Frequently Asked Questions

In addition to the materials you received in the orientation folder, for your convenience, we have listed answers to some commonly asked questions. Whenever possible, please write down any questions to review at your prenatal visits.

What distinguishes Golden Gate OBGYN from other practices?
  • All of Golden Gate’s physicians are board certified Ob/Gyns.
  • We are a group practice, so we work together to take care of our patients.
  • You can have appointments with just your doctor during your pregnancy, or you can rotate to meet all of our doctors. We do encourage that you stick with your primary OBGYN for the last month of pregnancy.
  • We deliver at California Pacific Medical Center, Van Ness Campus. If your insurance requires you to deliver at University of California San Francisco (UCSF), you are able to receive prenatal care at our office. Please contact one of our obstetrical coordinators for more information.
  • After hours: Ob/Gyn nurses are available to answer emergency calls and questions. They can give medical advice and fill some prescriptions. They will instruct you when you need to come to the hospital and will contact the doctor on call when necessary.
  • All of our doctors rotate in a call schedule. The doctor you have been seeing during your pregnancy might be your delivering doctor. If he or she is not available, one of our partners will be with you.
  • Our philosophies on pain management during labor, fetal monitoring, operative vaginal delivery and cesarean birth are all consistent. Your doctor will be happy to answer specific questions at any of your visits.
  • We encourage your partner to be with you during your labor and delivery, and are supportive if you would like additional family members or friends to attend your birth.
How many appointments should I expect?

During your pregnancy, you will be seen frequently to ensure your continued health and the health of your baby. Our practice typically utilizes the following prenatal visit schedule based on gestational age:

  • Pregnancy confirmation visit at 7-8 weeks gestation
  • Initial obstetrical visit at 10-13 weeks gestation
  • Every 4 weeks prenatal visit from 13-28weeks gestation
  • Every 2 weeks prenatal visit from 28-36 weeks gestation
  • Weekly prenatal visits from 36 weeks gestation until delivery

What routine tests should I expect to have, and when are they done?
  • Prenatal labs: These are done in early pregnancy and typically include blood type, blood count, STD screening, rubella and varicella immunity status, and urine culture. Additional tests may be ordered by your provider depending on the clinical scenario.
  • Genetic screening: Our practice offers genetic testing to all prenatal patients. These tests may include the following:
    • State Screen: Screening for Trisomy 18, Trisomy 21 (Down Syndrome), open neural tube defects and Smith-Lemli Opitz Syndrome. First and second trimester blood draws combined with Nuchal Translucency ultrasound.
    • NIPT: Blood draw at 10 weeks gestation or later. This test screens for Trisomy 21, 18 and 13 and can determine your baby’s gender.
    • Carrier Testing: This blood test can help determine whether you carry inherited health conditions that you might pass on to a child. It can be done before pregnancy or anytime in pregnancy.
    • Amniocentesis & CVS: Our office does not perform these tests; however, if you are interested please speak with your provider about a referral to a maternal fetal medicine (MFM) specialist for testing.
  • Ob Complete Ultrasound: Done between 18 and 20 weeks.
  • Glucose Test: Screening for gestational diabetes. Done between 26 and 28 weeks.
  • Group B Streptococcus: Done at 36 weeks.
Which medications are safe?
  • Tylenol for headache and fever
  • Robitussin DM for cough
  • Ricola, Halls, Chloraseptic spray for sore throat
  • Benadryl, Zyrtec, Claritin for allergies
  • Colace, Milk of Magnesia or Metamucil for constipation
  • Monistat or Gynelotrimin for yeast infections
  • Tums, Mylanta, Maalox, Gaviscon, or Pepcid AC for heartburn
  • Vitamin B6 (50 mg once a day), Unisom, Ginger and Seabands for nausea
Can I color my hair and get my nails done?

Yes but it is ideal to wait to color your hair until after the completion of the first trimester.

Can I travel?

As long as your pregnancy is uncomplicated, travel by air or car is fine as long as emergency care is available at your destination. We recommend the purchase of travel insurance (see your travel agent for details). Travel must be completed by 36 weeks.

Can I exercise?

Yes, exercise is encouraged. There is no recommended heart rate restriction. It is acceptable to maintain the same level of activity that you had before pregnancy, provided that you feel comfortable. We encourage exercises for the lower back, such as yoga and stretching.

Can I have intercourse?

Intercourse will not cause harm. You may notice some spotting or light bleeding up to 48 hours after intercourse. This is normal. If bleeding is heavy or persists beyond 48 hours, please call our office.

Is it safe to sleep on my back?

By the time most pregnant women reach the third trimester (28 weeks), they no longer feel comfortable sleeping on their backs. Most women will want to sleep on their sides to feel more comfortable. A long body pillow can help provide more comfort sleeping in side positions.

How much caffeine is acceptable?

Generally, we suggest limiting your caffeine intake to two (2) hot or cold drinks, or approximately 200 mg, per day.

Which cheeses are safe to eat during pregnancy?

Any cheese that has been pasteurized, including soft cheeses, is safe to eat in pregnancy.

Can I eat seafood in pregnancy?

For information about seafood consumption in pregnancy, please visit the US Food and Drug Administration’s website

I plan to do some painting. What do I need to know?

Avoid oil-based paint. Latex-based paint is acceptable as long as adequate ventilation is available.


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1725 Montgomery Street
Suite 200
San Francisco, CA 94111

Tel: (415) 666-1250
Fax: (415) 398-2696