Prenatal Care

Our Prenatal Team includes a provider, board certified obstetrician, licensed nurses, licensed counselors, and our clinic support staff. Contact us today for a prenatal care appointment.

Team Up with CHOICES

Your team will be with you through each phase of your pregnancy and after your delivery. Our program consists of:

Have questions? Read our Frequently Asked Questions or chat with one of our representatives.

Pregnancy Symptoms

If you are in your childbearing years and your monthly period is a week or more late, you might be pregnant. However, a missed period can be misleading if you have an irregular menstrual cycle. Other common early signs can include:

Prenatal Services

Being pregnant can be a wonderful and exciting but sometimes scary phase of life, and CHOICES is here to help you with your medical care, provide factual information and offer a level of concern and involvement that goes way beyond the doctor-patient relationship. CHOICES offers the following prenatal services:

CHOICES Prenatal Program monitors your health and your baby’s growth to make sure everything is developing properly.  It is a partnership between you and a CHOICES' health care provider.  Your first prenatal check up is the foundation on which that partnership is built. Your CHOICES' health care provider will answer any questions you may have throughout your entire pregnancy.  Through a comprehensive questionnaire, you will be asked to provide information about:

  • Health problems you may have, like diabetes, high blood pressure or sexually transmitted diseases (STIs)
  • Past pregnancies
  • Medicines you are taking or are allergic to
  • Lifestyle choices such as drinking, smoking or drug use
  • Exercise
  • Stress, and if you live in a safe environment
  • Your health history and the health history of your partner

Throughout the prenatal program you will have check ups and be given tests by a CHOICES' health care specialist to make sure you are healthy and your baby is developing properly.  You will have physical and pelvic (internal) exams, blood and urine tests to make sure you are not anemic or have any type of infection, a PAP test to check for cervical cancer and screening to make sure you have not been exposed to any sexually transmitted infections (STIs).  

Your weight and blood pressure will be checked regularly, and at various points of your pregnancy an ultrasound will be administered to create an image to check on your baby’s growth and development. 

You may be prescribed prenatal vitamins or other medications if needed to keep you feeling fine. Remember, everything you share and discuss with your CHOICES' Prenatal Provider is confidential and safe. So don’t be afraid to be honest or to share any concerns you may have.

A sonogram is an image or picture taken during an ultrasound scan that uses high frequency sound waves to create the images or pictures of your baby. 

As part of its Prenatal Program, CHOICES has convenient, on site sonography suites and certified technicians available to regularly monitor your baby’s development.

GYN-Horizon testing is for women and their partners who want to know what genetic conditions they may pass along to their babies. Patients who are thinking of becoming pregnant and who want to be tested will meet with a CHOICES' social worker for an informational meeting. Women with questions about finances or insurance coverage will be referred to a financial representative who will answer any questions they may have. Patients will give a blood sample and be asked to return to the clinic to receive results in 14-16 days. Patients who receive positive test results will be referred to a specialist who will guide them through their best options for moving forward.

Click here for more information on Horizon screening.

As early as 9 weeks into pregnancy, a simple blood draw can tell you the sex of your baby. The test will also determine if your baby is at higher risk of having Down syndrome and other common genetic conditions. Non-invasive and highly accurate, Panorama identifies more than 99% of pregnancies affected with Down syndrome and has the lowest reported false positive rate of any prenatal screening test for the commonly screened chromosomal abnormalities: trisomy 21, trisomy 18, and trisomy 13.

This test can be taken by women of any age and ethnicity who are at least 9 weeks pregnant. Panorama is an in-network provider with most health plans, including Aetna, Anthem, Cigna, and United Healthcare. A comprehensive list of insurances can be found here. The cost of the test varies according to the prenatal screening panel selected and your specific insurance coverage. Based on previously approved claims, most patients pay between $100 and $200 out-of-pocket after their deductible.

For more information on Panorama Genetic Testing by Natera, visit their website.

Dealing with a diagnosis of fetal abnormality or fetal demise is of one of the most challenging situations a woman will have to face. Because most of these fetal conditions are diagnosed in the second trimester, decisions must be made within specific time frames and a host of medical information has to be taken into consideration.

Because these decisions are so very personal and touch upon the core beliefs of each woman and her partner, the most important part of this process is Trust.

Trust in the facility, the staff and the process that CHOICES has evolved over almost ½ of a century of the highest standards of women’s health care.

Our clinicians, social workers and physicians are there to support, educate and guide each woman thru their decision because we trust that within this circle of care and attention, each woman will make the best choice for herself and her family.

At CHOICES, patients who have experienced a miscarriage or stillbirth are offered Anora testing to gain a better understanding of what genetic conditions they may or may not carry. Patients will complete a blood test and should be asked to return to CHOICES to receive their results within five days. If the test results show a patient is positive for a genetic condition that resulted in the miscarriage or stillbirth the medical provider will refer the patient to a genetic specialist who will help develop a plan for moving forward.

Miscarriage Testing (Anora by Natera) is available at CHOICES to help determine why a miscarriage occurred. Testing is performed on the tissue from the pregnancy loss. The results obtained from testing can reduce a patient’s emotional burden and information from the results can improve the chances of a future successful pregnancy. If the cause of the loss is determined to be due to a chromosome abnormality in the fetus, parents can usually be reassured that the chance of recurrence is low and avoid a costly medical work-up.

Miscarriage Testing can be helpful if you:

  • want to better understand why you had a miscarriage
  • have had more than one miscarriage
  • have had a child or previous pregnancy with a chromosome abnormality
  • want to understand recurrence risks

Why choose Anora?

  • Anora can identify the reason for a miscarriage and rule out chromosome problems as the cause.
  • Anora is the most comprehensive miscarriage test for chromosome abnormalities and returns a result >99% of the time.
  • Anora was the first test on the market to differentiate between maternal and fetal DNA, enabling maternal cell contamination (MCC) to be ruled out.
  • Anora can determine whether a chromosomal abnormality originated in the egg or sperm.
  • Anora’s results are returned quickly—in about one week.
  • Anora can be used on losses that have recently occurred and on losses that took place several years ago.
  • Anora offers complimentary pre- and post-test information sessions with board-certified genetic counselors.

This is an exciting time but it also can be a bit scary, especially if you are a first time parent and have never cared for a newborn. Babies don’t come with a “how-to” manual. CHOICES' Prenatal Program helps you prepare for this incredible experience by giving you access to parenting, breastfeeding and nutritional workshops and counseling. These classes cover the basics about your newborn, and CHOICES' counselors and licensed clinical social workers will answer your questions, support you and get you the help you need.

CHOICES' social workers and health care providers will work with you to create a complete plan for the delivery of your baby, from the selection of your delivery hospital and doctor to pain management. We will address your concerns and give you the answers to questions that really matter to you. CHOICES' Prenatal has developed relationships and delivery protocols with doctors and top hospitals such as North Shore Long Island Jewish and Jamaica Hospital.

Six weeks after the birth of your baby, we will schedule your postpartum visit to ensure that you are having a healthy recovery from your pregnancy. At this point you will have the option to transition into our gold standard women’s health care program to build on the relationship and trusting partnership that has developed throughout your pregnancy. You will be able to access expert and professional gynecological care that includes family planning and birth control methods.

Choices Women’s Medical Center designed its Prenatal Program to treat the whole woman and apply it to all aspects of your pregnancy, including how to maintain a well-balanced yet varied diet of meat, dairy products, fruit, vegetables and grain, and how to safely wash, prepare and store food to avoid food-born diseases such as Salmonella. Counselors offer information on foods to avoid, such as raw eggs, unpasteurized milk products, caffeine and artificial sweeteners, and what to consume on a limited basis such as fish or other seafood products. They help monitor your rate and amount of weight gain and address how to exercise during pregnancy to minimize risk to both mother and baby.

Alcohol, cigarette and drug use is addressed by CHOICES' health care professionals and counselor/social workers who are experts in providing information on the risks associated with these substances, treatment and care on how to deal with the effects, if necessary.

Nutritional and Lifestyle counseling is extremely important throughout your pregnancy, after delivery and beyond. Your decisions must be based on a clear and concise understanding of the facts. You must address issues that might impact your pregnancy head-on and not put the life or health of you or your baby in jeopardy. Learning about these things will give you the ability to take control of your life and give your baby the best start possible.

Pregnancy Nutrition

Eating for two is a lot harder than it sounds. Friends and family often have conflicting ideas about what you should and shouldn’t eat during pregnancy. Seeing a Registered Dietitian will give you the facts and help you to get the nutrients to keep you strong with the baby on board growing well.

Breastfeeding Nutrition

Mother’s milk is the perfect food, full of all the vitamins and minerals your baby needs along with bonus antibodies for immune support, it’s no wonder making milk is such hard work! Many new moms are confused about what to eat and how they can determine whether their babies are getting enough milk. Make an appointment with our Registered Dietitian for education to get the support you deserve.

If you have or develop certain medical conditions and are pregnant, your condition may be classified as a moderate-risk pregnancy, and you and your baby might need special monitoring or care throughout your pregnancy. The highly trained and experienced CHOICES' Prenatal Team is trained to coordinate and supervise your care with the doctors at your delivery hospital.

Specific factors that might contribute to a moderate-risk pregnancy include:

  • If the mother’s age is 35 or over.
  • The mother smokes cigarettes, drinks alcohol or uses illegal drugs.
  • If the mother has been pregnant before and had a Caesarean section, delivered a low birth weight baby or gave birth before 37 weeks of pregnancy.
  • A family history of genetic conditions, pregnancy losses or the death of a baby shortly after birth.
  • If chronic conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, anemia, epilepsy, an infection or an underlying mental health condition exist.
  • If complications develop during pregnancy, such as problems with the uterus, cervix or placenta; the level of amniotic fluid; restricted growth of the fetus or RH sensitization.
  • If there have been multiple pregnancies or the woman has carried twins.

So go online to make an appointment or call 718-786-5000 to speak to a Patient Representative and make an appointment.  CHOICES can supply you with the support, expertise and supervision needed to manage a moderate-risk pregnancy.

If you are a sexually active teenage girl and not using a reliable form of birth control every time you have sex, you are in danger of getting pregnant. If you think you are pregnant, you should act quickly to get tested and get the help and guidance you need to make sure that you and your baby are not at risk. The longer you wait the greater the risk.

It’s only natural to feel emotional and to be afraid or apprehensive about telling your parents, partner, family members, teachers or friends.

Also, teens have a higher risk of pregnancy-related health issues, such as high blood pressure, premature births and even babies that weigh less than they should when they are born. You don’t need to go it alone, and the best next step is to reach out to an experienced health care professional at Choices Women’s Medical Center and its Prenatal Program and Counseling Services. They are experienced and well trained in dealing with the medical components of teen pregnancy, as well as guiding and supporting you with information that will lessen your fears and get you on the right track. All of the information you share will be kept completely confidential, in accordance with New York State law. 

A CHOICES' counselor will help you build a support team and enroll you in the CHOICES' Prenatal Program to make sure you and your baby are in the best of health. You must eat right, get the right amount of sleep, take vitamins that guard against birth defects, avoid alcohol, smoking, and drugs and to be sure to use a condom if you are having sex to avoid contracting a sexually transmitted infection. CHOICES can even help you access government programs or insurance benefits to help pay for the services you require. If you are uninsured, you can still receive your prenatal care at Choices Women’s Medical Center. An all-inclusive fee covers pregnancy testing, your prenatal visits, all laboratory blood and urine testing, sonography, and postpartum visits.

So go online to make an appointment or call 718-786-5000 to speak to a Patient Representative and make an appointment.  CHOICES is all about knowledgeable choice and offers complete patient-centered medical care for all of your healthcare needs.

Sometimes getting pregnant can have serious consequences; the mother’s age, lifestyle issues, domestic violence, substance abuse, health problems, lack of resources or no support may make it impossible to keep a baby. One of the most important and valuable aspects of the CHOICES' Prenatal Program is its ability to inform and educate pregnant women on all the options available to her. Adoption isn’t easy, and the decision to put a baby up for adoption is not a simple one. CHOICES' counselors will help you understand the lifelong consequences of this decision and assist you in taking the next steps.

If a woman is interested in adoption, CHOICES' counselors will coordinate a referral to one of our trusted adoption agencies that will provide information on the adoption process and post-adoption services available for open or closed adoptions.

Abortion is another alternative that is offered to pregnant women who want or need to end an unwanted pregnancy. Choices Women’s Medical Center has been providing abortion services with respect, honesty and a high level of professional care for the past 50 years. CHOICES offers medical (the “abortion pill,” available up to 10 weeks of pregnancy) and surgical abortions (up to 24 weeks of pregnancy). No matter your personal circumstance, your income or your age, CHOICES is here to help with an experienced, dedicated medical and counseling team, a state-of-the-art facility and the highest quality healthcare practices to keep you safe. CHOICES accepts most major health insurances, can fast track you to Medicaid, and work with you to see if you are eligible for other government assistance programs. 

So go online to make an appointment or call 718-786-5000 to speak to a Patient Representative and make an appointment.

A Pregnancy test works by checking your urine (pee) for a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG). If you’re pregnant, your body makes the HCG hormone. If your pregnancy test results are positive, it means you’re pregnant. At CHOICES, you can get a free urine pregnancy test by appointment or walk-in. Free pregnancy tests are completely confidential for patients of all ages. Sometimes a person begins to suspect she is pregnant when she missed a period, notices her body beginning to change in different ways, or develops other physical symptoms. After you receive your pregnancy test results at CHOICES, you can meet with a counselor for pregnancy options counseling or birth control options counseling if your pregnancy test results are negative.

Being unable to get pregnant when you want to can be extremely frustrating and emotionally draining. CHOICES offers women a variety of comprehensive gynecological care and fertility treatments. If you’ve been trying to get pregnant and haven’t been successful, it’s a good idea to schedule an appointment at CHOICES for a fertility assessment.

Our Fertility Management Program offers Fertility assessment, management and treatment of infertility including miscarriage testing (add link to that section). If needed, CHOICES can refer you to a trusted Fertility Specialist for further treatment including In-Vitro Fertilization, also known as IVF.

Infertility Nutrition

It’s no secret that healthy eating during pregnancy makes a big difference in the health of mother and baby but what about before pregnancy? Eating well before you conceive gives you a head start by getting your body ready to grow a baby. Having a healthy weight and all of the vitamins and minerals your body needs can even make it easier to conceive.

Pregnancy Calculator

Enter The First Day of Your Last Period to See Your Options

Please use this calculator before selecting your options from the appointment form below. Note: Seeing a trained medical professional is the only way to accurately determine the length of your pregnancy and what options are available.

Pregnancy & Prenatal Frequently Asked Questions

The only sure way to know is to get a pregnancy test. At CHOICES, you can get a free pregnancy test by appointment or walk-in. Free pregnancy tests are completely confidential for patients of all ages. Sometimes a person begins to suspect she is pregnant when she misses a period, notices her body beginning to change in different ways or develops other physical symptoms.

If you are in your childbearing years and your monthly period is a week or more late, you might be pregnant. However, a missed period can be misleading if you have an irregular menstrual cycle. Other common early signs can include:

  • Tender, swollen breasts.
  • Nausea, sometimes with vomiting.
  • Increase in urination.
  • Feeling sleepy or tired.

Other, less-common signs include moodiness, bloating, light spotting, cramps, constipation, food dislikes, or nasal congestion.  These signs, however, can indicate other things besides pregnancy.  And you can be pregnant without experiencing them. So it’s all the more important to get a pregnancy test as soon as you suspect you might be pregnant.

There are many benefits to prenatal care. It will help you have a normal pregnancy and give birth to a healthy baby. Pregnancy can be an emotionally and physically demanding process, both joyful and stressful. Prenatal care, beginning as early in your pregnancy as possible, can address your concerns and identify and begin treating any possible medical conditions that might impact your pregnancy. Your appointments over the duration of your pregnancy with CHOICES professional staff will help you have the best pregnancy and childbirth experience possible.

If you do not have insurance or other resources, CHOICES can work out financing so that your prenatal care can be free or low-cost. No one will be turned away because of financial need. If you live in New York State you may qualify for Emergency Medicaid which covers all pregnancy-related services including prenatal care. To see if you qualify click here to take our Emergency Medicaid Quiz. We can sign you up on the day of your first visit and all costs will be covered. CHOICES also accepts many other forms of payment, and reasonable self-pay and sliding scale plans are available. We accept cash and all major credit cards. When you call for an appointment, ask to speak with one of our Financial Counselors.

Yes. If she needs financial help, she may qualify for New York State Emergency Medicaid which is available to people who live in NY State. When she calls for an appointment, she can ask to speak to one of our Financial Counselors.

As soon as think you may be pregnant, you should schedule a Confirmation of Pregnancy Appointment at CHOICES. Depending on the results, you will be given an Initial Prenatal appointment about 2-4 weeks after. This allows enough time for the fetus to grow large enough to be seen on an ultrasound, and a heartbeat is usually detectable, as well, through a sonogram.

There are many benefits of prenatal vitamins. Ideally, prenatal vitamins should be started approximately 3 months prior to conception (becoming pregnant). Starting these vitamins as soon as you start trying to become pregnant or as soon as you know you are pregnant will go a long way towards a healthy foundation for your baby. A good prenatal vitamin will have folate, B vitamins such as B12 and B6 and zinc. You should also take about 400mg of the essential fatty acid DHA for neurologic development and Vitamin D3 daily, which is especially important in the second and third trimester.

It is best to limit medications while you are pregnant. If you have a diagnosed, medical condition for which medication is necessary, please call your CHOICES provider immediately so we can discuss how to best manage your medications. There also may be times when medications are necessary for the relief of certain common conditions. Please call your CHOICES provider for advice.

After your Confirmation of Pregnancy Visit, you will have your Initial OB Visit where you will have a thorough review of your menstrual history and medical history and will discuss all current and previous medications. You will have an ultrasound either at the Confirmation of Pregnancy visit or Initial Visit.

Your mental health is very important to us. Our Prenatal Program includes meeting with a licensed Social Worker at various times throughout your pregnancy. From joyful anticipation to sometimes fearful concern, pregnancy is an emotionally complex process. Based on a psychosocial assessment completed at your initial visit, a Social Worker will work with you in identifying stressors and creating an individualized plan to address all of your concerns and prepare for the arrival of the baby. Six weeks after the birth of your baby, we will schedule your post-partum visit to ensure that you are having a healthy recovery from your pregnancy and where you will meet with a Social Worker again.

A doctor’s appointment will be scheduled every 4 weeks until 28 weeks, then every 2 weeks until 36 weeks, and every week after 36 weeks until delivery. The entire pregnancy is approximately 40 weeks. You will also be seen postpartum. Each pregnancy is different and may require more or  fewer visits

Typically, within the first two visits (Confirmation of Pregnancy or Initial Visit) you will have an ultrasound.

Around 18-22 weeks, an anatomy ultrasound is performed at a one of our high-quality referrals. This is a “high-resolution ultrasound” where details of the baby’s anatomy (skeleton, organs, spinal column, facial & head development, fingers/toes, organs, growth, fluid, placenta, etc.) is measured. The gender of the baby may be revealed at this appointment if requested.

A growth ultrasound may also be performed around 36 weeks for estimated fetal weight and fetal position. Ultrasounds will be performed for medical indications any time throughout your pregnancy if needed.

These are tests that screen for chromosomal problems. Down’s Syndrome (Trisomy 21), Trisomy 13 and Trisomy 18 are the most common chromosomal abnormalities. These tests are non-invasive and will not bring harm to mother or baby.

GYN-Horizon testing is for women and their partners who want to know what genetic conditions they may pass along to their babies. Patients who are thinking of becoming pregnant and who want to be tested will meet with a CHOICES Social Worker for an informational meeting. Women with questions about finances or insurance coverage will be referred to a financial counselor who will answer any questions you may have. Patients will give a blood sample and be asked to return to the clinic to receive results in 14-16 days. Patients who receive positive test results will be referred to a specialist who will guide them through their best options for moving forward.

Click here for more information on Horizon screening.

The test will determine if your baby is at higher risk of having Down syndrome and other common genetic conditions. Non-invasive and highly accurate, Panorama identifies more than 99% of pregnancies affected with Down syndrome and has the lowest reported false positive rate of any prenatal screening test for the commonly screened chromosomal abnormalities: trisomy 21, trisomy 18, and trisomy 13.

This test can be taken by women of any age and ethnicity who are at least 9 weeks pregnant. Panorama is an in-network provider with most health plans, including Aetna, Anthem, Cigna, and UnitedHealthcare. A comprehensive list of insurances can be found here. The cost of the test varies according to the prenatal screening panel selected and your specific insurance coverage. Based on previously approved claims, most patients pay between $100 and $200 out-of-pocket after their deductible.

For more information on Panorama Genetic Testing by Natera, visit their website.

Women can have a healthy pregnancy and delivery in their 30’s and beyond. A nutrient dense diet, moderate exercise, healthy sleep hygiene and stress management are each crucial.

Additional testing is offered to expectant mothers over the age of 35. Our office will aid you in scheduling an appointment with a genetic counselor. The genetic counselor will discuss any increased genetic risks and offer a more detailed test for genetic screening.

If any tests are abnormal your genetic counselor will inform you of further diagnostic options.

Most women will find out the baby’s gender at the anatomy ultrasound that is scheduled usually between 18- 20 weeks. However, if you decide to do some of the advanced genetic testing, the gender can be revealed as early as 10 weeks. There may be additional fees associated with this testing.

First Trimester (7-10 weeks) – Blood work that includes: blood count to screen for anemia, immunity to some childhood diseases, blood type & Rh factor, and some genetics. Urine culture will be collected, as well as bloodwork for STD’s, HIV, hepatitis B, syphilis, blood type, immunity to Rubella (an infection that may harm the fetus). Cystic Fibrosis, Sickle Cell disease/trait or hereditary anemia diseases can be screened for.

Third Trimester (30-34 weeks) – HIV and blood count screening is repeated in blood. (34-36 weeks) – Vaginal swab to check for Group B Streptococcus (GBS), bacteria that normally live in a woman’s vagina. Some women have more growth than others, which is nothing to worry about in non-pregnant women. However, if a baby is exposed to GBS during delivery he/she could get very sick. If you are positive for GBS, you will be administered antibiotics during labor.

A healthy woman, neither over nor underweight, should gain between 25-30 pounds during the entire pregnancy. However, some women may not actually gain this much and that is acceptable as long as they are eating a nutrient dense diet. The first trimester can be difficult because of increased nausea and stomach upset. Do not panic if you do not gain; you may even lose weight in the first trimester. If you are experiencing frequent vomiting, an anti-nausea medication may help. On the contrary some women may retain more water during pregnancy contributing to more weight gain. A nutrient dense diet is the best way to avoid excessive weight gain during pregnancy.

There are three main food-borne pathogens of concern for pregnant women:

Toxoplasma, Listeria monocytogenes and Salmonella enterica.

These organisms can be passed to the fetus and increase the risk for spontaneous abortion, stillbirth or perinatal complications. Pregnant women are more vulnerable to these pathogens because the immune system is compromised/less effective during pregnancy. Therefore, it is best to avoid raw fish, raw meat and unpasteurized dairy. Heating deli meats for 10 seconds is recommended. Sushi is commonly eaten by pregnant women in Japan and there is much controversy surrounding the recommendation that it should be avoided by American women. It is always best to act on the side of caution. Avoid high mercury fish such as shark, tilefish, king mackerel, and swordfish. Avoid CANNED albacore tuna.

  • Avoid consuming alcohol during pregnancy as there is no scientific research that establishes a safe level of alcohol intake during pregnancy. Alcohol consumption is known to increase the risk of miscarriage, premature birth, and fetal alcohol syndrome. Fetal alcohol syndrome is associated with mental impairment, learning disabilities and other deformities.
  • There is no medical evidence that sugar substitutes such as aspartame (Equal) or sucralose (Splenda) are harmful in pregnancy. However, it is best to consume a real food diet while pregnant and most products with artificial sweeteners are not the most nutrient dense choices. Save these foods for special occasions. 
  • Caffeine in moderate amounts during pregnancy appears to be non-harmful; no studies have shown caffeine to be linked with miscarriage. Again, act on the side of caution and try to limit coffee to one cup per day. We do not recommend soda consumption (diet or non-diet) during pregnancy due to the high sugar and low nutrient profile.

The benefits of exercise during pregnancy have been well documented. Not only does a regular exercise program strengthen and tone the muscles, it helps relieve tension, as well as the aches and pains many women experience during pregnancy. Exercising while pregnant has also been shown to promote an easier delivery, a more rapid recovery, and maximizes metabolism. The aim of an exercise program during pregnancy is to establish and maintain a level of general good health and fitness. It should not be used as a means of weight loss. Pregnancy is never a good time to diet. There are, however, some activities that should be completely avoided during pregnancy. They include risky activities such as surfing, scuba diving, rough terrain mountain biking, skydiving, snow skiing, platform diving, and high-altitude mountain climbing. Activities that carry a high risk of falls or injury should be avoided. They include horseback riding, contact sports such as basketball, baseball, football, and volleyball, inline or ice-skating and racquet sports such as racquetball, tennis or squash.

If no exercise was practiced before becoming pregnant, consult your CHOICES provider before beginning an exercise routine. Almost any type of exercise is safe if done in moderation. Keep in mind, however, that pregnant women are more susceptible to injury due to hormonal influences that cause joints and ligaments to become more lax than usual. There are several, recreational activities that are excellent for beginner exercisers. They include yoga, brisk walking, golf, swimming, and stationary bicycling.

The following exercises should be avoided:

  • Exercises that require jumping, jarring motions or rapid changes in direction
  • Exercises done lying flat on the back should be avoided after the first trimester. This position could allow the uterus to compress the large blood vessel returning blood to the heart. This situation can interfere with blood flow to the uterus and fetus.
  • Strenuous exercise should be avoided in hot, humid weather, or during illness.
  • A pregnant woman’s temperature should not exceed 100.4 while exercising. To ensure this, she should drink plenty of water and avoid running outside in the heat of the day.

There are certain conditions in pregnancy, which would make it unwise to engage in an exercise program. Therefore, it is best to consult your CHOICES Provider for guidelines.

  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • History of fetal growth restriction

If any of the following conditions are present, exercise should be avoided completely:

  • Ruptured membranes
  • Preterm labor
  • Vaginal bleeding
  • History of 3 or more spontaneous miscarriages
  • Heart or lung disease

Hormone levels are rapidly rising in early pregnancy, which may cause some unpleasant side effects. Most women have extreme breast tenderness or fullness and it is common to feel extremely tired. Nausea is very common and can be associated with unpleasant smells/tastes. Women will find that a food or smell they liked before suddenly becomes very displeasing or revolting. If excessive vomiting occurs, there are several safe medications that can be prescribed to help minimize this occurrence. Many women will experience unpleasant gastrointestinal problems such as bloating, feelings of fullness, gas and constipation. Small, frequent meals may help. Drink LOTS of water! This will help for many reasons. If you are constipated, try a stool softener such as Colace twice a day or magnesium citrate powder. Increased fiber in the diet may also help.

Do not put too much pressure on yourself in the first trimester. Eat healthful food as tolerated, but there may be days when nothing sounds appealing. Protein shakes are another good option if tolerable.

Bleeding when you are pregnant is never a good thing, but it does not always mean something terrible is happening. Always call us at 718-786-5000 ASAP if you experience bleeding during any stage of pregnancy.

First trimester bleeding/spotting in pregnancy can be common and does NOT always mean a miscarriage is imminent. Bleeding during implantation can be common and may resolve on its own. Also, the cells on a woman’s cervix change during pregnancy and bleed easily when touched, especially during intercourse.

When calling your CHOICES provider, be prepared to answer the following questions: Are you having severe cramps/pain with bleeding? Is the bleeding bright red or brown? Have you soaked any pads or is it just spotting? Have you recently had intercourse? More than likely we will have you make an appointment, so we can monitor the pregnancy and make sure you and the baby are still ok. If the bleeding starts after office hours, you may be instructed to go to the Emergency Room.

Second/Third Trimester bleeding may indicate a few things: the placenta could possibly be near your cervical opening, the placenta could be detaching, or possibly even early labor. Always call your doctor immediately if you experience any bleeding at this point.

Yes! You can continue having sexual intercourse if you have an uncomplicated pregnancy. Check with your provider if your pregnancy is considered high risk or if you have any concerns. In most cases, sex can be enjoyed throughout your pregnancy.

Some couples fear that intercourse will harm the pregnancy or cause a miscarriage; however, the baby is very well protected by the uterus and the amniotic sac (bag of water). Intercourse will not cause the bag to break or hurt the baby. It is always best to consult your CHOICES provider for specific information, but, in general, comfort should be the determining factor in regard to sexual activity. 

It is best to observe the following precautions:

  • Avoid full body weight on the woman’s abdomen. Intercourse with both partners lying on their side is frequently more comfortable.
  • Do not have sexual relations if you are bleeding, leaking fluid from the vagina, or having pre-term labor.
  • Do not have sexual relations if you know your membranes are ruptured.
  • Nipple stimulation can cause the uterus to contract and may initiate preterm labor.
  • AFTER THE BABY: Intercourse is best postponed until after your postpartum visit with the physician. This will give the vaginal wall time to heal. In most cases, it is safe to resume intercourse after 4-6 weeks.

Occasional pain during pregnancy is a normal thing; the whole body is growing and stretching as the pregnancy progresses. Many women experience round ligament pain as early as the second trimester. These ligaments keep the uterus attached to your pelvic area; as your uterus and baby grow bigger these ligaments will stretch and pull. They attach near your pelvic bone so this pain can be felt from the vaginal area to mid abdomen. Your rectus muscles (abdominal muscles) will also be stretched apart to make room for a growing uterus. This pain can be felt in the pelvic area and sometimes around the top of the abdominal area. It is completely normal for the above pains to come and go throughout pregnancy. If you are ever concerned about the intensity of your pain call your CHOICES provider.

Back pain in pregnancy is another normal occurrence because the spine naturally curves more during pregnancy and puts more strain on your back. You can try to wear a belly band or use Aspercreme to help alleviate this.

Hemorrhoids are common during pregnancy, especially in the third trimester. Hemorrhoids are swollen blood vessels in and around the anus and lower rectum. They can become painful, itchy, and irritated. You’re more likely to get hemorrhoids if you’re constipated, because straining to have a bowel movement swells your veins. Your growing baby also puts pressure on the large veins behind your uterus. You should call your doctor if yours bleed or hurt a lot. Hemorrhoids usually go away soon after your baby is born.

Leg pain/nerve pain is also normal. As the uterus grows it compresses many nerves in your pelvic area that travel to your legs. Most women will have pain in one leg more than the other depending on how your baby is sitting.

Carpal tunnel syndrome is common during pregnancy due to the swelling of the tissues around your wrists. You may experience hand or finger pain and tingling, sometimes even numbness. Wearing a wrist splint at night may be helpful.

Varicose veins can occur during pregnancy, usually in the lower half of the body. This is because the uterus is compressing the veins that allow the blood from the lower half of your body to drain back up into your heart causing the blood to back up in the veins. This tends to get worse with each pregnancy. Some women may even get varicose veins in the vaginal region. These veins are usually harmless, although their appearance may be upsetting. Try wearing compression socks or tights to relieve the pressure. These will typically go away after the pregnancy is over.

Swelling in the legs and arms is very common during pregnancy. Your blood volume and tissues are all expanding as your baby grows and this may cause swelling. Some women swell earlier than others. Try to get off your feet as much as you can and wear compression socks or tights. Tell your doctor about this at your next visit to make sure it’s a normal occurrence.

Typically, women will start to feel regular fetal movements around 25 weeks. It may be earlier depending on number of pregnancies and size of mom and baby. After 25 weeks you should typically feel fetal movement at least one to two times per hour.

Most women will not need to worry about labor until after 37 weeks. Braxton-Hicks contractions may happen long before; these cause the uterus to tighten and are often painless. Your stomach may feel like a hard bowling ball for a few seconds and then go away. A labor contraction will feel unlike anything experienced before, most women describe it as a really bad menstrual cramp. It can start near your back and travel to your pelvic area. Labor contractions will be timed at regular intervals and progressively get stronger and closer together. Each woman will interpret labor pains a little differently; some women even say it feels like indigestion.

A physician or nurse can be reached at all times by calling 718-786-5000After hours and on Sundays, an answering service will connect you with a CHOICES provider for emergencies. Please limit after-hour calls to emergencies only. Prescription refills, test results, and general questions should be directed to 718-349-9100 EXT. 105 during office hours: 8:00 am-5:00 pm Tuesday- Saturday.

The following concerns warrant a call to your doctor regardless of the time or day:

  • Contractions that are still present for more than 2 hours, are getting closer together, or are painful enough where you cannot speak through them. You may also proceed straight to the hospital. However, if you go to the hospital before true labor has begun there is a high chance you will be sent back home.
  • Your water breaks – call us or go to hospital as soon as you can!
  • Any vaginal bleeding
  • Absence of fetal movement as described above (section on fetal movement)

You may want to pack two small bags for the hospital or birth center: one for the items you’ll need during labor, and another for items that you won’t need until after you give birth.

  • Picture ID and insurance card
  • Eyeglasses, if you wear them. Contact lenses may be difficult while you’re in the hospital but are fine to wear.
  • Whatever will help you relax. Some possibilities are: your own pillow (use a patterned or colorful pillowcase so it doesn’t get mixed up with the hospital pillows), music and something to play it on, a picture of someone or something you love, anything else you find reassuring. If you’re going to be induced, think about bringing something to read or watch because it may be a while before labor is underway.

After Delivery:

  • A fresh nightgown if you prefer to wear your own after delivery
  • Snacks! After many hours of labor, you’re likely to be pretty hungry, and you may not want to rely solely on hospital food. So bring your own –fresh or dried fruit, nuts, healthy protein bars such as Primal Kitchen, Epic beef jerky or whatever you think you’ll enjoy.
  • Toiletries: Pack a few personal items, such as a toothbrush and toothpaste, lip balm, deodorant, a brush and comb, makeup, and a hair band or barrettes. Hospitals usually provide soap, shampoo, and lotion, but you might prefer your own.
  • Comfortable nursing bras or regular bras. Whether or not you choose to breastfeed, your breasts are likely to be tender and swollen when your milk comes in, which can happen anytime during the first several days after delivery. A good bra can provide some comfort, and breast pads can be added to help absorb leaks.
  • If you are planning to breastfeed, a nursing pillow may be helpful to have in the hospital.
  • Several pairs of maternity underpants. Some women love the mesh underwear usually provided by the hospital, but others don’t. You can’t go wrong with your own roomy cotton underpants. The hospital will provide sanitary pads because you’ll bleed after delivery. Make sure you have a supply of heavy-duty pads waiting at home!
  • Baby book of your choice
  • A going-home outfit for you. Bring something roomy and easy to get into (believe it or not, you’ll probably still look 5 or 6 months pregnant) and a pair of flat, comfortable shoes.
  • A going-home outfit for baby. Pack something special, but easy to slip on a newborn, for those precious first pictures. A cute hat and blanket is also helpful.

*Your infant safety seat must be in place before you will be allowed to take your baby home.

*Do not bring jewelry, excessive cash, or credit cards or other valuables with you.

 

Please remember that CHOICES is part of this process and will expect a photo of your fabulous Little One on your first post-natal visit with us to add to our wonderful collection!

Map & Directions

Choices Women’s Medical Center is located at 147-32 Jamaica Avenue, Queens, NY 11435, just two blocks from the Long Island Rail Road’s Jamaica Station and multiple New York City subway lines. For our out-of-town patients, we are also close to Kennedy and Laguardia airports. Our main entrance is just off Jamaica Avenue on 147th Street. Look for our blue awning.
Click here for more out-of-town patient information

GET DIRECTIONS THROUGH

Our Clinic
LaGuardia Airport

By Car:  We are 15-20 minutes away from LaGuardia Airport, approximately 6.2 miles.  Get directions here.

JFK International Airport

We are 15-20 minutes away from John F. Kennedy International Airport, approximately 4.5 miles.   Get directions here.

Penn Station

By Car:  Our Clinic is approximately 1 hour away from Pennsylvania Station Amtrak Train, approximately 13 miles.  Get directions by car.
By Train: Long Island Rail Road operates a train from New York Penn Station to Jamaica every 10 minutes. The journey takes 21 min. Get directions.

Additional Info

CHOICES understands and respects that not every person with the capacity for pregnancy identifies as a woman. We respect each individual’s gender identity, expression, and experience, and desire to be helpful and compassionate to all who need information about abortion or support.  As an expression of this concern, CHOICES initiated the first Trans Health Care Program in New York State in 2016.

While we do make an effort to use gender-inclusive language (person/people/they/them/patient) throughout our website, we do of course use woman/women/girls. We do so in order to acknowledge the long history of gender discrimination targeting women, the specialized health care that we provide, our experience with hundred of thousands of women using our services and the biological reality that only people with uteruses are biologically capable of become pregnant and carrying a fetus.

CHOICES believes that cost should never keep a person from having access to health care. If you’re asking, “Where can I get free or low-cost health services?” our Financial Counselors can help you apply on-site to government programs that can cover your medical care. You can apply in the morning and get services that same day. We take most insurances and work closely with nonprofits that fund abortion services and help with transportation and overnight housing for patients who need it. We take credit cards, cash and can arrange payment plans. Learn More Here.

CHOICES will never turn patients away simply because they can’t afford care. If you’re one of the many people wondering, “Where can I get free or low-cost health services?” staff members will help create a financial plan that suits each patient’s individual circumstances, including Emergency Medicaid, because no one should have to compromise the quality of their health care due to their economic status. Learn More Here.

CHOICES accepts most private insurances, subject to verification:

  • Affinity
  • Cigna
  • Empire BCBS
  • Health first
  • Medicaid
  • Medicare
  • Wellcare
  • And many more!
 

We are currently hiring for multiple full and part-time positions. Learn more on our Indeed Page.

If you live in a state where you can’t get an abortion, Choices Women’s Medical Center, founded in 1971, can provide you with an immediate, safe, and confidential appointment for abortion up to 24 weeks. 

With the new changes to laws, it has become difficult, if not impossible to receive an abortion in many states. We will help you come to CHOICES to receive the highest quality abortion care. We can help you with travel details including airfare and housing, the costs of your trip, and the cost of your abortion.

Our Out-of-Town Program was created with your needs in mind. In most cases, you can get an appointment within 1-3 days. New York State allows abortion up to 24 weeks with NO limitations. NO age restrictions. NO requirements that you notify parents or partners, NO waiting periods.

Learn More Here.

Woman entrepreneur working from home.

Schedule Your Appointment

Our team of board-certified medical professionals and support staff offer safe, trusted, comprehensive care and services at the highest level. Our state-of-the-art facility is located in the heart of Jamaica Queens, NY.

Schedule an appointment with CHOICES today.