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Pregnancy do's and don't's

Pregnancy is an exciting time, but can also be nerve-wracking. You might find yourself worrying about what you should and should not do while pregnant. The good news is most normal activities and most common foods are perfectly safe while pregnant. However, there are some things you should avoid or take extra caution with while pregnant.

Smoking, alcohol and recreational drug use are never good for you, but when you are pregnant it is even more important to avoid these things. If you need help quitting any of these substances, please mention this at your next appointment and we will connect you with the resources you need.

Exercise

Exercise during pregnancy is good for both you and your baby! It can help your baby from growing too big and can stop you from gaining too much weight as well. Exercise has also been shown to make labor faster, easier and more comfortable. 

If you have been exercising before pregnancy, you can continue your exercise routine. If you want to begin exercising, start slowly and gradually work up to 30-40 minutes of exercise daily.

Exercise until you are short of breath, but not out of breath. Drink more water than you normally would as you might sweat more. After your fifth month, avoid exercises that involve lying on your back as that can limit blood flow to your baby.

In general, avoid exercises that could lead to falls. Also avoid contact sports, horseback riding, skiing, SCUBA diving and rock climbing. Recommended exercises include walking, hiking, cycling (not mountain biking), yoga, pilates, swimming and low-impact aerobics.

Travel

Traveling by car, bus, train or plane is safe for healthy pregnant women. We recommend not flying past your 32nd week, and not taking long trips (more than 90 miles from home) past your 35th week.

Always wear your seatbelt. Your lap belt should be worn low across your hips and your shoulder belt should go between your breasts. Drink lots of fluids and eat healthy snacks while traveling. Bring loose-fitting shoes in case your feet swell. And plan to stand up and walk around at least each 90 minutes.

Sexual activity

Sexual activity during pregnancy is typically safe. Do not have sex if you are having new or unexplained vaginal or abdominal pain, blood or fluid leaking from your vagina or if your doctor has advised you against sexual activity for any other reason.

Foods

During pregnancy, certain foods should be limited or avoided, including:

  • Seafood should be limited to 12 ounces or less per week, including canned tuna; shellfish is fine to eat.
  • Caffeinated beverages should be limited to three 8-ounce servings or less per day.
  • Nutrasweet, Splenda and Sweet-n-Low should be limited to three servings daily.
  • Unpasteurized juices and dairy products should be avoided completely; it is fine to eat soft cheeses if the label says 'pasteurized.'
  • Raw meat, fish or shellfish should be completely avoided; cook until well done.
  • Deli meats and hot dogs should be heated until steaming.
  • Store-made salads (chicken salad, egg salad, tuna salad, seafood salad) should be avoided.
  • Herbs including black or blue cohosh, buckthorn, cascara, ephedra, feverfew, mandrake, mugwort, senna, tannsy, and yarrow can be harmful to a developing baby and should be avoided. Please ask us about any others you take or use.

Medications

When you are sick, it is important to make sure the medicine you take is safe for you and your baby. Medications on the following list are safe to take while pregnant:

Symptoms/Conditions Recommended Medications
Nausea and Vomiting Emetrol, Dramamine, Vitamin B-6, Ginger root, Uni- som+Vitamin B-6 (50mg 3 times a day)
Headache Extra-Strength Tylenol (max. 4000 mg/day)
Sinus Congestion, Cold and Flu Symptoms Sudafed, Tylenol Sinus, Tylenol Cold, Theraflu, Nyquil or Dayquil capsules (all of these should only be taken for no more than 5 days straight without notifying us)
Seasonal Allergies Benadryl, Claritin, Zyrtec
Cough Robitussin, Dimetap elixir, Guafenisen, Delsym
Heartburn Tums, Rolaids, Mylanta, Maalox, Pepcid Complete, Zantac, Prilosec OTC
Diarrhea Immodium, Kaopectate
Constipation WATER! Metamucil, Citrucel, Fibercon, Benefiber, Colace, Senakot, Calcium-based stool softeners, Miralax
Gas Pains Mylicon, Simethicon
Yeast Infections Monistat, Gyne-Lotrimin, Femstat, Vagistat
Leg Cramps WATER! Tums/calcium supplements, Gatorade, bananas
Rash Benadryl cream, 1% hydrocortisone cream
Lice Nix
Sore Throat Chloraseptic spray or lozenges
Cold Sores Valtrex
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