Whether this is your first, second, or third baby, each pregnancy is always a brand new experience. With each baby you become a new parent.
Pregnancy can be an exciting, fulfilling, delightful time. It can also be a time of uncertainty and change. Everything seems to be changing. As a team, we will work together to make your pregnancy as healthy and as enjoyable as possible.
Tips To Help Prevent Nausea During Pregnancy
- Before getting out of bed in the morning, eat a few crackers, a handful of dry cereal, or a piece of toast or dry bread. Put these within reach of your bed the night before.
- Get up slowly in the morning and sit on the side of the bed for a few moments before standing up.
- Avoid any sudden movements.
- Eat six to eight small meals during the day. Never go for long periods of time without food and sit upright after meals.
- Eat foods that are high in long acting proteins such as milk, yogurt, cheese, peanut butter, and nuts.
- Try the “BRATT” diet (bananas, rice, applesauce, toast and tea) which is low in fat and easy to digest.
- Drink fluids, including soups, between rather than with meals.
- Avoid greasy, highly seasoned, and fried foods. These include butter, margarine, bacon, gravies, piecrust, pastries, fried meats, and french fries.
- Avoid unpleasant smells. When you cook, open windows or use the exhaust fan to get rid of odors. After cooking, wait for a short period of time before eating.
- Always eat a snack high in protein before bedtime.
- Be sure to have plenty of fresh air/good ventilation in the bedroom while sleeping.
- If the nausea is severe, avoid drinking citrus juice, coffee, and tea.
- Try eating popsicles if you are having difficulty keeping down liquids.
- Try ginger - gingerale made with real ginger, ginger tea made from fresh grated ginger, and ginger candies can help settle your queasy stomach.
- Doxylamine 25 mg tablet (Unisom tablet, not the gel or melt) one at bedtime combined with vitamin B6 25 three a day. This combination works best as a preventive, so take it routinely.
* If you have tried these steps and nausea/vomiting persists, please call your doctor’s office for further instructions.
Safe Medications in Pregnancy
Our first recommendation is to try non-drug treatments first, such as prune juice for constipation. If you do not get relief though, please use the following guidelines.
- Aches/Fever/Pains - Tylenol, DO NOT use Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), Naproxen (Aleve) or Aspirin
- Allergies - Claritin, Zyrtec, Allegra
- Cold/Sinuses - Sudafed, Saline Nasal Spray, Benadryl
- Constipation - Colace, Metamucil, Miralax, Probiotics
- Cough - Robitussin Plain (No DM), Vicks Vapor Rub
- Diarrhea - Kaopectate, Imodium AD
- Headache - Tylenol
- Heartburn - Mylanta, Maalox, Pepcid, Prilosec, Prevacid, Tums, Rolaids
- Hemorrhoids - Preparation H, Anusol, Tucks
- Indigestion - Tums/Rolaids, Mylanta, Simethicone
- Insomnia - Tylenol PM, Benadryl
- Nausea - Vitamin B6 (25 mg three times a day plus), Unisom at bedtime
- Sore Throat - Halls drops, Cepacol, Sucrets, Chloraseptic Spray and lozenges, Tylenol
- Yeast Infections - Monistat 7 and Gyne-Lotrimin
The average non-pregnant woman consumes about 2200 calories a day. A pregnant woman needs an extra 300 calories a day. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) suggest the following food guideline:
Number of Servings
Milk (1000 mg+ calcium supplement) ............ 4
Protein ............................................................. 3-4
Meat, Poultry, Fish .......................................... 2-3
Legumes/Nuts ................................................. 1-2
Fruits And Vegetables ....................................... 5
Vitamin C ............................................................ 2
Vitamin A ............................................................ 2
Other ................................................................... 1
Whole Grain Products ....................................... 4
Others ................................................................. 2
Ideal weight gain in pregnancy for an average weight woman is 25-35 pounds. That gain usually means 2-4 pounds the first trimester and a pound a week the second and third trimesters.
For the healthiest baby, an underweight woman should gain more weight and an overweight woman should gain less, maybe only 15 pounds. Excessive weight gain increases the chances of a large infant (macrosomia). Excessive weight gain also increases the chance of cesarean section even if the baby is not large, and may increase the chance of birth injury to the baby.
The average baby weighs . . . . . . . . . 7 1/2 lbs
The placenta . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 1/2 lbs
Increased fluid volume . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 lbs
Increased weight of uterus . . . . . . . . . 2 lbs
Increased weight of breast tissue . . . 2 lbs
Increased blood volume. . . . . . . . . . . 4 lbs
Maternal stores of nutrients. . . . . . . . . 7 lbs
Amniotic fluids . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 lbs
Total . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .30 lbs
Whatever goes into your body affects your baby, too. Avoid alcohol while you’re pregnant. Babies affected with fetal alcohol syndrome have mental and physical problems, including slow growth and development, small heads, abnormal eye features, and mental retardation.
It is safe to color your hair. You may also perm your hair but sometimes hair responds differently during pregnancy.
Caring for your teeth during pregnancy is very important and routine dental examination and treatment is encouraged. Due to hormonal changes, you are more susceptible to cavities, bleeding gums, and gum infections. Switching to a softer brush may help lessen irritation. Tell your dentist that you are pregnant. Local anesthesia injections are safe, but avoid general anesthesia/nitrous oxide. Use a lead apron if x-rays are necessary.
If your pregnancy is uncomplicated and you are in good health, you should be active and exercise. Common sense should guide you. When an activity, especially in late pregnancy, is associated with significant discomfort, it should be discontinued. Your heart rate should remain below 140 beats per minute. If you are not used to exercise, increase your level gradually. Walking and swimming are excellent forms of exercise.
Water intake is especially important if exercising in pregnancy. Increase your water intake to stay hydrated.
Benefits of exercise in pregnancy:
- Reduces backaches, constipation, bloating and swelling
- Boosts your mood
- Promotes muscle tone, strength and endurance
- Helps you sleep better
Sports to avoid:
Downhill snow skiing, in-line skating, gymnastics, horseback riding, all contact sports (hockey, soccer, basketball and volleyball), scuba diving
For more information follow the links below:
- Nutrition During Pregnancy
- Car Safety for Pregnant Women, Babies, and Children
- The Rh Factor: How It Can Affect Your Pregnancy
- A Father's Guide to Pregnancy
- Preeclampsia and High Blood Pressure During Pregnancy
- Bleeding During Pregnancy
- Travel During Pregnancy
- Good Health Before Pregnancy: Preconception Care
- Having a Baby After Age 35
- What to Expect After Your Due Date
- If Your Baby is Breech
- Early Pregnancy Loss (Miscarriage)
- Having Twins
- Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C in Pregnancy
- Genetic Disorders
- Special Tests for Monitoring Fetal Health
- Repeated Miscarriages
- Group B Strep and Pregnancy
- HIV and Pregnancy
- Back Pain During Pregnancy
- Exercise During Pregnancy
- Morning Sickness
- Seizure Disorders in Pregnancy
- Routine Tests During Pregnancy
- Reducing Risks of Birth Defects
- Ectopic Pregnancy
- Prenatal Development: How Your Baby Grows During Pregnancy
- Diagnostic Tests for Birth Defects
- Screening Tests for Birth Defects
- Pregnancy Choices -- Raising the Baby, Adoption, and Abortion
- Skin Conditions During Pregnancy
- Tobacco, Alcohol, Drugs, and Pregnancy
- Cystic Fibrosis: Prenatal Screening and Diagnosis
- Cord Blood Banking
- Early Preterm Birth
- A Healthy Pregnancy for Women with Diabetes
- Gestational Diabetes
- Preconception Carrier Screening
- Obesity and Pregnancy
You should avoid consuming large amounts of caffeine. Recent studies have found that women who consume the equivalent of 2 or more cups of coffee per day are at an increased risk for miscarriage, preterm labor and low birth weight. Caffeine is a stimulant, so it increases your heart rate, and may cause insomnia, headaches,and heartburn.
Most pregnant women will first feel their baby move between 16-24 weeks. Being attentive to your baby’s movements will help you notice changes. Set aside the same time every day when you know your baby is active to monitor your baby’s movements. This may help to identify potential problems. It is recommended to start counting fetal movements at 28 weeks. Generally, babies are most active after eating a meal, or something sweet. You should feel your baby move 5-6 times per hour. If you are concerned with your baby’s movement, get a snack and a drink. Then lay on your side and count movements. If your baby does not move 5-6 times within an hour of eating and resting, notify your physician.
Please avoid these due to the risk of overheating. However, warm baths are safe during pregnancy.
You may paint or have your nails done professionally.
We recommend that you use only latex paint and that you avoid paint strippers. Keep the area well ventilated where you are cleaning or painting.
Seafood is a great source of DHA, which helps build your baby’s brain and eyes. You should limit yourself to 2-3 servings of seafood each week. The only fish to avoid are shark, swordfish, king mackerel, tilefish, and sushi.
For healthy pregnant women without complications, sex is safe up to delivery, unless if restricted by your physician.
Please DO NOT smoke during pregnancy. Tobacco smoke is a major source of carbon monoxide, which can interfere with the oxygen supply to the fetus. Your baby will have twice the level of carbon monoxide that you have. Smoking increases the risk of premature delivery, stillborn infants and miscarriages. Smoking even results in an increased risk for SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).
Swimming is fine, and may be helpful for sore muscles, back pain, and swelling. Sunburn can make you feel terrible during pregnancy. Always use sunscreen. Swimming in a lake, ocean, or pool is all safe.
Tanning beds are not healthy for you anytime, and should be avoided in pregnancy.
You should avoid cleaning cat litter boxes and eating undercooked meat due to the risk of exposure to toxoplasmosis. This is a potentially harmful infection, which could cause your unborn baby to suffer permanent eye and neurological damage.
Travel during pregnancy is not considered harmful for a normal pregnancy, but long, tiresome trips should be avoided. We recommend that you do not fly after 36 weeks of pregnancy. When you travel by car, wear your seatbelt low over your hips. Limit driving to 5-6 hours per day. Stop every one-two hours to stretch, drink water and empty your bladder.