What is prenatal care?
Prenatal care is the care you receive when you are pregnant. It includes care given by your healthcare provider, support from your family and an extra focus on giving yourself the care you need during this special time. Good prenatal care gives you the best chance for a healthy pregnancy and healthy baby.

What meds can I take in pregnancy?
It is best to not take any medications but acetaminophen (Tylenol) in the first 14 weeks of pregnancy. If you need symptom relief here are some medications that are safe to take when pregnant. For a stuffy, runny nose: Chlorpheniramine, Diphenhydramine (Benadryl). The side effects of those two medications include drowsiness and dry mouth. Pseudoephedrine HCL (Sudafed) which keeps you awake at night. Also, saline spray may help and is totally safe. For cough: cough medicine with the expectorant guaifensin. Other ingredients are not safe to use. If you cannot sleep due to your cough, consider calling for a prescription medicine with a narcotic cough suppressant. Cough drops with natural ingredients like menthol are safe. Also try half and half honey and lemon juice. For fever, headache, or muscle aches take acetaminophen (Tylenol). Do not take aspirin or ibuprofen. Do not let your fever go above 101 degrees. For sore throat: non-medicated throat lozenges are fine. Try acetaminophen for the pain and try gargling with salt water. For nausea: Vitamin B-6, Emetrol, Ginger, Seaband acupressure bands, Acupuncture, and take prenatal vitamins with dinner, not in the morning. It is important to avoid severe dehydration. For heartburn: Tums are safe to try. For diarrhea: Avoid dehydration by drinking plenty of fluids, eat easily digestible foods like white bread, bananas, applesauce and white rice. Also, Kaopectate is safe to use. Do not use Pepto-Bismol when pregnant.

What is all the hype about folic acid in pregnancy?
Folic acid can help reduce the risk of neural tube defects; including spina bifida, a birth defect in which the bones of the spine do not form properly around the spinal cord, and anencephaly, a disorder involving the incomplete development of major parts or all of the brain. Because of this, all women of childbearing age should take 0.4mg of folic acid daily. If you cannot consume enough folic acid through your diet, you should take supplements. Foods high in folic acid are: dark leafy greens/vegetables, whole grain bread/cereals, citrus fruits/juices, dried pea/beans and folic acid-fortified breakfast cereals.

What is gestational age?
Gestational age is the age of an unborn baby, or fetus. It is measured in weeks and days and is based on the date of your last menstrual period. Your healthcare provider will talk about your pregnancy in terms of weeks, not months. There are three stages of each pregnancy, called trimesters. The first trimester is from the 1st week through the 13th week. The second trimester is from the 14th through the 27th week, and the third trimester is from the 28th week to delivery.

Is it okay to exercise during pregnancy?
It is not only okay to exercise during pregnancy, but it is encouraged. The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology recommends healthy pregnant women get 30 minutes of moderately vigorous activity most days of the week.

Exercise tips:

  • Increase your daily activities (walk more, use stairs)
  • The best exercise is the one you enjoy (sports, walking, running, swimming, aerobics, yoga, Pilates)
  • Use the talk test to gauge intensity. If you can talk during activity, it is not too intense
  • As your body changes, you may have to change activities
  • Have fun

My husband and I have been trying to get pregnant for the past six months without luck. When should we seek medical help for infertility?
Approximately fifteen percent of couples in the United States struggle with infertility and are unable to get pregnant. Typically, infertility is diagnosed after twelve months of trying to conceive without the use of birth control. We would encourage you and your spouse to keep trying. If you aren’t pregnant after six more months, you may want to see a doctor and have an infertility evaluation. Tests can be done to find the cause of Infertility after which you can discuss treatment options if necessary.