is yes. Keep in mind that intercourse may cause mild contractions but will not be enough to cause premature labor during a healthy, low risk pregnancy.
Generally, yes. Massages have been shown to reduce stress, improve circulation, ease aches and pains and relieve muscle tension. It is best to find a massage therapist that is certified in prenatal massage, avoid heated tables, and avoid lying on your back in the last half of pregnancy. If you have experienced any complications like bleeding, preterm contractions, or are a high risk pregnancy, speak to your doctor first.
Yes. Make sure the salon is well-ventilated, especially if you are prone to nausea, and make sure the instruments and tubs are properly sanitized.
No studies have shown that coloring your hair is harmful during pregnancy. The theoretical risk is that the chemicals in the dye will be absorbed by your bloodstream and will travel to the baby. The portion of the hair outside your scalp is dead tissue and not connected to blood flow. If you are worried, avoid “all over color” and stick to highlights. Keep in mind the fumes are strong and especially with your heightened sense of smell in pregnancy, may worsen nausea or headaches.
The UV ray exposure in tanning beds and while laying out can cause skin cancer and is never recommended. We advise against spray tans since they contain chemicals that may not be safe to inhale while pregnant. If you must use something, the safest option is a lotion because it works by interacting with a protein in the top layer of your skin.
It is important to continue routine dental health visits. Most dentists will require a note, so ask your doctor if you need one. X-rays with an abdominal shield, cleanings, and fillings with local anesthetic are safe. Avoid laughing gas and certain antibiotics. The most common ones (like penicillin, amoxicillin, and clindamycin) are ok.
Teeth whitening does not have enough safety data for us to guarantee it is safe. It is best to avoid any bleaching procedures (at the dentist and over the counter) until after delivery and after you have stopped breastfeeding.
Although it is generally safe to travel up until 36 weeks, we recommend planning your trip between 14 and 24 weeks, as you will generally feel your best during this time. Any time after 24 weeks, you run the risk of delivering your baby away from your doctor, our level 4 NICU, away from your work, and potentially away from the support of family and friends. Flying and sitting stationary in a car may increase your risk for blood clots, so move your legs often, wear support hose and walk around once an hour. Make sure you avoid areas where Zika outbreaks are active due to the risk of certain birth defects; the CDC has the most up-to-date information on current outbreaks: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/ Mosquito repellents that contain DEET are the safest and most effective in pregnancy.
- Heartburn and indigestion – these are very common in pregnancy, and are usually worst in the second and third trimesters. Avoid spicy, rich and fried foods, eating too late at night, and eating large meals. Elevate the head of your bed and try over-the-counter antacids like Tums, Maalox or Zantac.
- Backache and sciatica – try stretching/yoga before bed. Many websites have great tutorials for exercises that may help. Massages help release tension and soothe sore muscles. For sciatica (pain in the buttocks/hip that often radiates down the outside of your leg), sleep on the opposite side, and try alternating ice and heat. Sleeping on your side is recommended in the second half of pregnancy to maximize blood flow to your head, heart, and to the baby. A pillow between your knees may help you stay comfortable.
- Leg cramps … unfortunately, nobody knows the exact cause of these, or the magic cure. Stretching, massage, heat, support hose and hydration can be beneficial. Extra iron, calcium, magnesium, vitamin B and vitamin C may provide some relief, but none of these are scientifically proven to help.
- Anxiety, insomnia and nightmares – practice good sleep hygiene. Don’t watch TV in bed, put away your phone, and try to have some relaxing meditation or prayer time before bed. Avoid exercising, drinking caffeine and eating large meals late at night. If none of this works, you may try an over-the-counter sleep aid like doxylamine (Unasom), diphenhydramine (Benadryl), or diphenhydramine/acetaminophen (Tylenol PM).