Your Pregnancy

Advice on Pregnancy

  • Drink water. Approximately 8-10 glasses a day.
  • Drink your milk. Your baby and your bones need 5 glasses of milk a day or 1500mg of calcium. 8oz of milk or yogurt or cottage cheese contains 300mg. You can substitute calcium supplements for milk: try Tums ultra, oscal citracel or viactiv.
  • Babies are made out of water, calcium and protein. Your protein goal is 8 oz of meat daily. You can eat chicken, beef, turkey, fish (tuna and salmon are best), eggs, soy. Snack on protein throughout the day: cheese, peanut butter, nuts hard boiled eggs, protein bars and protein shakes.
  • Although you may eat fish when you are pregnant, you should limit your fish intake to 12 ounces a week. Do not eat shark or swordfish because they may contain more mercury than may be safe in pregnancy. All fish that you eat should be cooked. Shellfish is ok.
  • A daily prenatal vitamin prevents some birth defects and corrects anemia. Do not take your vitamin with milk, tums or an antacid.
  • Consider an Omega 3 (fish oil or DHA) supplement. This oil is essential for your baby’s brain growth and may help keep your blood pressure normal.
  • Get more fiber in your diet to prevent constipation such as Raisin bran, apples, and raw vegetables. Products that help: Metamucil, Citracel or Fibercon.
  • 10 oz of caffeine (less than 100mg) a day of coffee or tea is okay.
  • Smoking damages your baby’s brain development by significantly diminishing blood and oxygen flow to the uterus for an hour after every cigarette. Cut down and quit. Nicotine lozenges or gum may be helpful. Do not use the nicotine patch.
  • Healthy weight gain is 25-30 lbs. Ideally you will gain:
    3 pounds in the first 3 months (100 calories a day)
    6-8 pounds in the second three months (300 calories a day)
    1 pound a week in the third trimester (500 calories a day)
  • Sleep 8 hours a night. Wind down an hour before bed. Avoid caffeine after noon. On a day off sleep in until you wake up. Listen to your body. If possible take an afternoon nap. Rest revives you, boosts your immunity, and gives your body the energy to grow a healthy pregnancy.
  • Exercise for 20 minutes, three times a week. Exercise raises your heart rate and will burn calories, strengthen your muscles, make your bowels work better, and improve sleep and sense of wellbeing. Try a brisk walk or swim. There is no need to do high impact aerobics during pregnancy. Don’t forget to warm up, cool off and drink plenty of water. Keep your heart rate under 140.

Food Safety Cheat Sheet

  • Raw and undercooked foods
    The issue: Some raw foods can cause listeriosis, salmonellosis, and other illnesses that may lead to miscarriage or serious health problems for your baby.
    What’s OK: Well-done meats, poultry and fish; vegetarian sushi, deli meats and hot dogs that have been reheated to steaming in a microwave; canned or shelf-stable pates and meat spreads.
    What to avoid: Any of the above items that have not been cooked to the proper temperature; raw sprouts (including radishes); raw shellfish; raw eggs
  • Fish
    The issue: Certain fish may contain high levels of mercury, which can contribute to developmental delays. Farm-raised fish may be contaminated with PCBs (cancer causing agents) and other toxins.
    What’s OK: You can safely consume up to 12 ounces a week of wild salmon (not farm raised), sea bass, shrimp, sole, snapper, flounder, catfish, cod, haddock, sardines, tilapia, ocean perch, and Pollack. Restrict tuna to the “chunk light” canned variety and no more than six ounces a week. Canned or shelf salmon is safe.
    What to avoid: Swordfish, shark, king mackerel, tilefish, and fresh (as well as canned albacore) tuna; raw sushi and raw shellfish; refrigerated smoked seafood such as lox, trout and whitefish (unless cooked as an ingredient in another dish)
  • Cheese and Dairy products
    The issue: Raw and unpasteurized dairy products can cause listeriosis, salmonellosis, and other foodborne illness.
    What’s OK: Pasteurized milk and yogurts and well cooked eggs and hard cheeses
    What to avoid: Raw milk and dairy products (cheese, yogurt) made with raw milk; soft cheeses such as Brie, feta, camembert, Danish blue, Roquefort, and mexican style queso blanco and queso fresco (unless it is clearly marked as pasteurized); uncooked foods with raw eggs (such as salad dressings or shakes)
  • Caffeine/Herbal teas
    The issue: Caffeine can cross the placenta and affect the fetal heart rate and respiration. Certain herbs cause adverse reactions, and some teas are not regulated, so you can’t be sure of the herbs concentration.
    What’s OK: Up to 300mg of caffeine a day (an 8oz cup of coffee has 150mg, 12 oz can of soda has 35-50mg and 8oz cup of black tea has about 40mg); flavored decaffeinated teas in filtered bags (citrus, ginger, peppermint)
    What to avoid: Teas made with goldenseal, black or blue cohosh, ephedra, dong quai, feverfew, juniper, pennyroyal, St. John’s Wort, rosemary or thuja
  • Artificial Sweeteners
    The issue: they cause no known harm to babies in utero. Still, some experts caution against them.
    What’s OK: Saccharin, aspartame, and splenda in moderate amounts
    What to avoid: drinking lots of nutritionally void diet drinks instead of healthier one like water and juice

Safe Medications for Pregnancy and Lactation

  • Pain, fever
    Tylenol 650-1000 mg. Every 6 hours as needed
  • Nasal congestion, sinus congestion
    Sudafed 30-60 mg every 6 hours. Do NOT use in first trimester or during breastfeeding.
    Afrin 12 hours nasal spray at bedtime. Not more than three days in a row.
    Saline nasal spray
  • Allergies
    Benadryl 25 mg. Every 6-8 hours.
    Claritan daily. (Not Claritan D) or Zyrtec 10 mg. daily.
  • Cough
    Robitussin DM 2-4 teaspoons every 4-6 hours as needed.
    Dextromethoraphan every 4-6 hours as needed
    Any sore throat or cough lozenge is okay.
  • Constipation
    Fiber products: Metamucil, Citracel, Fibercon, Benefiber.
    Stool softeners: Colace, pericolace or senokot
  • Laxatives
    Castor oil, milk of magnesia, ex-lax, correctal, Fleets enema okay, Miralax as directed on bottle.
  • Diarrhea
    Immodium liquid or capsules as directed on the box. May use after 24 hours of diarrhea.
  • Gas
    Mylicon 80 mg or Gas-Ex: One chewable tablet after meals and at bedtime. .
  • Headache
    Tylenol 650mg every 6 hours as needed
    Excedrin Tension Headache (aspirin free)
    If your headache persists then call the office
  • Heartburn
    Tums EX or Ultra. One to two tablets at a time. Max: 8 per day.
    Mylanta or Maalox. Take as directed on bottle. Better choice if already burning
    Zantac 150 mg. After meals and bedtime. Great drug to prevent heartburn.
    Pepcid AC for heartburn after eating.
  • Nausea
    Dramamine or Unisom (doxylamine) as directed on package.
    VitaminB6 25mg up to three times a day
    Ginger or seaband motion sickness wrist bands
  • Insomnia
    Benadryl 25-50mg. one hour before bedtime.
    Tylenol PM, Unisom, Chamomile tea, melatonin, hot bath.
  • Hemorrhoids
    Anusol cream, tucks pads.
  • Yeast Infection
    7 day product like Monistat. Insert into vagina at any time in pregnancy
  • DO NOT use any aspirin products:
    • Excedrin, Kaopectate, Nyquil, Pepto-bismol.