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  • When should my first doctors appointment be?
  • Your first appointment should be at around 9 or 10 weeks. At this appointment, you will be able to see your baby via the vaginal ultrasound.

  • What will my doctor's appointment be like?
  • Most appointments consist of checking your blood pressure, weight, baby's heartbeat, and a urine sample. Toward the end of your pregnancy, the doctor will also measure the growth of your belly.

  • How often will my doctor's appointment be?
  • Usually once a month until the last two months of pregnancy when the doctor will see you more often – every week toward the end of pregnancy (or as directed.)

  • What do I do in case of an emergency?
  • If you have an emergency after hours, you should call either the Madison Memorial Hospital (208-356-3691) or the hospital's Family Maternity Center (208-356-6750).

  • How much weight gain is normal?
  • This will vary individually. Usually one will gain a small amount in the 1st trimester and then gradually increase. The doctor will monitor this and you should discuss concerns and questions with him. To avoid excess weight gain, eat nutritionally. Avoid giving into cravings for “junk food” and amounts that are not normal for you. Use fresh fruit and vegetables for the “munchie attacks” and DRINK LOTS OF WATER!

  • Is it normal to have swelling in my hands, legs, feet, or toes?
  • Yes. Many pregnant women will have some amounts of swelling, especially in warmer weather. If you believe you have more swelling than normal, call and speak with a nurse. When the swelling is worse, avoid salty foods and standing or sitting for long periods of time.

  • Is pain and bleeding ever normal?
  • Pain is very common with the enlarging uterus but should never be accompanied by fever or vaginal bleeding. From 34-36 weeks and later, you may have a bloody mucous show, especially after having your cervix checked for dilation; this is normal.

  • When and how often should I be able to feel the baby move?
  • After 18-20 weeks, you should be able to identify your baby’s movement. The most active times are in the evening and early morning. Once a day is reassuring for fetal well being and you should feel about 10 movements in 1 hour when you are at rest in the evening. You can come in for a quick heart beat check if you are ever worried.

  • Can I exercise and what kinds are okay?
  • If you have an established exercise program including running or aerobics, you may continue but use caution as your body changes, and check with the doctor about specific questions. In your last trimester keep your heart rate below 140 and avoid exercise that requires balance.

  • What kind of activities can I do (e.g horseback riding, amusement parks, etc.)?
  • Non-aggressive riding prior to 20 weeks is okay. After 20 weeks use extreme caution and we recommend none after 34 weeks.

  • Can I go swimming or use hot tubs/saunas?
  • Avoid hot tubs and saunas during pregnancy. You may become light-headed during pregnancy and extreme changes in temperature should be avoided. Swimming is fine, with sensible caution.

  • Can I use a tanning bed?
  • We do not recommend this at any time due to potential harm to your skin.

  • Can I have my hair colored or permed?
  • Yes, in a well ventilated room. Be careful about smells and temperatures that may cause you to be light-headed and faint.

  • Can I help with indoor/outdoor painting projects?
  • Yes, if you do not climb ladders or scaffolding and make sure to be in a well-ventilated area, (windows and doors open). If you become light-headed or get a headache, you should move away from the strong odors and avoid them as much as possible.

  • Can I be around children with Chicken Pox?
  • If you have had this illness as a child you are probably immune. If you have not, you should probably avoid direct contact. As with most illnesses including colds and coughs, use good hand-washing techniques and normal precautions to avoid infection.

  • Can I travel?
  • Yes, if you stop and walk around every hour when traveling in a car. We recommend NO extended travel in the last trimester—please stay within 1 hour’s distance of home. These are basic guidelines, check with us on specific questions.

  • When should I go to the hospital?
  • If your membranes rupture (if you have a “gush” of wetness), or regular timeable contractions or vaginal bleeding. If you have any questions, call us during our hours or call the Madison Memorial Hospital (208-356-3691) or the hospital's Family Maternity Center (208-356-6750) after hours!

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