FAQ’s of Pregnancy:
- Am I allowed to have sex during pregnancy? Yes, in a normal healthy pregnancy you are permitted to have sexual intercourse. You will not harm the baby. The baby is very well protected in your uterus.
- When should I start taking prenatal vitamins? Before you even start trying to conceive (if possible) and every day after that point. Folic acid aka folate is one of the most important vitamins needed during pregnancy. Your body needs folic acid prior to conception and in the very early stages of pregnancy to reduce the risk of neural tube disorders. This does NOT mean if you do not take it that you will automatically have a child with spinal bifida. However, getting 800 mg of folic acid will significantly reduce the risk. Folic acid is found in leafy greens, orange juice and enriched grains.
- Can I dye my hair?Yes, there is no evidence that dying your hair has any bad effects on the fetus. But if you are nervous about it then don’t do it.
- How much weight should I gain? If you are a normal weight then typically 25-35lbs. If you are overweight then 15-25lbs and if you are underweight 28-40lbs. If you are carrying twins or multiples it will be different.
- Can I exercise? Yes. You can exercise and it is great for you. It will help you gain a healthy amount of weight and can ward off backaches, headaches, etc. Some safe ones are walking, swimming and yoga. The general rule of thumb is not to overdo it. You don’t want to work out harder than you did before pregnancy. Also, avoid any exercises that require you to lie flat on your back. This can put pressure on your uterus.
- What foods should I avoid? You should avoid any fish high in mercury like swordfish, tilefish & shark. I usually stick to one serving a week of the seafood that is approved.
You should also avoid any raw fish like sushi.
Unpasteurized milk & cheese like gorgonzola & feta. However, be sure to check the labels. I noticed that many of the feta and gorgonzola cheese at my local grocery store were pasteurized!
Deli meats or hot dogs that have not been heated thoroughly. There is a risk of listeria with any deli meats or hotdogs. You can still eat them, but you should heat them until they are steaming hot.
Alcohol.. I avoid this almost completely. They have never been able to come up with a safe amount. Some say its ok to have a glass of wine here or there and others say to avoid it completely. I figure.. Why risk it?
Caffeine should be limited, especially in the first trimester because it can cause an increased risk in miscarriage. The general rule of thumb is to stick to 300mg a day or 1-2 cups of coffee a day.
- What other things should I avoid? You should be avoiding cat litter. There is a risk of toxoplasmosis which can be found in the feces of cats. Do not scoop the cat litter and always wash your hands after handling your cat. Toxoplasmosis can cause serious problems in a growing fetus. You should also avoid hot tubs, saunas, tanning or anything that will cause you to overheat. You should not be painting or handling cleaning products with heavy fumes. You should not get an X-ray and avoid rides at an amusement park. (Seems like a lot right?)
- When should I call the doctor? You should call your doctor if you have any signs that you are unsure about especially if it involves unusual bleeding or cramping. After 20 or so weeks if you have a decrease in fetal movements. Sometimes I can’t remember if I felt the baby move because it becomes so natural after awhile. I usually just try to have a bit of orange juice and usually that gets him moving. Other symptoms to call the doctor for include: difficulty breathing, fever over 100 degrees, persistent diarrhea/vomiting, blurred vision, fainting or excessive swelling. Do not be afraid to call and at least speak with a nurse.
- What is the best way to sleep? The best position is on your side with your knees slightly bent. I like to have a pillow between my knees as well. This takes a lot of the pressure off my back. Also, you want to make sure that you avoid sleeping on your back as this can put pressure on your uterus and it can also make you dizzy.
- Can I avoid stretch marks? The jury is still out on this one. Many professionals claim that you cannot prevent them, but some have proven otherwise. If you want to do your best to prevent them you want to drink a lot of water, USE BIO OIL… ( I swear by this) or some other stretch mark cream if you can and try not to gain too much weight too fast.
**I am not a medical professional or a doctor. These are just my suggestions and knowledge I have gained from my own research. Always consult with your physician.**