Pregnancy Guidelines

Now that you are pregnant there are a variety of measures you can take to help keep your baby healthy. We know that it is an established fact that good prenatal care contributes to the health of the mother and infant, so we urge you to keep your appointments and follow these guidelines.

 

Alcohol

We strongly encourage you not to drink now that you are pregnant. There's no evidence that a few drinks early in pregnancy is harmful, but continuing to drink once you know you are pregnant puts your baby at risk.

 

Caffeine Consumption

Limit caffeine (soda, coffee, tea) to 1 - 2 cups per day or try switching to decaffeinated products. More (three 8 oz. cups of coffee per day) may double your risk of miscarriage.

 

Folic Acid

The first 12 weeks of pregnancy is a crucial time for development. Folic acid (folate) 400mcg on a daily basis has been shown to decrease the risk of neural tube defect (spina bifida and anencephaly). Women with a history of neural tube defect or taking anti-epileptic medications need 4mgs of folic acid daily.

 

Eating Fish

Pregnant and lactating women should avoid eating certain fish because of their high levels of mercury that can be harmful to the baby's developing nervous system. These fish include shark, swordfish, king mackerel, tilefish and tuna (in the form of steaks or sushi). Canned tuna is fine but should be limited to 2 cans per week.

 

Exercise

Activities like brisk walking, swimming and stationary bicycling are good ways to keep in shape. Make sure your heart rate is no higher than 140 - 150 beats per minute. Also, be sure to keep yourself well-hydrated, drinking a large glass of water before and after exercise. You should avoid hot tubs and saunas.

 

General Eating

Good nutrition starts with simple foods - fruits, vegetables, breads/grains, dairy products and sources of protein (meat, fish, eggs). Avoid processed, fast and junk foods. Pay attention to the number of calories you consume and drink at least 6-8 glasses of water daily.

 

Medication

Although most medications are not harmful or risky to your baby, you should use them with caution, especially during the first 3 months, so please check with us first.

 

Sexual Activity

Although most medications are not harmful or risky to your baby, you should use them with caution, especially during the first 3 months, so please check with us first.

 

Smoking

If you smoke, you should quit. Babies born to smokers are smaller, and more prone to sickness.

 

Sugar Substitutes

The use of sugar substitutes in the form of aspartame (Equal, Nutrasweet) has shown no harmful effects. Saccharin use is not advised.

© Dr. Randy Zimmerman,  2016.