Frequently Asked Questions

What is the appropriate amount of weight gain during pregnancy?

If you are near your ideal body weight when you become pregnant, the recommended weight gain for pregnancy is 26 to 28 pounds. For women pregnant with more than one baby, the recommended weight gain varies depending on the number of babies and your pre-pregnancy weight. Please ask your doctor for specific information.

Is it safe to exercise during pregnancy?

Exercise plays an important role in maintaining good health and should be discussed with your doctor when you are pregnant. If you have been active, you may continue. Exercise at a pace where you can talk comfortably. Do not let your pulse exceed 140 beats per minute. You should not perform any exercise that pulls through the abdomen.

What are fetal movement counts?

Obstetricians frequently recommend fetal movement counts in the third trimester. Before beginning fetal movement counts you should be well-fed and hydrated. Lie on your side, without distractions, and count the baby’s movements. More than four movements in one hour can be considered reassuring.

What if I feel depressed after my baby is born?

Adjusting to life with a new baby can be emotionally challenging for mothers. Many women develop “baby blues” or post-partum depression. We encourage you to contact your doctor to discuss treatment options.

Why do I need a postpartum visit?

It is important that you receive a six-week postpartum checkup. During this visit we will evaluate your healing from the delivery and answer any questions you may have regarding contraception. We will also address any conditions that may have developed during your pregnancy.

Is it safe to use insect repellent while pregnant?

Yes, when used as recommended, most insect repellents are considered safe during pregnancy; however, it is best to use a product that does not contain DEET (N, N-ethyl-m-toluaminde or m-DET). When an insect repellent is applied directly to the skin, about 5 to 10 percent of the pesticide will be absorbed into your bloodstream. In most cases, this results in a very low exposure for your baby. When possible, apply the pesticide to your clothing rather than directly to your skin.

Is there any relief for Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)?

Here are some self-help tips to relieve Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS).


  • Exercise regularly
  • Wrap your legs in ace bandages, or wear compression stockings
  • Take iron supplements if your iron levels are low (Be sure to get tested first!)
  • Stand at work if possible
  • Reduce caffeine intake, particularly in the evenings
  • Keep a regular sleep schedule


  • Pace, walk, or jog for a few minutes to relieve discomfort
  • Stretch your legs, do knee bends, or rotate your ankles
  • Massage your legs
  • Relax with meditation, yoga, or deep breathing
  • Apply heat or cold (hot bath, cold compress or hot water bottle)
  • Lie on your side with a pillow between your knees

May I drink soft drinks?

Yes, in moderation.

What should I do for a cold?

Drink plenty of fluids, eat well and rest. A vaporizer may help. Tylenol, Sudafed, Dimetapp, and plain Robitussin are permitted as well as Vicks Vapor Rub and cough drops. (You will find a list of safe medications during pregnancy below).

May I be in a house if the interior is being painted?

Non-toxic paint in a well-ventilated area is ok; otherwise, you should avoid being around paint fumes.

Is it safe to get a perm or have my hair colored?

Both are ok after the first trimester if done in a well-ventilated area.

Are artificial sweeteners safe to use?

Avoid using Equal. Splenda may be consumed in moderation.

May I eat cold cuts or lunchmeat during my pregnancy?

There are at least two areas of concern in regard to eating lunch meats while you are pregnant: “nitrates” and “listeria”. Pre-packaged lunch meats often contain high levels of a preservative called sodium nitrate. There have been few studies related to the effect of sodium nitrates on pregnancy, but some experts suggest that nitrates may cause problems during pregnancy.

The biggest concern with lunch meats during pregnancy is the risk of listeria. Listeria is a bacteria that can be found in deli meats and processed foods. This bacteria can cause an illness known as Listeriosis, which can cause any number of problems during pregnancy. To avoid getting listeriosis from cold cuts, reheat the cold cuts until steaming.

In addition, avoid soft cheeses, refrigerated pates, uncooked seafood, and practice safe food handling.

What can I take for heartburn?

You may try Rolaids, Maalox, Tums or Mylanta. You can also try Pepcid AC or Zantac over the counter. (You will find a list of safe medications during pregnancy below).

May I travel?

If your pregnancy is uncomplicated, you may travel up to your 36th week. Plan to stop every two hours to stretch. After 36 weeks, check with your doctor. If you plan to fly, check with the airlines for any restrictions.

What do I do for hemorrhoids?

Purchase Anusol HC or Preparation H at the pharmacy and follow directions on the box. Use a bulk fiber such as Metamucil or Citrucel or a stool softener such as Senokot. (You will find a list of safe medications during pregnancy below).

May I take any medication for a headache?

Headaches are not uncommon during the first 17 weeks. If needed, plain or Extra Strength Tylenol may be used according to package directions. (You will find a list of safe medications during pregnancy below).

Are dental x-rays and Novocaine OK?

Local anesthesia is fine. Be certain your abdomen is shielded if it is absolutely necessary to have dental x-rays. You may call our office for a protocol that we can fax to your dentist’s office.

May I use a tanning booth?

Using a tanning booth is not recommended. Use sunscreen for outdoor activities.

May I use a hot tub?

Hot tub use is not recommended during pregnancy.

What if I’ve been exposed to chicken pox?

If you had chicken pox in the past, you have established immunity and there is no need for concern. If you have not had chicken pox and you are exposed to it, let your doctor know immediately.

If you are unsure if you have had chicken pox, inform your doctor. A blood test can be performed to see if you had chicken pox in the past. 

What symptoms should I report to my doctor?

Severe headaches, contractions, bleeding, cramping or any loss of fluid from the vagina, decreased movement of your baby, fever over 100.4 degrees, severe or sudden swelling (face, hands, ankles, or feet), or blurred vision should be reported to your doctor immediately. 

What can I do about constipation?

For constipation, try eating high fiber foods, such as:

  • Bran, whole grains, cereals
  • Fruit (fresh or dried)
  • Raw vegetables
  • Cooked vegetables
  • You may also try taking Metamucil, Citrucel, Fibercon, Milk of Magnesia, Colace, Miralax or Surfak. (You will find a list of safe medications during pregnancy below).

Can anything be done to stop morning sickness?

There are some measures you can take to help prevent or remedy morning sickness.

To PREVENT morning sickness, try the following suggestions:

  • Eat a piece of bread or a few crackers before you get out of bed in the morning or when you feel nauseated
  • Get out of bed slowly and avoid sudden movements
  • Have some yogurt, cottage cheese, juice or milk before you go to bed or before you get up
  • Eat several small meals during the day so your stomach doesn’t remain empty for long
  • Eat high protein foods (eggs, cheese, nuts, meat, etc)., as well as fruits and fruit juices
  • Drink soups and other liquids between meals instead of with meals
  • Avoid greasy or fried foods
  • Avoid spicy, heavily seasoned foods

To REMEDY morning sickness, try these suggestions:

  • Sip soda water (carbonated water) when you begin to feel nauseated
  • Take deep breaths
  • Drink spearmint, raspberry leaf, ginger or peppermint tea
  • Take Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine HCL) – 50 mg. in the morning and at noon; take 100 mg. in the evening
  • Emetrol can be purchased over the counter at any pharmacy and is safe to use 

I think I lost my mucous plug. Should I call my doctor?

The mucous plug (a clear, gelatinous blob-like barrier that has “corked” your cervix throughout your pregnancy) occasionally becomes dislodged as dilation and effacement begin. Though the passing of the plug (which not every woman experiences) is a sign that your body is preparing for the big day, it is not a reliable signal that the big day has arrived. Labor could still be several weeks away, with your cervix continuing to open gradually over that time. In other words, there’s no need to call your doctor or frantically pack your bags.

I have a pink mucous discharge. Does it mean labor’s about to start?

Passage of “bloody show,” a mucous discharge tinged pink or brown with blood, is usually a sign that your cervix is effacing and/or dilating and that the process that leads to delivery is well under way. Based on averages, chances are good that you’ll begin experiencing contractions within twenty-four to forty-eight hours; however, everyone’s timetable is different. Dilation could still be several days away.

SHOULD SUDDENLY BECOME BRIGHT RED, ESPECIALLY IF IT SEEMS TO AMOUNT TO MORE THAN AN OUNCE (ABOUT 2 TABLESPOONS), CONTACT YOUR DOCTOR IMMEDIATELY. Actual bleeding could indicate premature separation of the placenta or placenta previa, both of which require prompt medical attention.

What Medications Are Safe to Use During Pregnancy?

The following medications may be used only as needed after the 12th week of pregnancy:

  • Nasal congestion
  • Actifed, Sudafed, Afrin Nasal Spray (no longer than 3 days), Drixoral, Dimetapp, Tavist, Tavist D, Claritin, normal saline nasal spray
  • Cough
  • Robitussin, Robitussin DM, Robitussin cough drops
  • Sore throat
  • Chloraseptic lozenges, N’ice lozenges
  • Constipation
  • Milk of Magnesia, Metamucil, Colace, Citrucil, Senokot, Fibercon, Miralax
  • Diarrhea
  • Kaopectate or Kaopectate concentrate
  • Nausea
  • Unisom Night time Sleep Aide half tablet in the morning and a whole tablet at bedtime combined with vitamin B6 25mgs taken three times daily. May also try Emetrol syrup, Ginger Ale.
  • Headaches
  • Tylenol regular or extra strength, Excedrin Aspirin Free
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Anusol or Preparation H cream or suppository
  • Heartburn
  • Mylanta, Tums, Rolaids, Pepsid, Zantac
  • Cold sores
  • Lysine, Lecithin

What Is the Dental Protocol for Prenatal Patients?

X-rays are acceptable with the use of an abdominal shield.

Local anesthesia is permitted, but do not use sedatives.

Acceptable antibiotics:

  • Penicillin
  • Cephalosporins
  • Erythromycin
  • (No sulfa or ciprofloxins)

Acceptable pain relievers:

  • Percocet
  • Vicodin
  • (No aspirin or NSAIDS)

This website provides general medical information that should be used for informative and educational purposes only. Information found here should not be used as a substitute for the personal, professional medical advice of your physician. Do not begin any course of treatment without consulting a physician.