Partnering with expectant parents to provide care and guidance throughout pregnancy, delivery and recovery.
The experienced OB-GYNs and staff of Hoffman and Associates in Baltimore, Maryland understand the importance of caring for and easing the minds of expectant mothers and their families in preparation for their newborn babies. Our physicians take great pride in joining these families during the special moments enjoyed during pregnancy and have dedicated their careers to helping families grow through the miracle of birth.
Hoffman and Associates’ family-centered approach to pregnancy and birth is focused on meeting the expectations of mothers and their families while building strong doctor-patient relationships that aid in successful pregnancies.
Your Guide from Day One
The OB-GYNs of Hoffman and Associates are with you from day one to guide and support expectant mothers through each stage of pregnancy. We are committed to ensuring each woman has the knowledge and care they need, so that they are comfortable throughout the process and focused on their well-being. We offer opportunities and encourage patients to meet, in our offices, all of the doctors on staff, and we provide a member of our practice on call at Mercy Medical Center 24-hours a day, 7 days a week.
Routine Visits and Examinations
The continued health of expectant mothers and their babies is our top priority. Throughout the process, patients will be seen regularly in the office by our OB-GYNs. In early pregnancy, expectant mothers are seen every 4-5 weeks. These routine visits increase to 2-3 week intervals around 28 weeks, and by 35 weeks, patients are typically seen weekly.
During these appointments, patients and their babies are monitored closely through routine examinations. At each visit, patients will be weighed and have their blood pressure checked. After 12 weeks, expectant mothers also will have opportunities to listen to their baby’s heartbeat. Other routine tests and examinations may include the following:
- Pelvic exam
- Pap test
- Cultures and urine testing
- Blood work
Throughout each of these visits, patients and their partners are encouraged to ask questions and share their concerns with our OB-GYNs and staff.
Affiliation with Mercy Medical Center
Hoffman and Associates’ affiliation with Mercy Medical Center's Family Childbirth and Children's Center offers women and their families access to Mercy’s state-of-the-art Mary Catherine Bunting Center. The Center’s services and amenities, including spacious, all-private rooms; combined with our compassionate care and top quality expertise have made Hoffman and Associates a Baltimore-area leader in obstetric care.
Advanced Fetal Care
Hoffman and Associates provides advanced diagnostic services and continued monitoring of the health and well-being of mothers and their babies through Mercy’s Center for Advanced Fetal Care. Mothers-to-be are counseled on a variety of health issues, including weight management, high blood pressure and other predisposing factors that could lead to early labor, that may affect pregnancy.
Expectant Parent Resources
Facility tours of the Labor and Delivery and Mother-Baby Units at Mercy Medical Center are available for expectant parents. Expectant parents also may take advantage of Childbirth, Breastfeeding and Infant Care classes made available through the hospital.
Labor and Delivery Care
Our OB-GYNs utilize the advanced features of Mercy’s state-of-the-art Labor and Delivery Unit to cater to the individual needs of each family and make childbirth a positive experience. Our team of OB-GYNs encourages patients to have the delivery that they desire: epidurals or no pain medication, laboring in the tub or laboring in the bed, walking around or utilizing birthing balls.
Additionally, when medically possible, Hoffman and Associates is one of the few practices in the area that will allow a woman a trial of labor after cesarean section (TOLAC), as well external cephalic version, where a women whose infant is in a breech position has the opportunity to attempt to turn the infant into a head down position prior to labor. Our goal is a successful and healthy experience that will be cherished by the entire family.
The OB-GYNs of Hoffman and Associates know the excitement, joy and uncertainty experienced by new mothers and their families. We also understand the importance of having trust and confidence in your OB-GYN and care team. Our mission is to serve the immediate needs of mothers and their families following childbirth, so they can focus on their new additions.
Our obstetricians will visit you in Mercy’s Mother-Baby Unit, a warm and inviting setting for mothers, fathers, newborns and visiting family members. The large, private rooms offer additional security, nursery assistance and a number of special amenities to make your first moments with your baby more comfortable.
During your stay, you’ll have access to various personnel to answer your questions and help you through your new experience. Lactation consultants are available for those who wish to breastfeed, and nurses and staff will guide you through the process of circumcision and additional routine care.
NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit)
Should your baby need it, Mercy’s NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) is a Level III-B intensive care nursery that offers comprehensive care for babies born prematurely, babies born with congenital anomalies and babies requiring special monitoring and care.
Continued Gynecologic Wellness
Continued gynecologic wellness through routine visits and examinations is highly recommended for women following pregnancy and birth. Our OB-GYNs provide these comprehensive gynecologic services and diagnostic tests for each stage of a woman’s life. We encourage patients to take advantage of the relationships that have developed over the course of their pregnancies, and we hope that they’ll continue to make Hoffman and Associates a part of their overall health care.
We will plan to see you in the office roughly every 4 weeks until you get to 28 weeks, then every 2-3 weeks until 37 weeks, then every week. You will have your blood drawn at the 8-10 week visit, at 15-20 weeks for second trimester markers, and around 28 weeks to check for gestational diabetes and anemia. You will have an ultrasound at 18-20 weeks to make sure the baby is developing normally at a radiology center. Usually they will be able to tell you the sex of the baby if you are interested. We do not do that in our office. If everything looks fine, that may be the only formal ultrasound during the pregnancy or gynecologic conditions when necessary.
You may take regular or extra strength Tylenol (NOT cold or flu), use a saline nasal rinse and cool mist humidifier, and stay properly hydrated. However, if your fever rises over 101˚F, please call us. A high fever can be dangerous to your baby.
Nausea is common early in pregnancy. You can try to minimize it by eating frequent small meals or snacks, because an empty stomach makes nausea worse. It may help to keep some crackers next to your bed to eat before you get up in the morning. Sucking on a lollipop or hard candy can help as well. Concentrate on drinking enough liquids, especially water and juice. The nausea usually improves by 12 weeks, so hang in there!
Let us know if you can’t keep any food down or if you are losing weight. Avoid foods that trigger your nausea, such as fatty foods, red meat, fast food, etc. Don’t worry about not getting enough calcium or fruit during this time; you’ll make up for it later. Many women find that their prenatal vitamin makes the nausea worse. Try taking it at bedtime. If you still can’t take it, wait until you are past 12 weeks. We may recommend taking a children’s chewable vitamin (2 tablets a day) if you can’t take the prenatal vitamins.
It is important to eat a healthy diet during pregnancy, including lots of fresh fruit and vegetables. The FDA has advised that you avoid eating shark, swordfish, king mackerel and tilefish during pregnancy. The mercury levels in these fish are high enough to affect your baby’s brain development. They recommend no more than one can of albacore tuna per week, but canned light tuna is fine. There is no evidence that moderate amounts of caffeine will harm your baby. You should limit yourself to no more than two and a half cups of coffee or soda a day. Toxoplasmosis can be transmitted in raw meat, so avoid eating any raw meat during your pregnancy.
Exercise is important in a healthy pregnancy. If your pregnancy is uncomplicated, you are encouraged to exercise 30-45 minutes a day on most days of the week. Avoid very strenuous exercise or increasing your level of exercise quickly. You should stop exercising if you feel dizzy, develop a headache, chest pain or vaginal bleeding, or notice contractions. We recommend that you avoid activities that could involve falling and trauma to your abdomen, such as downhill skiing, horseback riding and gymnastics. Scuba diving is dangerous to your baby and should be avoided throughout pregnancy. Yoga is wonderful exercise, but certain positions are not recommended for pregnant women after 20 weeks. There are many pregnancy yoga classes available that are safe.
Please wear your seat belt at all times when you are in the car. As your belly gets bigger, put the lap belt over your hips instead of across you abdomen. The risk of injury from being thrown from the car in an accident is much greater than the risk of injury from the seatbelt. If you are in a car accident, please let us know.
Travel is generally safe during pregnancy. We are now recommending a baby aspirin (81mg) a few days before, during and a few days after your trip if it involves a car ride longer than 3 hours or any plan ride. If you take a long car trip, you should stop every 2-3 hours to walk around to prevent blood clots. If your pregnancy is uncomplicated and you have no chronic medical conditions, you can travel on airplanes up to 36 weeks. Most airlines will not allow international travel after 35 weeks. Many airlines will require documentation of gestational age. We will be happy to give this to you. Because air turbulence can be unexpected and there is a risk of trauma, you should wear your seat belt at all times. If the trip is long, you should walk around every few hours to prevent blood clots, and you may want to wear support hose to minimize swelling of your feet and ankles. Take into consideration the timing of your travel. We don’t want to risk you delivering far from home!
Please continue your regular dental care. Dental care during pregnancy is important, because gingivitis has been linked to preterm delivery. It is safe to have dental X-rays taken as long as they put a shield over your belly.
We recommend that you avoid tanning during pregnancy. In addition, there is a questionable link between hot tub use and miscarriage, so we recommend you avoid the hot tub during your first trimester. After that, do not stay in more than 10 minutes, and if possible, turn the temperature below 100˚ F.
If you have a cat, you should not change the litter box until your initial labs come back. Contact with cat feces could expose you to toxoplasmosis, a virus that could affect your baby. We will check to see if you are immune to this virus at your first visit. If you are immune, you may continue to change the litter box. If you are not immune, you will need to have someone else change the litter. If no one else is available to change the litter box, you should wear disposable gloves and a face mask and change it every day.
Hair coloring, dyes and perms are all OK during pregnancy.