Mt Hood Women's HealthObstetrical Care

Pregnancy Care

ACOG logoMt Hood Women's Health, P.C. is a member of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). We have included links to selected ACOG pamphlets whenever possible. Click a topic to learn more.

» Back pain in pregnancy

Back pain in pregnancy is probably one of the most common discomforts encountered during pregnancy.  This is due to the structural changes that accompany pregnancy in addition to a laxity in ligaments and weight gain.  Mt Hood Women's Health has complementary health services such as massage, acupuncture and yoga classes that may be of benefit to you during this time. We also encourage you to review the benefits of exercise during pregnancy.

If you have tried these suggestions and your back pain persists you may want to try a prenatal support belt which can be purchased at a maternity store or at About Babies Inc.

Severe back or abdominal pain not relieved with rest, heat or Tylenol should be discussed with your provider.

» Bleeding in the first trimester

If you should experience vaginal bleeding in early pregnancy it does not always suggest a miscarriage but it should be reported to your provider.  About one half of pregnant women who bleed in the first trimester do not miscarry.  It is not uncommon to experience light spotting when the embryo implants in the uterus.  Light bleeding can also occur from the cervix. This occasionally happens after intercourse or heavy activity.

You should seek medical attention if you are actively bleeding. If you experience heavy bleeding (saturating more than two pads/two hours), have severe pain, are lightheaded or dizzy, you should have someone drive you to the nearest hospital emergency room. 

If you are having vaginal bleeding and are Rh negative you will need a Rhogam injection within 72 hours of bleeding.  If you do not know your blood type then lab work needs to be performed. 

» Car safety

Car safety is important before and after your baby is born.  When you are pregnant, the best way to keep yourself and your baby safe in the car is to use both the lap and shoulder seat belt.  Buckle the lap belt low on your hip and not across your belly.  Place the shoulder belt across the center of the chest (between your breasts).  After your baby is born, you will need an infant car seat before leaving the hospital.  Infant car seats are required by law.  For assistance with installing an infant car seat contact your local fire department.   

» Childbirth classes

Learn valuable lessons about child birth including Lamaze breathing techniques, labor process, healthy eating and more. To register call Legacy Women’s Health at 503-413-4840 or register online at Legacy's Prenatal Education.

» Exercise guidelines in pregnancy

Regular exercise during your pregnancy has many benefits.  Becoming active and exercising at least 30 minutes per day will help reduce some of the common complaints of pregnancy, including backache, constipation and swelling. It will improve your mood and energy level.  Improving your fitness level will help your body do the work of labor.  After delivery, exercise will help you lose the pregnancy weight and reduce postpartum blues.  Pregnancy causes changes in your body that may affect your ability to exercise.  Exercise in moderation, stay hydrated and avoid overheating.  There are some types of exercises that should be avoided in pregnancy, such as contact sports or any sport with a risk of falling or injury.  There are some medical conditions or pregnancy complications that may preclude you from exercising.  Discuss any concerns with your provider before initiating a new exercise regimen.

» Exposure to childhood illness

Most adult women have been exposed to childhood illnesses and have developed immunity, decreasing exposure to the developing infant in pregnancy.  Childhood illnesses that could pose a problem to a pregnancy include: chickenpox, fifth disease, rubella, measles, mumps and CMV.  If you have been exposed to any of these illnesses and are not sure of your immune status, please make an appointment with your provider. 

» Fetal movement or kick counts

We recommend beginning fetal kick counts as early as 26 weeks of pregnancy. Fetal kick counts are a tool for you to evaluate the well being of your baby on a daily basis throughout your pregnancy.  Babies are most active after a meal.  Find a quiet area, lie on your left or right side and see how long it takes your baby to move 10 times.  If your baby moves more than 10 times in 2 hours, then that is “reassuring”.  Once you have felt 10 movements, you can stop counting that day.  This test is repeated daily.  If you do not feel 10 fetal movements in two hours then you need to notify your provider.

» Medications safe in pregnancy
» My last month of pregnancy "could this be labor"

Hospital childbirth classes will often refer to a 4:1:1 pattern to uterine contractions.  Uterine tightening or contractions that are 4-5 minutes apart, lasting one minute for over an hour can be a sign that you are in labor.  If your contractions do not space out by increasing your fluids, rest, a warm bath or shower and they continue in a 4:1:1 pattern, then you should call Legacy Mt Hood Family Birth Center at 503-674-1500.  When you call the hospital let the nurse know that you are coming in for a labor check. You do not need to call the provider on call to say that you are going to the hospital in labor, that you have a heavy vaginal discharge or that you have lost your mucus plug.  Once at the hospital the nurse will evaluate you and then notify the provider on call.  You should also call the hospital and/or come into the hospital if you think you have ruptured your membranes or if you have heavy vaginal bleeding.

For any emergent or worrisome concerns you should call our office at 503-491-9444.

» Nausea
» Nutritional guidelines in pregnancy

During your prenatal visits your provider will discuss healthy eating habits during pregnancy with you. In pregnancy your body requires approximately 300 extra calories per day.  A recommended daily healthy diet includes:

  • whole grains (i.e. brown rice, whole wheat bread, whole oat cereal)
  • dairy products (i.e. milk, yogurt, hard cheese)
  • protein (i.e. meat, poultry, fish, beans, nuts, eggs)
  • vegetables (i.e. broccoli, carrots, green beans, tomatoes, beets)
  • fruit (i.e. oranges, bananas, apples)

Meals can be eaten 3-6 times/day and should be a balance of the food groups with no more than 30% of the calories coming from fat.  Carbohydrates should also be minimized.  Good hydration is also important and water intake should be 48-64 ounces/day.

Foods to avoid in pregnancy:

  • Unpasteurized dairy products (i.e. brie, feta, Mexican soft cheese, blue-veined cheeses) and deli meats as they can carry the bacteria listeria. 
  • Raw fish and raw meat as they may carry parasites and other microbes.
  • Certain fish and seafood with high mercury levels (shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish).  Other fish and seafood such as shrimp, salmon, pollock, catfish, and canned light tuna have small amounts of mercury and no more than 12 ounces can be consumed of these per week.

For further information please refer to the March of Dimes website and My Pyramid.

» Pediatricians in the Gresham area
» Premature labor: warning signs of preterm labor

ACOG pamphlets
Preterm Labor

Labor that begins prior to 37 weeks is considered preterm labor. 

Your uterus will contract at times during your pregnancy, however if you experience any of the following symptoms please notify your provider:

  • More than 6 contractions in an hour that is not relieved with oral hydration, bed rest, warm bath or shower
  • Pelvic pressure that is not relieved with position change or rest
  • Bloody vaginal discharge
  • Gush of clear, watery fluid from the vagina
» Smoking in pregnancy

If you smoke, now is the ideal time to try and quit.  Women who smoke during pregnancy have higher rates of pregnancy complications that include:

  • Miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy
  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Preterm birth
  • Placental abruption which involves the separation of the placenta from the uterus and can be life threatening
  • Increased risk of stillbirth
  • Low birth weight infant (weighing less than 5 ½ pounds)
  • Risk of sudden infant death or SIDS

With each cigarette you are exposing you and your baby to harmful chemicals such as tar, nicotine, and carbon monoxide.  Please speak with your provider about ways to quit smoking and go to the Oregon Department of Human Services Quit Now website for additional information.   

» Travel and pregnancy

ACOG pamphlets
Travel During Pregnancy

Travel during pregnancy is safe as long as your pregnancy is not complicated.  Most airlines will let you travel within 4-6 weeks from your due date; however it is best to check with your individual airlines before purchasing tickets.  Long trips in the car, bus, train or airplane can increase your risk for developing a blood clot in your leg.  If you are planning a long trip we advise that you drink lots of fluid, wear loose fitting clothing, walk and stretch at regular intervals (every 1-2 hours) and consider wearing compression stockings.

» Vaginal birth after cesarean section (VBAC)

Mt Hood Women's Health offers a trial of labor to patients who have had one previous cesarean section following an informed counseling session with one of our physicians.  You will be provided with up-to-date information to help you weigh the risks and benefits of a VBAC vs. a scheduled cesarean section. 

Preview our VBAC consent form (PDF)

» Warning signs in pregnancy

Problems during pregnancy have danger signs.  To stay as healthy as possible, know the warning signs listed below.  Call your provider if any of the following occur:

  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Sudden swelling or puffiness of your face and hands
  • Sudden weight gain
  • Pain with urination
  • Severe headache, not relieved with Tylenol
  • Blurred vision, flashes of light or spots before your eyes
  • Sharp or continuous pain in your stomach
  • Severe, persistent nausea and vomiting
  • Fever >100.4°
  • Sudden gush of fluid from the vagina before 37 weeks
  • Decreased fetal movement
  • An accident, hard fall or other injury
» Waterbirth

Waterbirth involves giving birth while immersed in warm water. Waterbirth can be an effective alternative for women wishing to give birth without medication or an epidural. The buoyancy created by the warm water decreases body weight, allowing women to move more freely in positions most comfortable to them. In addition to being an effective form of pain management, waterbirth can promote relaxation and a sense of self-empowerment for the laboring mother.

Mt Hood Women's Health is committed to helping women have the delivery experience they desire. To that end, our Certified Nurse Midwives offer waterbirth in our hospital Family Birth Center as an option for delivery. Please see the criteria below for patients desiring a waterbirth and talk to your provider to see if waterbirth might be an option for you.

Patient selection criteria

  • Singleton pregnancy
  • Gestational age >37 weeks
  • Must be an established patient with Mt Hood Women’s Health
  • Vertex presentation
  • Uncomplicated pregnancy
  • Uncomplicated labor
  • Physical ability to safely enter and exit the portable tub


  • Twin pregnancy
  • Previous cesarean birth
  • Pitocin administration in labor
  • Epidural administration
  • High risk pregnancy (i.e. preeclampsia, hypertension, diabetes, cardiac disease, placental previa or any other condition deemed inappropriate by practitioner)
  • Excessive vaginal bleeding
  • Signs of an infection with mom or baby
  • Active genital herpes infection
  • Infection with hepatitis A, hepatitis B, hepatitis C or HIV
  • History of shoulder dystocia
  • Meconium stained amniotic fluid
  • Non-reassuring fetal heart tracing

Please click here for more information.


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24850 SE Stark St, Ste 200
Gresham, OR 97030