Frequently Asked Questions
WHEN CAN I SCHEDULE MY FIRST PRENATAL VISIT?
Dr. Lee would like to see you for your first prenatal visit around the 7th or 8th week of pregnancy, calculated from the first day of your last menstrual period (or 5-6 weeks since conception). Please call sooner if you have a known history of ectopic pregnancy.
HOW DO I SCHEDULE CHILDBIRTH CLASSES?
Call 800-879-1033 to schedule yourself for this FREE class. A representative will give you the next scheduled class date, time, and location at Edinburg Regional Medical Center and McAllen Medical Center. Dr. Lee highly recommends this especially for first time mothers.
WHERE WILL I DELIVER MY BABY?
Dr. Lee and midwives deliver at Edinburg Regional Medical Center and McAllen Medical Center.
WHAT ARE DOULAS?
A doula (pronounced “doó la”), also known as a labour coach, originates from the ancient Greek meaning “a woman who serves” and is now used to refer to a trained and experienced professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to the mother before, during and just after birth; or who provides emotional and practical support during the postpartum period. Dr. Lee welcomes the participation of a doula in your labor process. To find out more about doulas click doula.
NAUSEA AND VOMITING.
Dr. Lee has personally gone through two horrendous pregnancies with nausea and vomiting with his wife. When it is severe it is call hyperemesis gravidarum. When it’s less severe it is often labeled “morning sickness.” Unfortunately 50% of women in pregnancy experience some form of it. It usually presents as early as 4 weeks into pregnancy, peaks around the 9th week and typically resolves by the end of the first trimester (12 weeks). However, every woman is different and like Dr. Lee’s wife you may have it for the entire pregnancy. If this is the case, you will receive great care from Dr. Lee. He has a tremendous amount of sympathy for women that experience these symptoms for a few weeks to months in pregnancy. He knows how devastating it can be not only to the patient but also her entire family. For a great resource that he and his wife have personally used and he refers his patients to, please go to www.helpher.org.
Eat small frequent meals
Place crackers or toast next to your bedside and nibble before getting up.
Drink only small amounts of fluids with meals as your stomach fills quickly. Try sipping most of your fluids between meals.
Low fat foods are easier to digest (low fat milk, yogurt, lean meat, broiled or canned fish, poultry without skin, apple sauce).
Eat carbohydrates that are easy to digest (rice, pasta, potatoes, cereals, crackers and ginger snaps).
Avoid highly seasoned food.
Avoid foods that give you gas (cabbage, broccoli, onions, buttermilk, pinto or pork beans).
Eat protein snacks before going to bed.
Drink water, peppermint tea, ginger tea, Gatorade, 7-UP, and ginger ale
Guard against dehydration.
Get plenty of fresh air.
Remove strong odors from your surroundings.
Rise slowly from bed; give yourself a few minutes to adjust.
Wear non-restrictive clothing
Use a heating pad or hot water bottle to sooth sore abdominal muscles from vomiting.
You may want to avoid taking your prenatal vitamin for a couple of days. Some women are very sensitive to the iron and the concentrated vitamins. You may also take ½ of your prenatal tablet at bedtime and the other ½ at lunchtime. Other helpful over the counter supplements include:
Vitamin B6 25mg, 1 tab every 8 hrs as needed
Benadryl 25mg, 1 tab every 8 hrs as needed
Unisom 25mg, 1/2 tab every 8 hrs and 1 tab at night as needed (take vitamin B6 with Unisom)
Acupressure Bands or Copper Wrist Bands- Dr. Lee has not found much luck with these.
If, despite the above suggestions, you are still unable to tolerate food or liquids, please call the office to speak with our nurse or to make an appointment to see Dr. Lee.
WHAT KINDS OF FISH DO I NEED TO AVOID?
All fish should be thoroughly cooked to avoid bacteria that can harm your pregnancy. Some fish are high in mercury and should be eliminated from your diet: shark, swordfish, mackerel, and tilefish. Lower mercury fish is safe to eat in moderation; eat up to 12 ounces of fish or shellfish per week which is equivalent to two servings. Lower mercury fish include shrimp, canned light tuna, salmon, pollock and catfish. Canned white tuna has more mercury than canned light tuna, therefore if you choose white tuna please limit yourself to one 6 ounce serving per week.
WHAT IS LISTERIA? WHAT CHEESES CAN I EAT?
Listeria is a food-borne illness that can be harmful to you and your pregnancy. It is rare infection, but you can eliminate certain foods from your diet to reduce your risk of exposure to this bacteria. Do not eat unpasteurized dairy products. Do not eat soft cheese such as Feta, queso blanco, Brie, Camembert, or Blue Cheese unless the label states it has been pasteurized or has been made with pasteurized milk. This same bacteria can be found in deli prepared salads (for example pre-made egg salad), deli meats, bologna, and hot dogs. Heating foods to a steaming temperature kills this bacteria and makes the food safe to eat.
WHAT OVER THE COUNTER MEDICATIONS ARE SAFE?
Click here for Dr. Lee’s recommended list of OTC medications that are safe in pregnancy.
HOW MUCH CAFFEINE IS SAFE?
Generally 1 to 2 servings of caffeine per day are safe during pregnancy. You may choose to switch to decaffeinated products at this time if you wish.
ARE DENTAL EXAMS SAFE?
It is safe to have dental cleaning done during pregnancy. Bleeding gums may be noticed more at this time. Local anesthetic with or without epinephrine may be used for fillings. Dental x-rays may be done if necessary, but your abdomen should be shielded with a lead apron. If not necessary, wait until after your pregnancy to have x-rays done.
CAN I TRAVEL LONG DISTANCES?
It is safe to travel during pregnancy assuming that you are having no complications. If traveling by car please wear your seat belt, periodically stop to stretch, empty your bladder, and hydrate yourself. After 35 weeks our physicians do not recommend traveling long distances since you can deliver at any time. However, if you must travel after 35 weeks, please schedule an appointment to see the doctor before you leave. This, however, does not mean complications could not arise while you are out of town. Most airlines require a letter from your doctor stating that it is safe for you to travel. Please check with the airline for their specific requirements.
IS IT SAFE TO EXERCISE AND HOW MUCH WEIGHT SHOULD I GAIN?
Dr. Lee encourages moderate exercise during and after pregnancy. If you are an avid exerciser, you can often maintain much of your current routine. Listen to you body, and decrease your level and amount of exercise as needed. If you do not normally exercise, this is not the time to start training for your first triathlon! However, if you are in good health, we encourage you to start walking or swimming at least 30 minutes a day, most days of the week. If you are feeling dizzy, exhausted or faint, please stop exercising and rest. Pregnancy yoga is safe and recommended; be sure you have a pillow tucked under your right hip to prevent laying flat on your back. High contact sports, and sports with a high risk of falling, are not recommended. If you have medical problems (heart disease, lung disease, obesity, extreme sedentary lifestyle) or pregnancy complications (history of or high risk for preterm labor, placenta previa, incompetent cervix) please speak to your doctor prior to exercising.
How much weight can that is recommended in pregnancy depends on how much you weighed prior to pregnancy. Body mass index (BMI) is a measure of body fat based on height and weight. To calculate yours click here. If your BMI is 18.5 (underweight) then you should gain 28-40 lbs. If your BMI is 18.5 to 24.9 (normal weight), then you should gain 25-35 lbs. If your BMI is 25.0 to 29.9 (overweight), then you should gain between 15-25 lbs. If your BMI is 30.0 to 39.9 (obese), then you should gain 11-20 lbs. If your BMI is >40 (morbidly obese), then a modest weight loss during pregnancy may be recommended.
IS IT SAFE TO DYE MY HAIR?
The limited evidence that’s available suggests that it’s probably safe to dye your hair during pregnancy. The Organization of Teratology Information Services (OTIS), which provides information on potential reproductive risks, says that animal studies are reassuring and that there are no reports of hair dye causing changes in human pregnancies, despite the fact that many women have colored their hair during pregnancy. OTIS also points out that very little of the chemicals in hair dye is actually absorbed into your system. That said, if you’re still concerned, consider waiting to color your hair until the second trimester, when your developing baby is less vulnerable.
WHAT IS THIS VAGINAL DISCHARGE I’M HAVING?
You may notice an increase in vaginal discharge at this time due to pregnancy hormones. Personal hygiene is usually all that is required. A panty liner may be helpful in absorbing moisture and keeping the area free from irritation. Vaginal douching is not recommended during pregnancy. If itching, burning or odor is noticed, please call our office.
WHEN DO I CALL FOR LABOR?
If you are 37 weeks or greater then call when you are having contractions at least every 5 minutes, they are lasting 1 minute, and it has been going on for 1 hour. If you are less than 37 weeks then call if you have concerns. Please see Labor handout for further instructions.
For Dr. Lee’s handout on postpartum questions and concern click here.
WHAT ARE “FAMILY-CENTERED or NATURAL C-SECTIONS?”
Dr. Lee is the first Ob/Gyn in the area to perform these types of cesarean sections. It takes the entire team of nurses, anesthesiologist, and obstetrician to come together to make the cesarean delivery one that the patient will not forget. Many of my patients wished they had experienced this type of delivery with their other C-sections. It’s great to see the patient experiencing the delivery as they watch the baby being delivered and then experience the skin-to-skin contact with their newborn while the surgery is being completed. Click here for further information.