If there’s one place pregnant women become very familiar with, it’s their doctor’s office. While that may not sound like a good thing, it actually is. Prenatal care is vital for the health of the developing baby and the mother. The recommended schedule for doctor’s visits is once a month between 4 and 28 weeks gestation, a bi-weekly visit between 28 and 36 weeks of pregnancy, and a weekly visit between 36 and 40 weeks.
While spending that much time in a doctor’s office might sound like a drag, it can actually be pretty exciting. There’s a lot that happens during these appointments. For example, moms get to hear their baby’s heartbeats, see them on ultrasound screens, and find out if they’re having a boy or a girl if they would like to, usually sometime between 16 and 20 weeks. There are other important things that happen during prenatal appointments, too. Mom’s health and the health of the baby are monitored, advice and recommendations are provided, such as nutritional and activity suggestions, and mom can also ask questions about her pregnancy and create a plan for labor and delivery.
While OBGYNs are eager to help the women that they care for, they can get quite frustrate by some of the things that their patients do. In fact, some things that pregnant women do drive OBGYNs up the wall!
15 Soaking The Bump In A Hot Bath
It’s no secret that being pregnant is hard on the body. All of the extra weight and pressure of the baby and the influx of hormones that cause the muscles and ligaments to relax in preparation for delivery can lead to lots of aches and pains. Relaxing in a tub filled with hot water might seem like the perfect way to ease those pains, but it can actually be super dangerous.
Being submerged in hot water for any amount of time can lead to hyperthermia, a condition that causes your raises your core temperature, which could, in turn, increase your heart rate. If that happens, there’s a chance that blood to the baby can be reduced, which can lead to a number of problems, such as the increased risk of birth defects or even miscarriage.
If you want to take a soak, make sure the water is tepid, or about the same as your body temperature. Also, you should completely avoid soaking in water once your water has broken or you have started to dilate.
14 Trying To Wax Before Every Exam
It’s natural for a woman to feel a little self-conscious before her prenatal appointments. After all, there’s a chance that her nether regions are going to be on full display. In order to prepare, she may primp her private parts to ensure they look as presentable as possible, and her primping might include waxing. While waxing is a great way to clean up those lady bits, trying to wax before every prenatal appointment is a bit absurd. While there really isn’t any danger associated with waxing while you’re pregnant, it could be a bit more painful than usual. Why? – Because you’re retaining a lot of fluid, which can cause swelling in those unmentionable areas and heighten sensitivity. An OBGYN doesn’t really care if you’re parts are well groomed. They’ve seen pretty much everything you can think (and things you can’t begin to imagine, too). They’d rather you didn’t put yourself through any unnecessary pain.
13 Fixating On The Birth Plan
When it comes to giving birth, a lot of pregnant women know exactly what type of experience they want to have. Whether it’s having an all-natural childbirth in a pool of water in the comfort of their own home, delivering naturally in a hospital, or having a pain-free experience with the aid of medications, planning for the birth of their little ones is a top priority for most expectant moms. However, it’s important to realize that sometimes things don’t go exactly as planned. Emergencies can arise that could end up putting your dream birth plan to a halt.
While all OBGYNs will encourage developing a birth plan, and most will happily do the best that they can to ensure you have the experience that you are dreaming of, when expectant moms aren’t willing to bend their plans, it can drive their doctors up a wall. Despite what you may think, no OBGYN wants to put a wrench in your birth experience; however, their ultimate goal is to ensure that you deliver the baby safely. In order to do that, a change in plans may be necessary. Please do keep that in mind if you learn that your dream birth plan has to be modified.
12 Booking An Appointment Every Time You Leak
If there’s one thing that can strike panic in any expectant mom, it’s seeing odd discharge or blood. She automatically thinks the worst – she’s having a miscarriage. It’s completely understandable for a mom-to-be to think the worst when she sees blood or discharge; however, it’s also natural to experience blood and discharge when they pregnancy is perfectly healthy. During the first trimester, spotting, known as implantation bleeding, is totally normal. It happens when the fertilized egg attaches to the lining of the uterus, and it can spark some light bleeding. Cervical polyps, harmless growths on the cervix, can also cause bleeding during pregnancy. An increased amount of blood vessels in the tissues that surround the cervix can result in polyps and bleeding.
While it’s normal to be concerned if you see discharge or bleeding when you’re pregnant, booking an appointment every time it happens – especially if it’s happened before and you have already been to the doctor and it was determined that the cause was nothing dangerous – can really drive an OBGYN crazy. Why? – Because emergency appointments can cause scheduling issues for other patients, and when the appointment isn’t necessary, those scheduling issues can be really annoying.
11 Taking Too Much Bed Rest
It’s totally natural to feel exhausted during pregnancy. In fact, it’s one of the trademark symptoms, especially during the first and third trimesters. The huge surge in hormones coupled with the fact that you’re creating an entire human being can be downright exhausting. Add to that the fact that you’ve probably heard about a million times that you should “save up on your sleep now” and you’d probably prefer to lounge around on the couch every chance you get over doing any exercise.
When women loaf around too much during their pregnancy, it drives doctors crazy. Exercise is extremely important for both you and your developing little one. It helps maintain a healthy weight, gets the blood pumping, and it strengthens the muscles, which not may not only help to make labor and delivery a little less stressful but can also help your body “bounce back” faster. As long as you have the okay from your doctor, make sure you get some exercise. Even mild physical activity will, like taking daily walks, can do wonders for you and baby.
10 Eating For You And The Baby
Despite the old saying, pregnant women aren’t really eating for two. It is true that the body does burn more calories during pregnancy, so upping caloric intake can is important and can aid in the development of the baby and increase mom’s energy levels, doubling the amount you eat doesn’t offer any benefit for mom or baby; in fact, the only thing it will do is lead to excess weight gain for the mom-to-be, which could potentially increase the risk of pregnancy complications.
Though guidelines do vary, most doctors agree that expectant moms don’t need any additional calories during their first trimester, and they only need about 340 more calories a day during their second trimester and 450 more during their third. And these amounts vary for women who are over- or underweight.
To increase the number of calories you’re getting on a daily basis, there’s no need to eat unhealthy fried foods, ice creams, and chips (though it’s safe to eat these types of foods in moderation). There are plenty of healthy ways that you can up your caloric intake, like drinking more reduced-fat milk and eating nuts or eggs. “Eating for two” can be dangerous for mom and baby. Speak to your doctor for healthy dietary recommendations.
9 Not Coming To Your Prenatal Appointments
Going to the doctor isn’t exactly something anybody really looks forward to, but it’s a necessity that we all must deal with from time to time. During pregnancy, going to the doctor on a routine basis is vital for the health of you and your baby. There are a number of important things that happen at these appointments. Some of them aren’t exactly thrilling, like having your blood pressure taken, your urine tested and being weight; but, some of the things that happen at prenatal appointments are exciting. For example, you’ll get to hear your baby’s heartbeat, see him or her on an ultrasound, and find out whether you’re having a boy or a girl – if you’d like to. Despite the importance of prenatal visits, many women fail to schedule or show up for appointments. This drives doctors right up a wall because it can put mom and baby at risk and can make things way more difficult than they need to be when it comes to labor and delivery.
8 Refusing To Wear Maternity Pants
It may sound superficial, but OBGYNs can’t stand it when their patients wear clothing that is too tight. It’s not because they don’t like the way they look in those tight jeans or tops; it’s because wearing super fitted clothing can be dangerous for the developing baby. What type of dangers? Well, it could potentially prevent efficient circulation of fluids, which could potentially impact the baby. Moreover, it could lead to more fluid retention for the mama-to-be, which could mean more swelling, and there are complications that can arise for both mama and baby when severe swelling arises during pregnancy.
Tight clothing can also lead to digestive issues. Clothing that is too fitted can constrict muscles within the digestive tract, which could lead to or compound common pregnancy symptoms, such as morning sickness and heartburn. Plus, tight clothing is just uncomfortable, especially when you’re pregnant. If you enjoy wearing skinny jeans or leggings, opt for maternity styles that are specifically designed to increase your comfort and improve safety.
7 Downing Caffeine
Expectant moms who are self-proclaimed caffeine junkies really need to curb their habit. Why? – Because whenever you consume caffeine, it passes through the placenta to the amniotic fluid and to the baby’s bloodstream. While your body starts to metabolize the caffeine right away, your baby’s body is still developing, and it will take her a lot longer to process it. This means that your little one will be exposed to the negative effects of caffeine, and for a much longer time than you are.
Though researchers are still trying to determine the exact effect caffeine has on developing babies and pregnancy, one study found that expectant women who drank caffeine in excess of 300 mg a day had a greater chance of delivering small babies.
You don’t have to cut out caffeine entirely, but you do need to limit it. The recommended intake is 200 mg per day, or about one 11-ounce cup of coffee. So, don’t show up at a prenatal appointment with a Venti Café Americano with an extra shot of espresso. If you do, you’re bound to piss your OBGYN off and almost guaranteed a lecture.
6 Using Dr. Google
Thanks to the internet, people everywhere have access to a wealth of information about virtually every topic, including pregnancy. While yes, you can find a lot of really valuable info about your pregnancy online, you shouldn’t believe everything that you read.
It’s natural for expectant women to turn to the World Wide Web when they have questions or concerns about their pregnancy, but the truth is, a lot of the info that’s floating around the interwebs isn’t viable. In fact, a lot of it is written for the sheer purpose of fear mongering or is composed by people who have no qualifications to discuss important matters that concern pregnancy. All too often, OBGYNs meet with frantic patients who self-diagnosed a serious condition because they of information they found on the internet, when in fact, there’s absolutely nothing wrong.
When you have questions or concerns about your pregnancy, instead of running to your computer, call your doctor. Believe me, they will welcome all of your questions.
5 Taking Over-the-Counter Medications
Though there are a lot of over-the-counter medications that are perfectly safe to take during pregnancy, there are several that aren’t. In fact, some medicines that you can buy without a prescription at your local pharmacy can be downright dangerous to take when you’re pregnant. If you come down with a common cold, under normal circumstances, it would probably be considered safe to take decongestants, cough suppressants, and fever reducers; however, if you’re pregnant and you come down with a cold – or any other bug – you really need to check with your doctor before you self-medicate. Some medicines can raise your blood pressure, which could be bad for you and baby; and some even have the risk of increasing the chances of birth defects.
Even if the medication is something you have taken several times before you were pregnant with no adverse reactions, it’s still best to check with your OBGYN before taking it when you’re pregnant. It’s far better to err on the side of caution.
4 Choosing Heels Over Flats
Women who have a passion for heels, here’s a bit of advice: trade in your stilettos for some kitten heels or flats. Not only will you avoid driving your OBGYN insane, but you’ll also be a lot more comfortable.
Wearing super high heels isn’t the most dangerous thing you can do when you’re pregnant, but it isn’t the safest, either. What’s the deal? Well, when you are expecting, your fluid levels increase by more than 50%, which automatically puts you at risk for edema, a condition that causes swelling in the extremities; particularly the feet and ankles. Wearing high heels can increase the risk of edema, which can be extremely uncomfortable. Plus, given the extra weight you’re sporting, you’re center of gravity is thrown off during pregnancy, which means there’s a greater risk of falling. If you’re wearing heels, you can definitely up your chances of taking a spill, which has the potential to be dangerous for you and for baby.
Best advice: put the heels away for now and wear shoes that are lower to the ground. Don’t worry; you’ll be able to dust off those super cute stilettos in no time!
3 Not Asking Those Embarassing Questions
An OBGYN is not only there to assess the health of an expectant mom and baby and ensure a safe and smooth delivery; he or she is also there to answer any and all questions that moms-to-be may have. In fact, your doctor will likely welcome any questions that you may have and come right out and ask you if you have anything that you would like to know at some point during your appointments. As a matter of fact, during both of my pregnancies, my doctor told me to call him whenever I wanted to know something, and whenever I did, he responded promptly.
Not asking questions can be very frustrating for an OBGYN. Why? – Because all too often, women rely on information they find on the internet or from people they know rather than from their doctors, who have ample knowledge and experience about pregnancy. Relying on the information you receive from someone other than your doctor could lead to bad decisions, or could cause complications.
No matter how embarrassed or silly you think your question might be, ask your doctor. She isn’t going to judge you and will put your mind at ease.
2 Not Controlling Your Stress
It’s hard to avoid stress, especially during pregnancy. All of the changes to your body; the questions; the expenses; wondering about childbirth; actually being responsible for someone else’s life… Yeah, there’s a lot of worries. Add to that all of the things you have to contend with on normally, like work and relationships, and you are bound to feel stressed out when you’re pregnant. However, high levels of stress when you’re expecting can be dangerous to your health and to the health of your baby. It can cause your blood pressure to rise, affect your diet, and make you depressed or anxious; and those are just a few of the side effects of stress – and they can all have serious repercussions.
OBGYNs find it maddening when pregnant women do things that can elevate their stress levels, or don’t do anything to alleviate their stress.
The dangers of smoking are pretty well-known. It has been linked to various types of cancer, causes heart diseases, and can cause a host of other health problems – when you’re not pregnant. If you want to expose yourself to those types of dangers, that’s one thing, but exposing an unborn baby to them is quite another. In fact, the dangers of smoking during pregnancy are so serious that I’m willing to bet that there isn’t one OBGYN in the world who isn’t pissed off when they learn that their patients continue to smoke, despite the fact that they are expecting.
Smoking during pregnancy can cause low birth weight, certain birth defects, premature birth, and can even increase the chances of infant death. Show up at your prenatal appointments reeking of cigarettes and you’re bound to get nasty looks, not only from your doctor and the staff, but from the patients in the waiting room, too.