Frequently Asked Questions About Pregnancy
Every woman's pregnancy experience and journey is unique, and your Lee Health providers are here to help you throughout your pregnancy journey. Below are some common questions related to pregnancy that can help guide conversations and birth plan needs leading up to your delivery date.
How Will I Feel When I’m Pregnant?
Every woman's experience of pregnancy is unique, and there is no one-size-fits-all pregnancy experience, but common physical and emotional changes during pregnancy include:
- Nausea and vomiting sometimes referred to as morning sickness
- Changes in appetite including cravings or food aversions
- Breast changes including tenderness, swelling or soreness
- Mood changes or mood swings
- Physical changes including weight gain, a growing belly, and changes in skin, hair, and nails
- Increased urination
- Braxton Hicks contractions, mild contractions that can happen throughout pregnancy, although most commonly experienced during the third trimester
Can I excercise while I am pregnant?
Yes, it is generally safe and recommended to exercise during pregnancy, as long as you have clearance from your healthcare provider and you take certain precautions. It's important to choose exercises that are appropriate for your stage of pregnancy and your fitness level. Low-impact exercises, such as walking, swimming, and yoga, are generally safe and effective during pregnancy.
Exercise can provide benefits during pregnancy, such as:
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Reducing back pain and other discomforts
- Improving sleep
- Boosting mood and energy levels
- Preparing your body for labor and delivery
It's also important to stay hydrated and avoid overheating while exercising. Aim to wear comfortable, supportive clothing and avoid exercises that involve lying on your back for extended periods of time. Speak to your Lee Health provider about any specific concerns or restrictions based on your pregnancy and medical history.
What is the recommended weight gain for women to support a healthy pregnancy?
25-35 pounds weight gain is recommended if the pre-pregnancy weight is in a healthy weight range (a Body Mass Index between 19.5 and 26)
How will I know when I'm in labor?
Throughout your pregnancy, your body goes through changes. You may experience new sensations as your baby grows and prepares for birth. Late in pregnancy your body sends signals that it is preparing for your baby's arrival. The signals can be confusing and you may even think you are starting labor, when you are actually just warming up. It's what is called false labor.
Of course, if you have any questions about the signals you're receiving, call your physician or nurse midwife to discuss your concerns. To help keep track of your progress, here are the typical signs that tell you labor has begun.
Signs of Labor
- Water breaks
- You may experience a gush or a trickle of fluid when the sac of fluid that has protected your baby during pregnancy ruptures.
- Bloody show
- Blood-streaked mucus leaks out as your body prepares to start labor.
- Rhythmic contractions
- Rhythmic means contractions happen at regular intervals. Late in your pregnancy, you may experience some irregular muscle contractions that come and go. That is normal. When contractions become regular, do not go away, and start to come closer together, it is a sign you are beginning labor.
What should I do when I go into labor?
- Call your doctor or nurse midwife.
- Follow his or her instructions.
- Call the Family Birth Suites to let us know that you are coming.
- Come to Cape Coral Hospital or HealthPark Medical Center.
Where To Go When You Are in Labor
What should I bring to the Family Birth Suites?
Near your due date, you may want to prepare a suitcase for yourself, the baby, and dad or your support person. We suggest you bring the following items when you are admitted:
Personal items for you
- Lip balm
- Hair dryer
- Comb/brush shampoo
- Clothing to wear home
- Nursing bra
- Sanitary pads
- Baby Items
- Infant clothing to take baby home (appropriate for the weather)
- Approved infant car seat (required by state law)
- Baby blankets
For dad or support person
- Change of clothing
- Camera and film
How can my family and friends join in the celebration?
If you wish, you may have family and friends join you during labor and delivery. Visiting hours are from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. after the baby is born.