Pregnancy Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Can I sleep on my back during my pregnancy?

We would prefer that you not sleep on your back. The 2 major blood vessels that go up and down by the spinal cord are called the vena cava and the aorta. When you lay flat on your back, those vessels are compressed and decrease blood flow to and from the uterus. Many women will feel faint and lightheaded when they are on their back for any length of time and will naturally change position. A tilt to one side or the other is fine.

2. What medications can I take while I am pregnant?

We prefer that you minimize any and all over-the-counter and prescriptions drug use. However, sometimes medications are necessary; please refer to our list of Safe Meds on this website and ask the prescribing provider if the prescription medication is safe in pregnancy.

3. How frequently should my baby move?

In your 3rd trimester of pregnancy, it is normal to feel your baby move 10 times in 2 hours at least once a day; after mid-pregnancy, it is normal to feel your baby move 10 times in 12 hours. You will probably not feel daily movement until 22-24 weeks of pregnancy.

4. Can I have my hair colored or permed?

Yes you can, but due to changes in your hair follicles, it may not “take” as it does when you are not pregnant.

5. Can I paint my baby’s room while I am pregnant?

You can use latex based paint in a well-ventilated room for short periods of time; we advise not using any type of oil-based or lead paint. Avoid exposure to paint removers, thinners, and paint brush cleaning solutions. If your home was built prior to 1979, check for lead-based paint. A test kit can be found at many hardware stores.

6. Can I tan while I am pregnant?

We do not medically recommend tanning at anytime, whether pregnant or not. Little is medically known about the safety of self-tanning products.

7. Why can’t I have another ultrasound?

We order ultrasounds as they are medically indicated; we believe that ultrasounds are safe; however we do not order them without a medical/obstetrical indication. If you want an extra ultrasound, we suggest that you schedule an extended ultrasound and purchase a package that meets your needs.

8. Is it safe to use artificial sweetener in pregnancy?

If you want to use an artificial sweetener, we prefer NutraSweet or Splenda; we do not want you to use Saccharin.

9. Can I drink alcohol during pregnancy?

No one knows how much or if any alcohol is safe for the unborn baby; therefore, we advise that you not drink at all—even in moderation. Cooking with small amounts of alcohol is probably safe.

10. Why is smoking dangerous during pregnancy?

First and second hand smoke can cause prenatal complications and reduced birth weight because of carbon monoxide poisoning and reduced oxygen to your baby. We strongly recommend no smoking and avoiding second hand smoke.

11. Can I exercise during pregnancy?

Yes! We want you to exercise. We advise during aerobic exercise to keep your heart rate less than 140 beats/minute. 30 – 45 minutes of aerobic exercise 4 -5 times per week is a good goal. After about 18 weeks, you will want to avoid high-impact activities.

12. Can I get in the hot tub or sauna during pregnancy?

Hot tubs or saunas can increase your core body temperature and that can be dangerous to the developing fetus, so we recommend that you not use them in pregnancy. Tub baths however are fine.

13. How much weight should I gain during my pregnancy?

If you are within an appropriate weight for your height, than we recommend that you gain between 25 – 35 pounds for the duration of your pregnancy. Most women gain very little weight during the first trimester; 0 – 5 pounds is normal.

14. What is the glucola test?

This test is done to screen for diabetes in pregnancy. We typically do the test at about 28 weeks gestation? We do it early in the pregnancy for anyone who has risks, including – previous large baby, maternal age greater than 35, maternal basal metabolic index over 30, first degree relative with early onset diabetes. If the test is elevated, it is necessary to have a 3 hour glucose tolerance test to determine if you have diabetes.

15. What is the Group B streptococcus test and when will I be tested?

GBS is a type of bacteria found in the vagina or the urinary tract. If a woman is a carrier of this bacteria, we recommend treating with IV antibiotics in labor. It can cause a serious infection in the newborn as it passes through the vagina.

16. What do I do in case of an emergency?

Call your nurse-midwife or physician or dial 911. If it is an emergency, please go straight to the closest hospital.