Pregnancy FAQs

Pregnancy FAQs

Looking for compassionate, high-quality maternity care in Alabama? Our maternity care centers in Alabaster and Birmingham are here to guide you on the journey to parenthood. The pregnancy doctors at Complete Women’s Care of Alabama support our patients through every stage: from the first prenatal appointment to labor, delivery, and postpartum care. We offer a patient-centric approach that prioritizes a peaceful and safe experience for expectant mothers. 

To schedule an appointment for obstetric care, call our office today at (205) 664-9995.

Frequently Asked Questions About Pregnancy & Maternity Care

Pregnant women have the best health outcomes when they begin receiving prenatal care as soon as possible. The below answers are provided for general informational purposes only, and should not be considered a substitute for the advice of a pregnancy care doctor or other medical professional. Please seek help if you or a loved one have a medical emergency.  

“How soon can I take a pregnancy test?”

You can take a pregnancy test as soon as 10 days after conception, but you will get the most accurate results after you’ve missed your menstrual period, which is around 14 days after conception. While many over-the-counter (OTC) pregnancy tests promote their ability to provide early detection, there is a slight chance that testing before a missed menstrual period can produce a false positive or false negative result, though this is uncommon.  

An at-home pregnancy test works by checking for the presence of a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) in your urine. A pregnant woman’s body will begin to increase production of HCG after a fertilized egg has implanted in the uterus. When taken correctly, these at-home tests are up to 99% accurate.

“What are symptoms of pregnancy?”

There are many possible symptoms of being pregnant. Typically, the first sign is a missed menstrual period. Other common early pregnancy symptoms include:

    • Bloating
    • Breast tenderness and/or enlargement
    • Constipation
    • Fatigue
    • Food cravings or aversions
    • Headaches
    • Increased urination
    • Mood changes
    • Nasal congestion
    • Nausea (may or may not include vomiting)

Some pregnant women also experience light spotting or cramping in the early weeks of pregnancy, which are typically associated with implantation of the fertilized egg. If you have painful cramps, heavy bleeding, and/or sharp pain in your abdominal area, or any other symptoms of a potential health emergency, seek immediate medical attention.  

My pregnancy test was positive. What should I do next?”

One of the first and most important things to do if you just found out you are pregnant is to schedule a pregnancy confirmation appointment at a maternity care center near you. If you do not already have a midwife or prenatal doctor, read online reviews or ask friends and family if they have any recommendations for prenatal care in Alabama.

When will I come in for a pregnancy confirmation appointment?”

We aim to see patients between 7-8 weeks for a pregnancy confirmation appointment at Complete Women’s Care of Alabama, unless there are any pre-existing health conditions or possible concerns that might result in scheduling an office visit sooner. While this may seem like a long time to wait, it’s for good reason: a vaginal ultrasound can first detect fetal heart tones around 6 weeks gestation.

What happens at a pregnancy confirmation appointment?”

At a pregnancy confirmation appointment, you will:

    • Have an ultrasound, to confirm the baby’s heartbeat and estimated gestational age, along with your estimated due date.  
    • Provide blood and/or urine samples, to assess your overall well-being and check for a variety of health conditions.
    • Meet with a nurse, who will collect your vitals (height, weight, blood pressure) and complete a basic initial assessment.
    • Meet with your prenatal doctor, to discuss findings from the ultrasound, establish a plan of care and answer any questions you may have. Depending on your needs, your pregnancy doctor might also recommend additional testing, and/or prescribe any needed medication(s).

What lifestyle changes do I need to make after I find out I am pregnant?”

Your prenatal doctor will provide a care plan during your pregnancy confirmation appointment — but there are several general guidelines to follow:

    • Eat a nutritious diet including lean protein, fruits, and vegetables, and drink plenty of water.
    • No vaping, smoking, or recreational drug use of any kind.
    • No consumption of alcohol. 
    • No eating raw or undercooked meat or shellfish, or fish containing high levels of mercury.
    • Limit caffeine intake to < 200mg per day (approximately one 12-oz. cup of coffee). 
    • Avoid contact sports and any exercises that create abdominal pressure or stretching.
    • Avoid lifting more than 20 lbs.

If you are not already taking one, your maternity care and delivery doctor might also recommend taking a daily prenatal multivitamin with at least 800 mcg of folic acid, to provide essential dietary supplements for you and your baby. Do not start, stop, or change any current prescription medication intake without first speaking to a health professional.

Schedule an Appointment with our Alabama Prenatal Doctors

It is important to choose a pregnancy doctor who makes you feel comfortable, takes the time to answer your questions, and helps you feel your best while you are receiving high-quality maternity care. Call Complete Women’s Care of Alabama at (205) 664-9995 to schedule a prenatal appointment at one of our maternity care centers.