Frequently Asked Questions
- I just found out I’m pregnancy, when should I make an appointment with a doctor?
You should make an appointment for when you are six to eight weeks along. If you are unsure when you will be six to eight weeks, an employee of Care for Women will be able to assist you.
- What should I expect at my first doctor’s appointment?
Depending on your physician, there may be a full exam, lab work, and/or an ultrasound. This depends on the reason for your appointment and what your insurance coverage allows at a first visit.
- Should I get a flu shot if I’m pregnant?
Yes, pregnant women should get a flu vaccine. But please check with your physician or nurse first.
- Where do the providers at Care for Women deliver babies?
Our physicians deliver babies at the HealthPlex hospital, which is part of Norman Regional Health System. The HealthPlex is located off Interstate 35 and Tecumseh Road in northwest Norman.
- Can I get a tour of the Labor and Deliver unit?
Yes, we welcome the opportunity to show you around our units and let you see the wonderful services and beautiful surroundings we offer. Tours of the HealthPlex Labor and Delivery/Postpartum units are offered Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Since tours are taken through a secured patient care area, we ask that you bring only one guest with you. Tours of the unit are also included in childbirth education classes.
- Will the provider I see be the one who delivers my baby?
Most often, the regular provider you see will also deliver your baby. However, circumstances may arise where another provider in the Care for Women group will deliver. As discussed with you early in your care, the physicians in Care for Women share call. As discussed with you early in your care, the providers at Care for Women share calls and outside of normal office hours, care for each other’s patients on a rotating basis.
- What if I lose my mucus plug?
You do not need to notify your physician if this happens. Several days to week before you actually go into labor you will notice an increase in mucus discharge. You may even notice larger “plugs” of mucus from the vagina. The mucus plug helps to protect your baby by preventing infection from getting through your cervix. This discharge simply means you are coming to the end of your pregnancy, but does not relate to when you will go into labor.
- What is the Bloody Show?
This is often seen closer to the time you go into labor. As the cervix begins to thin and dilate, tiny capillaries may break. You may notice a light pink and red tinge on your underwear or when you wipe. Again, this does not mean you are in labor, but usually indicates that labor may begin within the next several days. You may also notice blood show after you have had your cervix checked or after sexual intercourse.
- What can I do for pain control during labor?
Our providers try to leave that decision to you as to whether or not you want pain medication. If you want nothing for pain, that is okay. If you prefer pain medication, that is also okay.
Early in labor, you should be able to control pain by doing breathing exercises you learned in prenatal class. If you did not take the classes, the nurse will instruct you and your coach or birth partner. Early in labor much of the pain is because you are frightened and will tense rather than stay relaxed. Breathing techniques do not take pain away, but they help you stay relaxed so that the contractions can work. When you are tense, labor is often longer. As labor progresses, we usually like to try IV medications first. Most commonly used are Stadol, Morphine, or Demerol. These are safe for the baby and you. These medications usually will cause you to be drowsy. Try to lay back and close your eyes between contractions and rest. During a contraction, resume the breathing exercise.
An epidural can be given if you need more pain control. Most often, the epidural is given when the cervix is dilated to about four centimeters. There are always exceptions to this, some patients need an epidural earlier, others will not want it until they are eight or nine centimeters dilated.
Pain control is a very individual matter. Some women will be able to go through the entire labor with nothing, others will need IV medications and/or epidural. If and when you need pain medications, notify your nurse.
- How will the baby be monitored during labor?
Laboring patients will be on a fetal monitor during the active stages of labor. You provider likes to know what the baby is doing at all times during labor. You will have two monitors on your abdomen. One records your contractions and the other records the baby’s heart rate. If the heart rate can’t be recorded through your abdomen, a tiny wire will be put on the baby’s head. Occasionally, a monitor will also be placed between the uterus and the baby to pick up contractions better. Readings from these monitors can be seen in your room, the nurse’s station, and the front desk.
- Will I need an aminotomy (have my water broke)?
Sometimes a provider feels that labor is shortened by breaking the water. This may not be done with every patients, but your physician may break your water.
- Will I need an episiotomy?
Your doctor doesn’t routinely do an episiotomy on every patient. This decision is made when the baby’s head is crowning. If it appears at this time that a patient will significantly tear, your physician will do an episiotomy to decrease trauma to the area.
- Can I move around during labor?
Yes, please do! You can walk around the room, sit in the chair, or go to the bathroom (until you get your epidural). Please do not lay flat on your back, since this position does not allow adequate blood flow to the baby.
- Do I need an IV during labor?
It is required for all laboring patient to have an IV with fluids running. This will prevent dehydration and more importantly give immediate access for medications or fluids should this be necessary.
- Who can be in the labor room with me during labor?
The hospital limits the number of people in the labor room; only four people including the father of the baby are permitted. Your provider may limit this number or ask your relatives or friends to leave if they interfere with our ability to take care of you and the baby.
- Do the providers of Care for Women offer vaginal birth after a caesarean section (VBAC)?
Care for Women providers do not offer VBAC.
General and GYN Patients
- How do I get my prescription refilled?
Please contact your pharmacy who will fax your request to our office with your refill status.
- Does Care for Women take walk-ins?
No, we do not generally take walk-in patients.
- What is robotic surgery?
Your doctor can treat a range of gynecologic conditions – from chronic pelvis pain to abnormal bleeding – minimally invasively with the da Vinci Surgical System. Through a da Vinci procedure, which requires only a few small incisions, you can get back to life faster – without the usual recovery following major surgery The da Vinci Surgical System is an innovative alternative to open surgery and a highly useful tool for laparoscopic surgery. Benefits include smaller incisions, less pain, shorter hospital stay and a faster recovery time. Only you and your doctor can decide whether da Vinci Surgery may be right for you. For more information click here.
- How often should I get a Pap Smear?
Most women should get a yearly Pap Smear, but age, insurance coverage, and circumstance will determine need and frequency along with your physician.
- Do I need a referral to see a provider at Care for Women?
The need for a referral is determined by your insurance company. If you are unsure about your requirements, please call your insurance company.
- I have bills from three different organizations, why is that?
A patient can potentially receive bills or notices from their insurance company, the lab their specimens were sent to, the pathologists who handles their specimen, or the radiologist if they had any diagnostic imaging performed. If surgery is involved, there could be other bills or notices from the hospital system.