Pregnancy Information for Expectant Moms
A few tidbits of information that you may find useful to reference during the course of your pregnancy. Please refer to it as needed. Topics covered include:
- Safe medications to take during pregnancy for common complaints
- Hot tubs/Baths/Saunas
- Anticipated care for you and your baby throughout the pregnancy
- Other stuff: cat litter, caffeine, processed foods, sushi, aspirin
Medications that are safe to take during your pregnancy based on the symptom you are experiencing
Allergies, cold or flu-like symptoms:
- Saline nasal sprays
- Tylenol or Tylenol Cold
- Warm salt water gargles
- Sudafed, Actifed, Dristan, Neosynephrine that are NOT “SA” or “multi-symptom forms
- Robitussin DM, Trind-DM, Vicks Cough Syrup, Halls, Vicks vapor rub
- Ensure plenty of water intake daily and regular activity
- Metamucil, Fibercon, Fiberall, Citrucel
- Milk of Magnesia
- And if still no relief try a glycerin suppository
- For 24 hours only and after 12 weeks of pregnancy – Kaopectate, Imodium, or Parepectolin
First Aid Ointments
- Bacitracin, Neosporin, Hydrocortisone
- Small amount of caffeine if migrainous
- Milk will often do the trick otherwise…
- Maalox, Mylanta, Tums
- Zantac OTC
- Preparation H, Anusol, Tucks, Witch hazel
Nausea and Vomiting
- Small frequent meals – especially carbohydrates
- Ginger products such as ginger ale, ginger cookies/breads, ginger root
- Vitamin B – 25 – 100 mg daily
- Sea Bands
- Hydrocortisone cream or ointment
- Caladryl lotion or cream
- Benadryl topical
- Oatmeal baths
Vaginal Yeast Infections
- Monistat or Terazol
Sex is safe for both you and your baby during pregnancy unless you are told specifically by your doctor that it is not safe you. You may discover as you get further along that certain positions are more comfortable than others. Some women will become more interested in sex while others become less interested. How you respond is completely individualized. Do not have sex or stop if you experience vaginal or abdominal pain, or experience bleeding or leaking of fluid.
Traveling is safe during pregnancy either by car or plane. Here are some guidelines to follow:
- Wear your seatbelt
- Bring a pillow
- Drink lots of fluids – mostly water
- Wear comfortable clothes including footwear
- Plan to get up or out of the car every 1-2 hours to use the bathroom and move around in order to decrease risk of developing blood clots
- Unless there is an emergency do not plan on traveling after 35 weeks gestation. Airlines differ on rules about how late in a pregnancy a woman may fly. You may need a doctor’s note in late pregnancy to board a plane. Check with the airline if you are planning on traveling late in your pregnancy. Be sure to get clearance from your doctor before you make arrangements.
- It is never a bad idea to take a copy of pertinent medical information with you if you are planning to travel. These can be provided to you by your doctor’s office.
It is strongly recommended that you not use a hot tub until you are beyond 14 weeks of pregnancy. After that, you may use a hot tub safely as long as your core body temperature does not get ‘too high’. The way to monitor this is that if you are sweating while in the hot tub you and therefore your baby are too hot.
Exercising is great for you and your baby and is recommended unless your doctor advises specifically against it.
If you already exercise – you may continue to do so. After about 20 weeks (5 months) you will want to avoid exercises that require you to lay flat on your back, such as crunches. Stop if you get breathless. Drink more water to stay hydrated. Avoid exercises that could cause you to fall especially later in pregnancy when your center of gravity has changes.
If you do not already partake in a regular exercise program – you can start, just start slowly. Walking 15 minutes a day and increasing gradually to 45 minutes.
Anticipated care for you and your baby throughout the pregnancy
Women who have typical uncomplicated pregnancies are routinely seen in the office once a month from the beginning of the pregnancy until 28 weeks/7 months, then every two weeks until 36 weeks/8 months and then weekly thereafter.
At each visit you will be weighed, give a urine sample, have a blood pressure taken, and listen to the baby’s heartbeat. There are several special tests done throughout the pregnancy. These include routine blood work, Pap smear and cervical cultures usually at your first visit, an ultrasound around 20 weeks of pregnancy to look at the baby’s anatomy, a diabetes screening test between 25-28 weeks, and a vaginal/rectal swab to screen for Group B streptococcus near 36 weeks.
Other available tests that you will discuss with your doctor are a blood test drawn between 16-20 weeks that screens for chromosomal abnormalities such as Down’s syndrome, Cystic fibrosis screening and a number a various tests that may apply to you specifically because of being over 35 years old, or having a certain family history or ethnic background. These are discussed on an individual basis between you and your doctor.
- Do not use Aspirin products
- Caffeine is fine in small amounts – one cup of coffee; one can of soda – a day
- Painting is allowable – ensure good ventilation and consider wearing a mask
- Manicures and pedicures and messages/chiropractic care and hair coloring/highlighting are all considered safe
- Have someone else change the cat litter
- Sushi is okay in infrequent amounts (once a week) and from highly reputable servers where risks for infection would be low
- Oral health and dental procedures can continue as scheduled during pregnancy
- Topical insect repellants can be used in pregnancy and should be used in areas with high risk for insect-borne illnesses