Smart Prenatal Care


Pregnancy Weight Gain and Diet

An average weight gain is 20-25 pounds. You should plan on gaining 0-5 pounds in the first 20 weeks (your baby will be one pound at this point), and 15-20 pounds in the second 20 weeks of pregnancy. There is no special diet (unless specified by your physician). Eating three to four healthy meals per day is ideal. Your minimal requirement is 1200 calories and should include vegetables, fruit, fish, chicken, and some beef. Try to avoid fried and fatty foods and sugar. You should also try to drink four, 8 oz. glasses of milk each day. (Skim milk is as good as whole milk but has less fat and calories.)

Exercising During Pregnancy

Exercise is also important. It may make you feel better during pregnancy and help strengthen muscles you may use in labor and delivery. The type of exercise depends on your pre-pregnancy condition. When you exercise, try to keep your pulse less than 140 beats per minute. If you go over this number, slow down and rest. Walking, swimming, bowling, non-impact or low impact aerobics, bicycling, and golfing are great ways to exercise. If you are used to a certain activity, you can usually continue. We prefer that you avoid water skiing, snowboarding, downhill skiing, jumping, horseback riding, and contact sports where you could easily injure yourself. You should also not lift more than 30 pounds during your pregnancy.

Be careful of excessive heat. Do NOT use saunas. A hot tub is fine if the temperature is below 100°F. When your temperature goes over 101°F, it can affect the baby’s neurological development.

Travel During Pregnancy

With most women, traveling is fine until 32 weeks of pregnancy (two months before the due date). After that, stay within two hours (by car) of the hospital. Bathing and showering are safe during pregnancy. Intercourse is safe throughout pregnancy, as long as there is no bleeding or signs of other problems.

Managing Pregnancy Sick Days

During pregnancy, your immune system is suppressed in order to maintain the pregnancy. Because of this, you tend to catch every cold and cough you are exposed to. Try to avoid sick people and get plenty of rest. If you do get sick, it is safe to take Tylenol for fever, aches, and pains. Sudafed is safe for congestion and Robitussin is safe for a cough. If you have diarrhea, Imodium is safe. It will take longer than usual to recover. If you do not get relief from over-the-counter medication, your OB/GYN or primary care physician must evaluate you. Tums is safe to take for heartburn, and is also a good source of calcium.

Pregnancy Vitamins and Sleep Positions

At approximately 20 weeks (halfway point), you should feel the baby move. At this time, we will also add iron to your prenatal vitamin to prevent you from becoming anemic. Also at 20 weeks, the size of your uterus will be at the level of your belly button. At this time, we ask that you lay on either your right or left side and avoid lying on your back. The reason for this is that your uterus will lie on the aorta and can decrease blood flow to your baby.

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