Frequently Asked Questions

I am taking medications for disease during pregnancy; should I continue taking them?

Some medications are known to cause side effects when used by a pregnant woman and affect the health of the baby. Hence, it is important to inform the doctor about the disorders you are suffering from and the medications you are taking for the same. Also, if you develop any symptoms during pregnancy, you should consult the doctor before taking any medicine, including pain relievers or over-the-counter medicines.

How long can I keep working while pregnant?

Most women are able to maintain their focus on their career and continue working till the date of the delivery. However, this depends on your overall health, the diseases you may be suffering from, the kind of work you are doing, and whether you're exposed to anything at the workplace that could harm the fetus. However, it is important to take extra precautions while traveling to the workplace and managing the career to avoid accidental falls or undue stress.

Can I exercise during pregnancy?

Yes, you can perform non-impact exercises like walking and stretches during pregnancy. Regular exercises cannot just help to prevent excess weight gain during pregnancy but also help to ease the labor. However, it is advisable to consult a physician about the exercises that can be practiced safely without causing strain or pressure on the abdominal region. Also, they must stop their physical activities in case they experience any discomfort. Women, who didn't exercise before conception, should begin slowly.

Is it okay to have sex during pregnancy?

Yes. In fact, most women experience an increase in their sex drive during pregnancy. You can try different positions, such as being on top or on your side, to avoid putting pressure on the abdomen during the performance. However, sexual activity is not advised in high-risk pregnancies.

How can I avoid morning sickness during pregnancy?

Morning sickness is a common symptom of pregnancy. It usually occurs in the first trimester. You can try eating frequent, small meals to avoid this symptom. You should also avoid greasy foods and eat dry snacks like crackers to prevent nausea and vomiting.

Are recreational drugs safe during pregnancy?

No, recreational drugs can pose a high risk of miscarriage, birth defects, poor growth, preterm labor, and other complications when consumed by a pregnant woman. It can also increase the risk of behavioral and learning problems in the baby. Hence, it's extremely important to stop the use of recreational drugs during pregnancy.

Can I consider smoking just one or two cigarettes per day during pregnancy?

No, smoking even a single cigarette can affect the health of the fetus. Pregnant women, who have been smoking, should quit the habit and avoid lighting even one cigarette. Smoking by the pregnant mother can cause nicotine, carbon monoxide, and other harmful chemicals to be passed to the growing baby. It can cause complications like stillbirth, premature birth, low birth weight, and sudden infant death syndrome.

Likewise, you should also avoid the people who are smoking as passive smoking can also cause harm to your baby.

Is it safe to use hair dyes during pregnancy?

Yes. Since very little hair dye is absorbed through the scalp, dying the hair is considered safe during pregnancy.

I feel too tired and weak, what should I do?

Extreme tiredness during pregnancy can be a sign of anemia. You can take iron supplements and eat foods containing high amounts of iron to treat this problem. Tiredness may also be the result of a lack of proper rest and sleep. Make sure you get enough rest and take a short nap during the daytime, if possible.

I am tired of getting up again and again in the night to pass urine during pregnancy; why is this happening?

Urinating more often throughout the day, especially at night, can occur in the third trimester of pregnancy because of the pressure exerted by the growing baby on your urinary bladder. You can minimize the frequency of urination at night by limiting your fluid intake from 2 hours before going to bed.

I get severe cramps in my legs during pregnancy; what should I do to relieve them?

Leg cramps can occur in pregnant women due to the pressure of the enlarging fetus on the pelvic region through which the nerves pass to the legs. It can also occur due to dehydration when women reduce their water intake to avoid frequent bathroom visits. To relieve this symptom, gently stretch the calf muscles while curling the toes up toward the knee. Also, make sure you are drinking enough water to prevent dehydration.

How can I avoid constipation during pregnancy? Is it okay to take laxatives?

Constipation is a common symptom in the third trimester of pregnancy. It can be easily avoided by drinking plenty of fluids and eating foods containing fibers such as fruits, whole grains, and vegetables. Avoid taking laxatives without consulting your doctor. You may use stool softeners as they are considered safer than laxatives.

Do I need to avoid alcohol completely during pregnancy?

Yes, it's important to avoid alcohol consumption completely during pregnancy as well as breastfeeding. Although it seems harmless to have a glass of wine with dinner, to begin with, you may find it difficult to know the "safe amount" of alcohol you can consume. Because of this uncertainty, it's wise to be cautious and avoid drinking any alcoholic beverage during pregnancy.

Excessive consumption of alcohol may lead to complications such as fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS). It can also increase the risk of physical, intellectual, and behavioral disabilities in the child. Also, the body of the fetus is unable to get rid of alcohol resulting in its accumulation in the fetus's body in a higher concentration for a longer period of time. So, a moderate alcohol intake, or even periodic binge drinking, can pose the risk of damage to the developing nervous system of the fetus.

Should I avoid caffeine during pregnancy?

Yes. It's advisable to limit your caffeine intake during pregnancy. Consumption of more than 200 to 300 milligrams of caffeine per day, which amounts to about 2 to 3 cups of coffee, can increase the risk of miscarriage and other pregnancy complications.

If you find it difficult to stop drinking caffeinated beverages completely, you can cut down the consumption to one or two cups per day, initially, and then gradually reduce the amount by combining regular coffee with decaffeinated coffee. Over a few weeks, you should be able to cut out the regular coffee completely.

In addition to coffee, you should also limit the intake of other caffeinated drinks such as black tea, cola, and soft drinks.

Is it safe to consume artificial sweeteners during pregnancy?

Some artificial sweeteners are safe to be used during pregnancy. However, some sugar substitutes can be harmful to the health of the mother and the baby; hence, they must be avoided. Aspartame, stevioside, sucralose, and acesulfame-K can be used in moderation by pregnant women. However, the use of aspartame must be avoided if you or your partner suffer from phenylketonuria (PKU), a rare hereditary disease in which the body is unable to break down phenylalanine found in aspartame.

There is no evidence to prove the safety of saccharin during pregnancy. Research suggests that it can cross the placenta and stay in the body of the fetus, thus increasing the risk of some complications. A sweetener called cyclamate is linked to the increased risk of cancer. Hence, women are advised to avoid saccharin and cyclamate during pregnancy.

Should I avoid traveling or flying during pregnancy?

Long-distance travel by road should be avoided as it may increase back pain and abdominal discomfort. It is advisable to avoid traveling to distant places when your due date is near or if you suffer from a medical condition that necessitates your keeping near home. Pregnant women who are suffering from high blood pressure or have a history of miscarriage and premature labor are encouraged to avoid flying.

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