Pregnancy FAQ

What over the counter medications are okay for me to take in pregnancy?

For Headaches: Tylenol or extra-strength Tylenol
For Colds/Allergies: for congestion: Mucinex, Sudafed or Chlortrimetron; for sore throat: Chloraseptic spray, drink tea with honey; for cough: Robitussin; for sinus/allergy: Tylenol Cold and Sinus, Benadryl, Claritin, Zyrtec, Flonase or Nasonex; eat fruits and vegetables rich in Vitamin C (broccoli, strawberries, oranges), use a humidifier
For Nausea: Ginger Tea, Emetrol, or Vitamin B6 (10mg-25mg) with Unisom Sleep Tabs (Doxylamine) every 8 hours; eat small frequent meals, wet to dry diet (do not drink when you eat or eat when you drink)
For Heartburn: TUMS, Rolaids, Zantac, Tagamet, Prevacid, Pepcid, Mylanta, or Maalox; eat a light supper and sleep with head elevated (try using an extra pillow)
For Constipation: Metamucil, Milk of Magnesia or Colace; increase water intake and dietary fiber intake (fruits, green leafy vegetables, prunes, prune juice)
For Diarrhea: Imodium AD, Kaopectate, or Pepto-Bismol; liquid to bland diet for 24 hours gradually resuming regular diet
For Leg Cramps:Os-Cal one at bedtime, maternity support hose, bananas, prenatal vitamins, water, stretching
For Back Pain: Tylenol; warm soaks in a bathtub, maternity belt, sit in chairs with good back support or use a small pillow behind the small of your back
For Hemorrhoids: Preparation H, anusol-HC, Colace, sitz baths

What foods should I avoid in pregnancy?

• Raw or undercooked poultry, meats, eggs, or fish
• Unpasteurized fish, deli meats, eggs, or cheese (ex. feta, Brie, Camembert, queso fresco, queso blanco)
• Fish with high levels of mercury, such as shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish
• Refrigerated meat unless heated to steaming

How much weight should I gain in pregnancy?

• There is not an exact amount of weight that should be achieved in pregnancy, but there are certain ranges that are recommended based on height and weight prior to pregnancy.
• Underweight (BMI<18.5) – gain 28 to 40 pounds
• Normal (BMI 18.5-24.9) – gain 25 to 35 pounds
• Overweight (BMI 25-29.9) – gain 15 to 25 pounds
• Obese (BMI>30) – gain 11 to 20 pounds
• Pregnant with twins – discuss with your healthcare provider

Is it okay to travel during pregnancy?

Travel is generally safe in an uncomplicated pregnancy. Physicians usually ask that patients stop air travel after 34-35 weeks of pregnancy, and stop international travel by 30-32 weeks. Since pregnant women are at higher risk for blood clots, be sure to get up and walk around every two to three hours to help with circulation while on an airplane or during a car trip. It is still very important to continue the use of seatbelts and to keep the airbags turned on.

Who will deliver my baby?

Our group is set up in a call pool of eight physicians, seven females and one male. There is no way of determining when you might go into labor and who will be on call at that time, but our physicians feel comfortable that any member of their team will show you the same compassion and quality of care that they would personally give.

Postpartum Instructions

Remember, although you may feel great, it will take several weeks for your body to heal. Involution of the uterus (womb) involves the process by which the uterus sheds its thickened lining. This causes a considerable amount of discharge called lochia. For the first few days, the discharge contains blood and other cellular debris and is red in color. In ten days or so it is light brown or yellow in color. After several weeks, the discharge will disappear completely. The length of time the discharge persists is variable. Bleeding longer than this is not necessarily abnormal, particularly for breast-feeding mothers. You may experience some "cramps" (after birth pains) for the first few days after delivery. Often they are more severe when nursing. These are a normal part of involution.

If your baby is bottle fed, you will probably resume menstruation in four to ten weeks. If you are breast-feeding, you may not menstruate for several months or until after weaning your baby.

You may experience some constipation after delivery. Try increasing your daily fluid intake. As you become more active this problem will improve. A mild laxative such as Milk of Magnesia or Metamucil is okay in order to avoid straining. It is better to avoid enemas. If problems with constipation or hemorrhoids are severe, please let us know. It is advisable to take a stool softener until there is no more discomfort from the stitches.

After a vaginal delivery, soaking your episiotomy repair in warm water three to four times a day helps promote the healing process. Although this may be difficult at times, please make an effort to soak.

After a cesarean delivery, you may clean your incision with soap and water in the shower. Afterwards, pat the area dry and try to keep it as dry as possible. Some red/yellow drainage is normal. If the area becomes red or you begin to run a temperature (>100.5) please let us know.

If you are breast-feeding and have questions, please contact the hospital lactation department. You can also set up an appointment to see your doctor for a nursing consultation.

Should I breastfeed my baby?

Breastfeeding is one of the most important things that you can do for your baby, and it can also be one of the most difficult, yet most rewarding, processes that you will ever go through. There are many benefits of breastfeeding for both you and your baby.

Benefits for your baby include increased bonding time with mom, the appropriate amount of nutrients, and the addition of antibodies. The appropriate amount of nutrients help aid in digestion and the antibodies help fight infection. Breast-fed babies have decreased rates of ear infections and diarrhea. Also, breastfeeding decreases the risk of necrotizing enterocolitis (a disease that affects the gastrointestinal tract in preterm infants), lower respiratory infections, asthma, obesity, and type 2 diabetes.

Benefits for mom include increased bonding time with baby, weight loss, and a decrease risk of type 2 diabetes, breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and postpartum depression. Breastfeeding can also save time (there are less bottles to sterilize and get ready) and money (formula and feeding supplies can cost well over $1,500 each year).

If you are breast-feeding and have questions, please contact the hospital lactation department. You can also set up an appointment to see your doctor for a nursing consultation.


How can I increase my milk supply?

Breastfeeding is one of the most important things that you can do for your baby, and it can also be one of the most difficult, yet most rewarding, processes that you will ever go through. There are many things that can affect breast milk production and each woman's supply can be affected by something different. Breast milk production amount can also vary in subsequent pregnancies, so even if it did not work for one pregnancy, be sure to give it a try on the next one. Ways to increase supply are to increase the frequency of feedings (in the beginning you should be putting baby to breast every 2 to 3 hours, even throughout the night, even if baby is sleeping), make sure to continue prenatal vitamins, increase fluid intake (try to avoid caffeinated products), and insure adequate caloric intake. Stress and fatigue can take a toll on breast milk production, so make sure to try and nap when baby is napping. Some over the counter help includes Fenugreek three capsules three times per day and Mother's Milk Tea three to five times per day. A prescription drug called Reglan can be taken at doses of 10mg three times per day. Discuss with your doctor and see if this medicine could be right for you. Avoid antihistamines because these can cause your milk supply to decrease.