Frequently Asked Questions

Q. I’m pregnant and I have a “cold.” What medication can I take to relieve my symptoms?

A. When you have a cold during pregnancy, it’s best for the symptoms to be treated individually. For coughing, Robitussin is suggested. Any cough suppressant that does not contain alcohol will also suffice. For a stuffy nose or sinus congestion humidifiers or vaporizers work well. Pseudoephedrine can also be used if you do not suffer from high blood pressure. For sore throat, cough drops and lozenges are fine. Multi-symptom medications are not recommended as they may contain other medications that are not safe.

Q. Is it safe to have sexual intercourse during pregnancy?

A. If your pregnancy is normal, sexual intercourse is completely safe during pregnancy. You may experience some spotting or light bleeding afterwards up to 48 hours. However, if your pregnancy has been classified as high risk for any reason, please ask your provider if it still safe.

Q. How many sonograms/ultrasounds will I have during my pregnancy?

A. For normal pregnancies, most insurance companies will allow for 2 ultrasounds during a pregnancy. For any more than the allowable, a medical indication is required. Insurance companies will not allow for ultrasounds to only determine the gender. If your pregnancy is high risk, or if you are being seen by a specialist, you may have more frequent ultrasounds.

Q. What foods should I avoid during pregnancy?

A. To avoid food borne illnesses such as salmonella poisoning, it recommended that you do not consume raw or undercooked meat, poultry, or seafood during pregnancy. Purchase all food products from reputable sources that use proper storage facilities. If you have purchased food products that have a strange odor or looks spoiled,please don’t risk your health by trying to salvage these products. Either return them to the facility where they were purchased or throw them out.

Q. What medicine can I take for heartburn during pregnancy?

A. Tums and Zantac are safe, over the counter remedies for heartburn. If you have GERD, you may need a prescription for treatment. Please ask your provider for details.

Q. I’m pregnant and I’m having trouble sleeping. Is there something I can take?

A. Insomnia during pregnancy is completely normal. During the first trimester most people experience extreme fatigue. During the second and third trimesters, most people experience multiple interruptions while they are trying to sleep due to discomforts and frequent urination. Again, these are normal findings. Taking sleep aids are not generally necessary and some of them can cause dependence.If you are experiencing sleep deprivation of more than 6 hours, Benadryl is a safe option that is available over the counter.

Q. Can I wear “high-heels” during pregnancy?

A. Yes, but they may be uncomfortable.

Q. Is it safe to exercise during pregnancy?

A. If you exercised regularly prior to becoming pregnant, there is no reason why you can’t continue to exercise during the pregnancy with some modifications. Try not to perform any exercise that you will have to maintain your balance for long periods of time. For example, bike riding requires total body balance during the time you are riding. Because your center of gravity is altered during pregnancy, you are more prone to falling when trying to maintain your balance. However, stationary bikes are fine in the early stages. Strength training can be done by adding leg weights when you are walking. For cardio workouts, try swimming. Jogging should be avoided from the second trimester onward. Any low impact exercises are also safe.

If you did not exercise regularly prior to becoming pregnant, pregnancy is not the time to start a vigorous exercise routine.

If you still have questions regarding exercise, please speak to your provider.

Q. How much more do I need to eat daily during my pregnancy?

A. A normal diet for a pregnant patient should include 3 full meals with 2 – 3 snacks per day. Only an extra 200 – 300 calories per day are needed during pregnancy. For example, it is recommended that an adult consume approximately 2000 calories per day. Therefore, a pregnant adult should consume approximately 2300 calories per day.

Q. What is “postpartum blues” vs postpartum depression?

A. Postpartum blues commonly known as baby blues is a temporary condition after childbirth where the mom may feel depressed, or not happy about the baby. She may also have feelings of inadequacy or failure. This is caused by the hormonal changes that occur after childbirth. However, they generally do not persist for more than 6 weeks. Typically no treatment is required.

When these feelings persist more than 6 weeks after giving birth, this is considered postpartum depression and treatment is required. Talk to your provider if you experience any of these feelings or if you have more questions.

Q. Is smoking safe during pregnancy?

A. No

Q. Is alcohol consumption safe during pregnancy?

A. No amount of alcohol is considered safe during pregnancy.

Q. How much weight is it safe to lift when I’m pregnant?

A. It is typically recommended that you do not lift more than 10 pounds from the second trimester onward.

Q. Can I get a full body massage while I’m pregnant?

A. There have been studies to suggest that full body massages can trigger pre-term labor during pregnancy. However, after the 36th week, it is considered safe.

Q. When is it safe to travel during pregnancy?

A. Short trips (less than 4 hours) are safe during any time. However, long trips are best completed prior to the 32nd week. This is because pregnant women are at a high risk of developing blood clots when they remain stationary for long periods of time. If you have long trips planned, take breaks during the trip to help your circulation. Air travel is safe until 36 weeks. Most airlines will require a letter from your provider for travel after the 36th week.

Q. Why do I experience back pain when I’m pregnant?

A. Your spine undergoes many changes during pregnancy to accommodate your enlarging abdomen. In general, this will cause low back pain. If you have back problems, you can expect them to flare up during pregnancy because of these changes.

Heating pads are safe to use as long as there is a temperature control mechanism.

Muscle relaxants are typically reserved for extreme cases.