Advanced Maternal Age

Mothers who are near or over 35 at the time of delivery are often considered to be at higher risk for developing babies with chromosomal abnormalities. We offer advanced testing for such patients. Options include invasive/definitive tests like CVS and/or AMNIOCENTESIS, however utilizing other non invasive methods to decide whether to have these tests or not have become quite popular as our knowledge gathered from such noninvasive tests are ever improving. These include First Trimester Screening, QUAD screen blood test and Ultrasound to look for additional soft signs.

Alcohol in Pregnancy

Drinking Alcohol during pregnancy can be harmful to your growing baby. It is best not to drink at all during pregnancy, as we have no knowledge of how little is safe. Give your baby the best start in life–please don’t drink.

Cervical Cancer Vaccine

A new vaccine to prevent cervical cancer which is known to be caused by HPV(Human Papilloma Virus) is now available and offered to patients at our practice.

The vaccine is a combination of four most common strains of HPV types which cause genital warts and cervical cancer. It is most effective before you have had any sexual contact with the virus. It is available for women ages 9 through 26 years old. It is given as a series of three injections at one two and six month intervals. An intial consultation to discuss details and your eligibility is necassary.

How do you calculate your due date?

To estimate your due date before you go to the doctor for examination and an ultrasound (which is very accurate in determining the age of an unborn child), you will need to know the date of the first day of your last period. The methods here are based on the average 28-day cycle.

Here is the formula to determine the due date:
Date of the first day of your last period + 281 days = due date, or
Date of the first day of your last period + 7 days – 3 months = due date

Pregnancy, on average, lasts 267 days (38 weeks) from conception. If you positively know your conception date, you can add 267 days to it for your due date.

How long will the morning sickness last?

Morning sickness should occur less and less by the second trimester. Some patients may continue to suffer longer.

Smoking and Pregnancy

Smoking is unsafe and increases ones risk for many diseases. During pregnancy you should not smoke as it can cause underweight babies and premature deliveries.

What can I do about my fatigue?

Develop good nutritional habits and eat frequent and small portion meals. Develop good sleep habits and increase your rest periods as pregnancy advances. Proper excercise improves your cardiovascular wellbeing and muscle tone and decreases your stress.

What is a Pitocin?

Oxytocin is a natural hormone produced by a woman’s body that cause uterine contractions. Pitocin is the synthetic form of oxytocin. Pitocin is generally used to induce labor, or to augment labor by increasing the strength and duration of contractions for improvement of labor. Under tightly controlled delivery system where only small amounts are used it is very useful and safe.

What is an AFP Test

AlphaFetoProtein when measured at 16 to 19 weeks during the pregnancy is used to determine if one’s risk is greater to have a baby with a condition called Sipina Bifida. This is seen in 1 out 1000 babies regardless of maternal age. If this is elevated then an Ultrasound will determine if indeed this result is reliable.


It is a definitive test where we withdraw small amount of amniotic fluid that surrounds the baby under ultrasound guidence to determine if baby is affected by certain chromosomal abnormalities. Of course it also tells us the sex of the baby as well. There are risks of membranes rupturing and infection leading to loss of the baby so we need clear reasons to undertake such a test. There is also CVS (chorionic villi sampling) that can be performed earlier around 11 to 13 weeks of pregnancy which will give the same chromosomal information as an amniocentesis but not all of the information we are able to obtain.

What is an EPIDURAL

Epidural for pain management during labor is the choice of many patients and doctors. It is safe for the baby. Complications to you may include: a drop in blood pressure; allergic reactions to the medication; a true spinal block; and, occasionally, slowing labor for a short period of time. Epidural anesthesia does not increase your chances of having a c-section or forceps delivery.

A needle is placed between the vertebrae into a space called an epidural space. Medication is then placed into this space. A small catheter is then threaded through the needle into the space and the needle withdrawn. The catheter is left in placed and taped so that it does not move. You can then be given a continuous small amount of medication or be given a bolus dose when you begin to have pain. An epidural relaxes the pelvic muscles and the nerves are bathed in the local anesthetic medication which causes an insensitivity to pain. You will still feel the pressure of the contractions and the urge to push. After the baby is born, the catheter is removed.


This study was developed to diagnose chromosomal birth defects earlier. Between 11 th to 13 th week of pregnancy a vaginal ultrasound study is performed to measure nuchal thickness (skin thickness at the level of baby’s neck) along with a blood test from your fingertip. These measures than calculated to assess your risk level for Trisomy 21 (Down Syndrome) and Trisomy 18.

Why should I take childbirth class?

Childbirth classes are useful tools. They are a place to ask questions, gather information, and to socialize with other pregnant women and their families. We encourage you register as early as possible. For HVSH you need to register online at www.hvsh.org

  • Knowledge gives you power.
  • Get answers to common questions in pregnancy and labor.
  • Learn about prenatal development.
  • Learn about premature labor and how to identify it.
  • Learn about hospital, nurses, rules and regulations.
  • Learn how to tell if this is labor.
  • Learn what to expect during labor and birth.
  • Learn about pain relief options.
  • Learn about caring for your new baby.
  • Learn about the benefits of breastfeeding and how to get started.

If you have questions that you don’t see here, please contact us through the form below.