Pregnancy

Pregnancy Specialist
Pregnancy is an exciting time, and whether this is your first pregnancy or you're an experienced mom, you probably have lots of questions and concerns. Dr. Bickman is ready to provide Santa Monica moms-to-be with the care and guidance they need for a healthy, happy pregnancy.

Pregnancy Q & A

Tristan E. Bickman, MD

What should I look for in an OB-GYN?

First and foremost, look for a doctor that will allow you to schedule a consultation before you make a final decision on a care provider. During your consultation, you should ask plenty of questions, bring up any concerns you have, and ultimately feel comfortable and at ease with the provider and their staff.
Look for a practitioner that has extensive experience delivering babies in both high- and low-risk scenarios. Occasionally, healthy, low-risk pregnancies become high-risk if complications arise later in pregnancy, so it’s good to have someone experienced on your side that you’ll be able to trust no matter what happens.

Also, decide whether you have a preference for either a male or female OBGYN. For many women, gender isn’t important. But, if matters to you, that’s okay. Many women come to Dr. Bickman because they have a preference for female OBGYNs. They like knowing that the doctor caring for them has been in their shoes. With five children of her own, Dr. Bickman is no stranger to prenatal care and has had both vaginal and cesarean deliveries. 

What should I expect during a prenatal visit?

Typically, in early pregnancy, you’ll meet with Dr. Bickman about once a month for routine checkups. She will track your weight gain, monitor your blood pressure, urine, and other vitals, listen for the baby, measure the uterus, and give you an overall assessment of how your body and your baby are doing. Routine testing and lab work will also be conducted during certain appointments. Once you enter your third trimester, you’ll meet with Dr. Bickman more frequently, or about every two weeks, until your delivery.

What if I have concerns about my baby's genetics?

Dr. Bickman offers genetic testing to help alleviate your concerns, or find out what needs to be addressed. Be sure to convey any concerns you have to Dr. Bickman. She and her team are here to help make this exciting time as wonderful as possible. Dr. Bickman loves babies and wants to help yours as she has hundreds of others.

How can I stay healthy during pregnancy?

Eating a selection of healthy foods and staying active are important in ensuring you and your baby are as healthy as possible. It's also important to quit smoking and avoid drinking alcohol during this time. Before taking any medications, including vitamins or supplements, ask your doctor if it's OK. Be sure to take any prenatal vitamins as prescribed and, of course, be sure to see your doctor regularly. Regular checkups are important for monitoring the development of the baby as well as evaluating you for signs of gestational diabetes or other medical conditions.

What is gestational diabetes?

Gestational diabetes is diabetes that develops during pregnancy, and it affects from two percent to five percent of pregnancies. If testing indicates you've developed gestational diabetes, you'll be given treatment including instructions on how to manage your diet to control the sugar in your blood.

How can I avoid nausea?

For most women, some nausea is common, especially in the early months of pregnancy. To help combat it, eat smaller meals more frequently, avoiding foods that are spicy or greasy. Make sure you get plenty of fluids and try sucking on peppermint hard candy or sipping a carbonated beverage. Dr. Bickman may also suggest medicine or supplements to make sure you don't become dehydrated.

When are cesarean sections performed?

While most women are able to deliver vaginally, there are cases where cesarean may be preferred. The factors that may influence the decision to have a cesarean section include the position of the baby, pelvis size, size of the baby, placenta abnormalities, fetal stress and whether or not you've had a previous cesarean section.

What if I go past my due date?

Most babies are born between 37 and 42 weeks. Once you reach 41-42 weeks, you will be assessed to see if you're cervix is ready for delivery and the baby's health will also be assessed. Going too far beyond 42 weeks can result in increased risks for the baby, so induction will usually be planned for 41 to 42 weeks.

Is exercising while pregnant a good idea?

For many moms-to-be, pregnancy might seem like a great time to take a break from working out, especially those who feel tired or have back aches.  Despite all of this (and unless your doctor has recommended otherwise), pregnancy can be a great time to get active — even if you haven’t exercised in a while.

Exercising while pregnant can help you sleep better, feel better and prevent back pain or excessive weight gain.  It can also reduce the risk of gestational diabetes and lessen the symptoms of postpartum depression.

How important is prenatal care?

Without prenatal care, the likelihood of giving birth to low-weight, premature babies is significantly higher. This doesn’t take into account the various complications pregnant women experience during pregnancy—such as high blood pressure, gestational diabetes, and abnormal bleeding—that can also jeopardize the baby’s health. Obstetricians and pediatricians alike would also do well to keep in mind the impact of these new findings regarding the expected length of human pregnancy in relation to the treatment of pregnancy-related ailments.

Meanwhile, the research findings highlight the importance of having a reliable and competent OB-GYN to monitor a mother’s condition throughout her pregnancy. The findings remind doctors and midwives that a lot more variables now come into play when it comes to pregnancy. In line with this, pregnant women may want to choose a trusted OB-GYN from Santa Monica who possesses the necessary know-how on gene-testing, ultrasound technology, and high-risk obstetrics.

 

*Individual Results May Vary

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