The early weeks of pregnancy are fragile—and confusing. Here, the answers to your questions.
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Heather wrote with some darn good questions. Her husband doesn't want to be in the delivery room. It'll be gross and he doesn't want to see Heather in pain. After some "discussion," she's talked him into being there but isn't sure he'll be much support. She's considering hiring a doula for labor support though she's planning on an epidural. Her doctor says the labor nurses at her hospital are great so Heather wonders if a doula is necessary. She's due on Christmas day and worries she'll get an inexperienced nurse without enough seniority to get Christmas off.
I get dozens of calls and emails a year from friends, family, friends-of-friends, asking questions about pregnancy, labor, birth, epidurals, breastfeeding, what-to-do-with-a-terrible-two, and an endless array of worries and concerns. Everybody needs a labor nurse friend to help sort these things out. Some questions are silly (we'll attribute those to placenta-brain) but most are very common. Here are a few for starters:
Q: My baby was sucking his thumb during the ultrasound. What can I do to get him to stop?
When she was seven months pregnant with her second child, Trish Jorquiera moved to a different state. Forced to quickly choose a new obstetrician, she found the receptionists hostile, the waits unreasonable and the doctor barely civil. “I tried to imagine I was in the delivery room and that doctor walked in,” Jorquiera says. “I wouldn’t have felt I was in the right hands.” When she tried to switch to a different OB, however, the new doctor initially refused to take her as a patient because she was so far along.
Especially for a first-timer, early pregnancy can be disorienting, and even the most thorough and caring doctor is bound to overlook some of your concerns. To help, we’ve come up with answers to some of the questions newly pregnant women ask most. Our expert is Raymond I. Poliakin, M.D., professor emeritus of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of California, Los Angeles, and the author of What You Didn’t Think to Ask Your Obstetrician (Contemporary Books, 1994).
Since you've experienced recurrent pregnancy loss--two or more consecutive miscarriages, most commonly in the first trimester--I'd suggest that you speak with your doctor about testing. If testing is indicated, an obstetrician is likely to first perform a karyotype, an evaluation of both partners' chromosomes, to determine if either of you has a genetic abnormality. If so, using a donor egg or sperm may circumvent the problem.
It will likely take several months for your body to resume ovulation and a normal menstrual cycle after stopping your oral contraceptives, which means you probably wont get pregnant right away. But even if you do conceive immediately after discontinuing your pills, the hormones will not be present in your body at a level that would be a problem for your baby.