Sarah Marshall MD


First-Trimester Screening for Birth Defects

What is the first-trimester screening for birth defects? Near the end of the first 3 months of pregnancy (first trimester), a woman can have two types of tests to show the chance that her baby has a birth defect. When the results are combined, these tests are known as the first-trimester screening. They also may be…

Breastfeeding at Work

You can continue to breastfeed after you return to work. But it is important to think ahead about practical issues, such as where to store your pumped milk. Some issues to consider include: Employer support. Before your child is born, talk to your employer about your breastfeeding plans. Point out the benefits of…

Sex During Pregnancy

Vaginal intercourse can be continued as usual if your pregnancy is uncomplicated. Discuss any concerns or questions with your doctor. Sex during the first trimester will not cause any problems, such as a miscarriage. The fetus will not be harmed during sex, because it floats in amniotic fluid that acts as a cushion…

Vaginal Exam for Preterm Labor

If you have symptoms of preterm labor, your doctor or nurse-midwife may examine you by feeling your cervix. If your contractions continue over a period of hours, you may be examined periodically to see whether your cervix is opening (dilating) or thinning (effacing). These exams allow your health professional to: Find…

Preeclampsia: Checkups and Monitoring

If you have preeclampsia, you will need regular exams to assess whether your condition is becoming more severe. Your exams may include: Measurement of your blood pressure while lying down on your left side, standing up, or sitting in a chair. Measurement of your weight to check for sudden weight gain (a sign of fluid…