Safe Medications during Pregnancy
- Pain, Headaches, Fever—Acetaminophen, Tylenol, Extra-Strength Tylenol
- Allergies, Colds, Cough— Benadryl, Zyrtec, Claritin, Sudafed, Actifed, Robitussin, Tylenol Sinus, Chloroseptic Lozenges, Nasal Saline Spray Heartburn
- Indigestion—Tums, Rolaids, Maalox, Mylanta, Pepcid
- Constipation—Increase Natural Fiber, Metamucil, Citrucel, Fibercon, Colace, Milk of Magnesia
- Diarrhea—Immodium, Non-Caffeinated Beverages, Bananas, Apple Sauce, Plain Toast
- Hemorrhoids—Preparation H, Anusol-HC, Hydrocortisone, Colace, Sitz Baths
Avoid the following:
- Swordfish, shark, king mackerel, tile fish, canned tuna (higher mercury levels) Raw fish, raw shellfish, raw oysters, raw clams (can cause severe food poisoning)
- Undercooked meat, poultry and seafood.
- Deli meats should not be unrefrigerated for longer than one hour. Store deli meats and cheese separately. Some women may choose to reheat deli meat prior to eating.
- Soft cheeses (such as Brie, feta, Camembert, Roquefort), unpasteurized dairy products
Continue with routine appointments or begin seeing a dentist if you have not been seen for regular check-ups. X-rays may be safely obtained by shielding the abdomen with a lead apron. Fillings, crowns, and root canals are safe procedures that are important to pregnancy and dental health. Local anesthetics, certain antibiotics and pain relievers may be used during pregnancy as advised by your dentist.
Car safety advice does not change for pregnant women. Always wear your seatbelt. The lap belt should rest under the pregnant abdomen and the shoulder strap should rest across the mid-sternum. Leave air bags turned on as the benefits outweigh the risks. If you are involved in a collision see a doctor even if you think it was just a minor accident.
Airplane travel is generally considered safe for women with a low risk pregnancy. Most doctors advise discontinuing international travel after 32 weeks and domestic travel after 34-35 weeks. The safest times to travel are during weeks 14-28. Wear loose, comfortable shoes and try to stretch or walk every two hours. Some women may want to consider wearing support hose.
Healthy weight gain is important for both mother and baby. Your ideal range is determined by your starting body mass index. Women who are underweight will gain 30-40 pounds over the course of their pregnancy, women who are already in their optimum BMI range will gain 25-35 pounds and women who are greater than their optimum BMI will gain 5-15 pounds.
Calorie requirements for pregnant women are only slightly higher than those for non-pregnant women. It is much more important for women to increase intake of fresh and leafy green vegetables, fruits and proteins than to increase overall calories. Pregnant women should try to eat frequent, smaller quantities throughout the day. Pregnant women should also consume 6-8 glasses of water daily, extra during periods of heat or strenuous exercise.
Routine exercise is a very important part to a healthy pregnancy. Women who exercise regularly during their pregnancies have fewer complications of gestational diabetes, are more likely to go into labor by their due date, are more likely to have an uncomplicated vaginal delivery and are more likely to have an easier recovery. In general, women may maintain pre-pregnancy exercise activities with some modifications. Consult your physician for specific recommendations. If a woman is just beginning to exercise, a simple 30 minute daily walking program is encouraged.
Want to learn more? The following websites are also great resources for common questions related to pregnancy.