1101 First Colonial Road, Suite 100
Virginia Beach, Virginia 23454

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FAQs - Obstetrics

Alright, we are NOT talking about a Starbucks  4 Shot Quad Venti Latte (or God forbid Carmel Macchiato) - if you don't know what that is DO NOT START.  (Please don't ask how I know) 

One or two (normal sized) cups of normal coffee a day appears to have no observable risk - but may cause insomnia.  Restricted Moderation is the key.  If you have palpitations, high blood pressure, trouble sleeping or simply prefer not to expose your child to In Utero caffeine - Then avoid all caffeine/coffee.

The caffeine based energy drinks or tablets - PLEASE DON"T.  Too easy to overdose on caffeine.  

HOW MUCH SLEEP: Adults need an average of 8-8 1/2 hours of sleep a night, although it ranges from 6 1/2 to 9 hours. Mortality studies suggest you live longer if you get 7 hours or more of sleep each night. 

TIPS FOR BETTER SLEEPING: 
AVOID: Caffeine, nicotine, alcohol - for at least four hours before you go to bed. Limit or control other stimulants (Cold, Allergy, Asthma, Decongestants, sudafed), some antidepressants,Thyroid hormone replacement medications may keep you awake.
HELPFUL BEHAVIORS: Be predictable. Go to bed around the same time every night. Don't toss and turn. If you can't sleep after 20 minutes, get out of bed and do something else. Save the bedroom for sleep and sex. Avoid bedroom bill paying, TV watching or reading the paper. Take a warm shower or bath this may nudge your bedtime biochemistry along. Face your alarm clock away from the bed. Exercise early. If you exercise, do it before dinner, not after.  Get dark. People usually sleep best in a quiet, cool, dark environment. Invest in heavy drapes if city lights glare outside.
PROPER EATING: Grab a snack. It's hard to sleep hungry, so try a light snack before bedtime.  Large meals may keep you awake. Some researchers think tryptophan, a chemical found in milk, naturally induces sleep.
LIMIT NAPS: Cut naps short. If you have trouble falling asleep, avoid naps or limit them to less than an hour before mid-afternoon.
MANAGE STRESS: Deal with stress. If daytime troubles keep you awake, try jotting notes about ways to deal with them. Leave stress at the bedroom door, if you can.

BEST RESOURCES:
NATIONAL CENTER SLEEP DISORDERS RESEARCH

NURSING ONLINE EDUCATION DATABASE

If behavioral methods fail (see above) the infrequent use of a mild sleeping pill can be safe in pregnancy. I usually use Ambien 5 mg.

Most pregnancy books explain not to lie flat on your back in mid pregnancy and beyond.  

However, time motion studies of women asleep show they go to a position of comfort at soon as they fall asleep, and then move all over the bed. (its fun to watch time lapse photography of any adult sleeping)

Whats my point? - Just find a position of comfort and go to sleep, because thats what happens as soon as you are asleep - you go to a position of comfort.

In labor we will often move you to your left side to improve the return of blood to your heart and thereby improve cardiac output and thereby improve oxygenation to the fetus. 

If your in an exercise class after 20 weeks pregnancy don't voluntarily lie flat on your back.... but in bed at night... just go to a position of comfort.  If you move to a position that reduces cardiac return it creates a panic sensation with urgency to shift position.  You may count on this reflex to protect you.

I live in amazement how much variation there is between different women regarding when they feel the baby first move.  I've had some "ultrasensitive" women claim they feel the baby move at 15 weeks and some women don't start feeling movement until 22-24 weeks.  I have no way of proving whether it is someone's imagination or not when they feel the baby early (15 weeks and before).

Generally most women will feel movement around 18-20 weeks gestation.