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Frequently Asked Questions for First-Time Parents

Every woman is different, therefore each woman will have their own unique experience throughout their pregnancy. Dr. Mitchell and his staff are here to ensure that your pregnancy is as comfortable and enjoyable as possible. There is no reason why you shouldn't feel your best throughout this remarkable period of your life. The following are some tips and advice on some of the most common questions, complaints and concerns. These include diet, exercise, traveling advice and working while pregnant. We even address issues for first-time dads. After all, this is as much a life changing event for you as it is for mom.

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You and Your Baby

How soon can you identify the baby's gender?

Normally, at approximately the 20th week of pregnancy, an anatomy screening ultrasound will be performed. This usually identifies the baby's gender. When you meet with Dr. Mitchell after this procedure, he will disclose the results, but only if you want to know.

How much weight can I expect to gain?

Every woman's body is different. Typically, the majority of women gain about 5 pounds in their first trimester of pregnancy. The rest of the weight is gained in the later stages of the second trimester and the third trimester, and is 24-32 pounds total, on average.

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Work and Travel Advice

At what point should I avoid travel during pregnancy?

As a general rule, most women should have no problem traveling in their first 8 and a half months of pregnancy. After that, we would advise not to travel further then 2 hours from home, so as to stay close to your general vicinity and your hospital in case of the onset of labor.

When should I take maternity leave from work?

This varies from woman to woman, and is reliant on many variables. There are many things to take into consideration such as general health, stress level at work, type of work, age and the status of your pregnancy. For this reason, Dr. Mitchell will discuss all these variables with you, and will evaluate a time that best suits your individual needs.

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First-Time Dads

You didn't think you'd get off easy did you? As a dad-to-be, you have a lot on your plate too. We've provided some information that will aid you in preparing yourself for what may be ahead. It will help you understand the changes your partner is going through, both physically and emotionally, which may or may not be pretty drastic.

How can I be more supportive of my partner?

The best way to support your partner is by staying informed, and always being prepared. Every book she reads, you should read too. If you know what she knows, you can help her cope with difficult situations, and help her deal with the changes to her body and mind. There are also many books written specifically for expectant fathers. The most important thing at this point is being well-prepared.

Is it normal for my partner to have mood swings?

Absolutely. There are many hormonal changes happening in her body throughout pregnancy, which lead to many emotional highs and lows, not to mention the physical fatigue that accompanies pregnancy. If this is a first-time pregnancy, she may have constant fears and concerns about the baby's health, as well as confusion regarding her own body. The best thing you could do is to listen to her, and be as patient as you can. If anything serious arises, you should both consult a qualified doctor.

There are a lot of environmental hazards at my partner's workplace. Should I be concerned for the well-being of her and the baby?

There are some toxic substances that can harm a fetus, and maybe even cause miscarriage. Other substances have no effect. The best way to know is to sit down with your doctor, and discuss what your partner is exposed to at work. If there's anything harmful present, the doctor will inform you of what happened, and where to go from there.

Can I still have sexual relations with my partner throughout the pregnancy, without harming the baby?

Yes. You can have sexual relations with your partner through the ninth month, without harming the baby, as long as she is not experiencing pre-term labor. Ask your doctor. They will inform you of your partner's risk level, and address any related concerns.

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