Pregnancy – Do’s & Don’ts
Walking, yoga & swimming are great exercises for pregnant women, but most activity is OK, as long as you do not have pregnancy complications in which your doctor has restricted your activity. Avoid activities where you might hit your stomach (i.e. Waterskiing, snow skiing, rock climbing). Newer studies have found that exercise is so beneficial in pregnancy that even intense exercise is encouraged. For patients sedentary prior to pregnancy, it is recommended to start a moderate intensity exercise program, unless contraindicated by other health problems.
As pregnancy progresses, balance may become more of a problem. Your center of gravity has now shifted, so beware of the potential for falling, particularly with certain types of activity.
A well-balanced diet is important in pregnancy. Take a prenatal vitamin every day, make sure to get 1200 mg of calcium daily and drink plenty of water (at least 64 oz/day). Calorie requirements in pregnancy are only 300 calories more than when not pregnant; therefore, be careful not to overindulge. You will need three meals and 2-3 snacks daily.
Intercourse is OK in pregnancy unless your physician tells you otherwise. Certain positions may be more comfortable than others. As pregnancy progresses, you may notice cramping and low back pain after intercourse. This usually resolves within a few hours. You may also have a small amount of spotting. If, however, you have bleeding like a menstrual flow, go to labor & delivery at the hospital.
Stay close to home after 36 weeks gestation. If you travel after 20 weeks of pregnancy, make sure that you stop the car every 1-2 hours and walk around it; or walk the aisles of the airplane. This will help prevent blood clots in the legs, which occur more commonly in pregnancy.
If you have a cat, please do not change the litter box. This now becomes the job of your significant other. This is to prevent the transmission of toxoplasmosis to your baby. Toxoplasmosis may be excreted in cat feces and can become airborne when changing the litter, which then may be inhaled by you. It is fine to hold and cuddle with your pets, however.
Spotting after an exam or after intercourse may occur and is normal. If bleeding is more significant like a menstrual flow, especially if it is associated with pain, please call your doctor or proceed to the hospital.